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Overview:

A key diplomatic office within the US Department of State, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs is responsible for implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The bureau promotes US political and economic interests in the region on issues ranging from NATO enlargement to energy supplies to the war on terrorism.

 
 
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History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bureau was created in May 2001, when Secretary of State Colin Powell merged the Bureau of European Affairs with the Office of the Special Adviser for the New Independent States.

 
Diplomatic relations between the United States and Europe and Russia have represented the backbone of American diplomacy since the early 20th Century. Europe in particular has been America’s most important foreign policy relationship dating back to World War I, when the US agreed to send military forces to the European continent to assist Great Britain and France in their war against Germany and Austria-Hungary.
 
A complicated web of diplomatic alliances began WWI when Serbian separatists, vying for independence from the Austria-Hungary, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the empire’s throne. With the backing of Germany, Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia, which was supported by its Slavic ally, Russia, which responded by declaring war on Germany. France was pulled into the conflict through its alliance with Russia, and Great Britain through its support for France. World War I lasted four bloody years, killing 20 million and wounding another 21 million. The conflict did little to settle political distrust between the US-England-France alliance and that of Germany, which was left bankrupt and in ruins. The United States’ backing of Great Britain and France’s insistence that Germany pay war reparations prolonged domestic strife within Germany, which helped lead to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party in the early 1930s.
 
Before WWI ended, the Czarist government ruling Russia was overthrown during the Bolshevik Revolution which brought the Communists to power and established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR or Soviet Union). The new Communist government negotiated a separate peace treaty with Germany to allow the Soviet Union to withdraw from the conflict. This move by the USSR was followed by the US, Canada, Great Britain, France and Japan sending military forces to the Soviet Union to fight on behalf of the Czarist’s White Army against the Communist Red Army. The invasion failed to stop the Bolsheviks from taking power and pulling the USSR out of WWI. What it did do, however, was begin a long history of distrust between the USSR and Western Europe and the US.
 
At the outbreak of World War II, the US supported not only France and Great Britain, but also the Soviet Union in the fight against Germany to keep Hitler’s Nazi empire from taking over Europe and the vast reaches of the USSR. But American distrust of Communism lingered before, during and after the war, and once Germany and the other Axis powers were defeated, American diplomats soon began to warn of the Soviet Union’s efforts to spread Communism throughout war-torn Europe and beyond. The US soon adopted a policy of containment, as composed by George F. Kennan, a career State Department official. The policy ultimately led to a combative posture on the part of the US vis-à-vis the USSR, setting the basis for the Cold War that ensued between the two Superpowers over the next 40 years.
 
As part of American efforts to curb the expansion of Soviet-backed Communist movements, US diplomats in Europe helped implement two major strategies designed to stabilize and protect Great Britain, France and the rest of Western Europe. These two strategies were the Marshall Plan, a multi-million-dollar campaign by the US to rebuild European economies, and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance designed to protect Western Europe from Soviet invasion. At the same time, the USSR cemented its political and military control over Eastern Europe through an Iron Curtain of Soviet-friendly governments that agreed to join the Warsaw Pact, the USSR’s answer to NATO. In addition to controlling the governments of East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the Soviets - through their East German allies - held sway over large parts of Berlin, which was now located in East Germany.
 
The Soviets first tested the West’s military resolve in 1948 when they cut off access to West Berlin by land. Refusing to allow the USSR to claim full possession of the former German capital, President Harry Truman launched the Berlin Airlift, in which the US Air Force flew round-the-clock supply missions into the city for the next year to keep its residents from starving. The airlift ceased after the Soviets conceded and reopened the roads and train routes into West Berlin.
 
In the ensuing decades of the 1950s and 1960s, other major Cold War flashpoints occurred. Two of the most volatile were the Soviet Union’s crushing of rebellions in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. Both separatist movements were heavily encouraged by the US.
 
During the late 1970s, the US and the USSR escalated tensions in Europe over the deployment of a new generation of medium-ranged nuclear missiles. This provoked huge protests in the early 1980s in London and other major Western European cities, calling for the US to withdraw its Pershing II and cruise missiles. Meanwhile, American and Soviet arms control negotiators discussed offers to pull the weapons out of the European Theater. Little progress was made until a new reformist leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, took control of the Soviet Union. As part of his promises to change the domestic (Perestroika) and foreign (Glasnost) policies of the USSR, Gorbachev reached a breakthrough agreement over nuclear missiles with President Ronald Reagan at the Reykjavik summit in 1986. The accord led to the signing of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty the following year that withdrew all such weapons from Europe, and marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War between the two superpowers.
 
Only two years later, the Soviet Union allowed free elections to be held in Hungary and Poland. Also in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, which began the reunification of East and West Germany. In 1991 the Communist government of the USSR collapsed in the wake of a failed coup to overthrow Gorbachev, bringing to power Boris Yeltsin. The change in government led to warmer relations between the United States and Russia as the US led economic efforts, such as passage of the Freedom Support Act of 1992, to help the former Soviet Union transition from a command economy to a free market one. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, Europeans all over the continent looked forward to new era of peace and prosperity.
 
That hope was quickly dashed when a bloody civil war erupted in the Balkans in 1992. Lasting three years, the war in Bosnia was viewed as NATO’s first big post-Cold War test. Instead of intervening with military forces, NATO countries stayed out of the conflict, in part out of concern over how Serbia’s ally, Russia, might respond. NATO inaction allowed Serbian paramilitary forces to conduct ethnic-cleansing campaigns against Croats and Muslims, the worst occurring in Srebrenica. The failure on the part of NATO to stop the slaughter was still fresh in the minds of American and Western European leaders when, in 1999, the predominantly Albanian province of Kosovo tried to secede from Serbia. This time NATO air strikes were ordered to keep Serbian military units from rampaging Kosovo. Thousands still perished in the fighting. Following the end of hostilities, a UN peacekeeping mission was established to maintain the peace as US and European diplomats negotiated a way for Kosovo’s independence. In February 2008 Kosovo’s parliament declared the province an independent country, sparking another tense controversy with Serbia and Russia.
 
Since the end of the 1990s, relations among Russia, the US and Europe have cooled, not only because of conflicts in the Balkans but because of the rise of Vladimir Putin as the president of Russia following the resignation of Yeltsin in 2000. Putin, a former KGI agent, has been determined to reassert Russian influence in former Soviet republics and throughout Europe. Putin has opposed efforts by the US and Western European countries to expand NATO by including former Warsaw Pact countries, and under his leadership, Russia has attempted to gain greater economic clout through its vast reserves of oil and natural gas.
 
In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, European members of NATO participated in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to drive out al-Qaeda and its Taliban supporters. Some non-US NATO forces also played a role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, although most of those forces were from one country, Great Britain. As the US continues to conduct military operations and nation-building strategies in both Afghanistan and Iraq, American diplomats have placed a high priority on courting European assistance in both of these foreign policy endeavors.
 
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What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A key diplomatic office within the State Department, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs is responsible for implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The bureau promotes US political and economic interests in the region on issues ranging from NATO enlargement to energy supplies to the war on terrorism. Bureau diplomats work with representatives from the governments of 53 countries and entities.

 
One of the key duties of the bureau since the end of the Cold War has been the implementation of the SEED Act. Adopted in 1989, the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act was passed by Congress to promote political, economic and social changes in Central and Eastern Europe and to integrate those countries into Europe as a whole. Sixteen countries covered by the SEED Act have received economic assistance from the US. Eleven of these have become NATO members: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Five others belong to NATO's Partnership for Peace. Eight SEED-recipient countries are members of the European Union (EU), and two others, Bulgaria and Romania, joined the EU on January 1, 2007. Croatia is actively engaged in EU accession negotiations. The bureau publishes annual reports detailing SEED activities.
 
Another key piece of legislation that the bureau helps to implement is the Freedom Support Act (FSA). Similar to the SEED Act, the FSA has both economic and security goals with respect to those countries that became independent following the collapse of the Soviet Union. FSA provides assistance to former Soviet republics as they continue to develop market-based economies. The act also encourages these countries to cooperate with US policies on nuclear nonproliferation and the Global War on Terrorism. Recipients of FSA include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The bureau produces annual reports on FSA assistance to recipient countries.
 
The bureau’s top political objectives are: settlement in Kosovo, stability in Afghanistan and containment of Russia’s economic pressures on Europe. Kosovo became a flashpoint again in February 2008 when its government declared independence from Serbia. The US and some European countries have supported Kosovo’s sovereignty, while Serbia, Russia, China and numerous other countries have remained opposed. The move by Kosovo, and America’s support for it, led to Serbian protests outside the US embassy in Belgrade that resulted in broken windows and small fires being set.
 
With respect to Afghanistan, the bureau’s concerns are more than just threats from al Qaeda and the Taliban. American diplomats are working on stemming criticism coming from Germany and other European countries that is undermining the US-led campaign. The criticism is focused on the number of Afghan civilians who have been killed or wounded during attacks by US and other NATO forces.
 

When discussing the bureau’s third main objective, Russia, American diplomats seem to be aiming for a “cold non-war” in their attempts to counter Russia’s economic pressures on Europe. Russia’s intimidation of Europe through energy supplies is “growing and convincing the Putin regime that it can ignore calls to curb its authoritarian domestic trends and uncompromising diplomacy,” according to

European Affairs

.

 

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Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs conducts diplomatic affairs with more than 50 foreign governments. It also has numerous economic stakeholders, including governments outside the region and private companies that are involved in the natural gas industry. One of the bureau’s top objectives is to reduce Russia’s supply of natural gas to Europe, and thus reduce the one-time superpower’s influence in the region. Currently, Russia provides Europe with one-third of its natural gas supplies. Those supplies arrive via two major pipeline routes constructed in the 1980s over the objections of the Reagan administration. The bureau is trying to convince several European and Eurasian governments to diversify their natural gas supplies by building pipelines that would bypass Russia. Such a move would have serious ramifications for Russia, which exports 80% of its natural gas to Europe.

 
The bureau has held discussions with Algeria, Libya and Qatar about selling some of their natural gas to Europe. Also, many European companies have interests in Russian gas projects. German energy giant E.On Ruhrgas AG and chemical giant BASF AG own minority stakes in a pipeline belonging to Russia’s huge government-controlled gas corporation, Gazprom. The Italian state oil company, Eni SpA, is Gazprom’s partner in the Blue Stream pipeline that carries gas from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea.
 
US efforts to thwart Russia’s gas exports have ramifications for American and British petroleum giants. British Petroleum has been working to gain access to Russian pipelines, while Chevron and Conoco Phillips are vying for rights to explore Russia’s big Shtokman natural gas field.
 
Another objective of the bureau’s is to convince the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic to allow the US to base a limited number of missile interceptors on their soil. These interceptors would be part of the US National Missile Defense system still under development. That system has the involvement of numerous large defense contractors, including Boeing, Raytheon/Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Bechtel, among others.

FAS on National Missile Defense

 

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Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suicides Not Good PR

In June 2006 a diplomat in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs wound up in hot water after she described the suicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as a “good PR move” by the inmates. The remark was made by Colleen Graffy, deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy in the bureau.
 
“Taking their own lives was not necessary, but it certainly is a good PR move,” Graffy said. “It does sound like this is part of a strategy - in that they don't value their own lives, and they certainly don't value ours; and they use suicide bombings as a tactic.”
The Bush administration distanced itself from Graffy’s comments, which aired on the BBC the day after two Saudis and a Yemeni hanged themselves in their cells.
 
A State Department spokesman told reporters “that we would not say that it was a PR stunt” and added that President Bush had said he “had serious concerns about what had happened.”
 
Graffy, a former law professor at Pepperdine University in California, reports to former Bush adviser Karen Hughes, who left the White House for several years before returning to serve as under secretary of state for public diplomacy. Hughes was brought back by the White House in an attempt to improve the United States’ world image, especially in Islamic countries.
 
Graffy was not reprimanded.
Suicides are not 'PR,' U.S. says (International Herald Tribune)
 
Holocaust Language Criticized
The bureau also got in trouble the following summer when Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, reviewed the office’s background note on the Holocaust. Hier found the historical account to be understated when compared to other State Department descriptions of genocide.
 
The Holocaust entry read: “Once in power, Hitler and his party first undermined and then abolished democratic institutions and opposition parties. The Nazi leadership immediately jailed Jewish opposition and other figures and withdrew their political rights. The Nazis implemented a program of genocide, at first through incarceration and forced labor and then by establishing death camps.”
 
Surprised by the lack of specificity in the background note on the bureau’s web site, Hier checked the State Department histories of mass killings in Rwanda, Sudan and Cambodia and noted all were more meticulously detailed than the recounting of the Holocaust. Hier then wrote Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the center was “greatly disturbed” by the official description of German history, which “ignores and downplays the Nazi role in the ‘Final Solution’ and the murder of six million Jews.”
 
Hier noted that the bureau’s description came at a time when anti-Semitism and Holocaust revisionism were continuing in many parts of the world, such as Iran. “The official website of the United States State Department should emphasize and not minimize the centrality of the Holocaust,” wrote Hier.
 
State Department officials told Hier that they would change the background note.
Detailed History (by Rachel Dry, Washington Post)

Marvin Hier on State Department History of Germany

(YouTube)

 

 

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Comments

Dariusz Wolosz 2 years ago
it's understable why the text on this web-site is so 'general.' an idividual who is involved in those european affairs and posseses certain sort of knowledge, including historical background, comprehends in full extention what the text refers to. having planty of experience in this field supported with background knowledge, i would like to see more information (obviously without any dplomaticly strategic important details) about present u.s. state department agenda, however, the p...

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Founded: 2001
Annual Budget: $626 million
Employees: 2,606
Official Website: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Nuland, Victoria
Assistant Secretary

President Barack Obama has nominated Victoria Nuland to be the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Serving as State Department spokesperson since May 2011, Nuland played a major role in editing the administration “talking points” in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year. Nevertheless, recent praise for her nomination from key Senate Republicans suggests that she will be confirmed to succeed Philip Gordon, who was appointed Middle East coordinator for the National Security Council.

 

Born in 1961, Nuland is the daughter of Yale bioethics and medicine professor Sherwin B. Nuland, the family’s original surname being Nudelman. She earned a B.A. at Brown University in 1983.

 

A career Foreign Service officer, Nuland says she took the Foreign Service exam on a whim during her senior year at Brown. Her early career assignments included service in Guangzhou, China, from 1985 to 1986; in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 1987; and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where she helped open the first U.S. Embassy in 1988.

 

She spent the next four years focused on the then-faltering Soviet Union, serving on the Soviet Desk from 1988 to 1990, and covering Russian politics at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1991 to 1993.

 

Back in Washington, she was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott from 1993 to 1996, and deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs from 1997 to 1999.

 

She also spent two years at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), as a State Department fellow in 1996-1997, when she directed a CFR task force on “Russia, its Neighbors and an Expanding NATO,” and as a “Next Generation” fellow studying the effects of anti-Americanism in 1999-2000.

 

Nuland served as U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO, in Brussels, Belgium, from 2000 to 2003, and as principal deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney from 2003 to 2005. Returning to Brussels, Nuland served as permanent representative to NATO from June 20, 2005, to May 2, 2008, when the war in Afghanistan and NATO-Russia issues dominated the agenda.

 

After a year on the faculty of the National War College in 2008-2009, Nuland served as Special Envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe from February 2010 to June 2011, when she was named State Department spokesperson.

 

Nuland speaks Russian and French. She is married to neoconservative writer Robert Kagan, with whom she has two children.

 

Official Biography

Obama Taps Victoria Nuland for Assistant Secretary (by John Hudson, Foreign Policy)

Alums in the State Dept: No Praying from the Podium (by Beth Schwartzapfel, Brown Alumni Magazine) 

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Gordon, Philip
Previous Assistant Secretary

Philip H. Gordon, who was confirmed as Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs on May 4, 2009, is no stranger to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, having served on Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff during the former president’s first term in office. Gordon has spent his career studying Europe as an academic and think tank researcher, and is considered a specialist on France and Turkey.

 
Gordon, 46, received his Bachelor of Arts in French and philosophy from Ohio University in 1984, and his master’s (1987) and PhD (1991) in European studies and international economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is proficient in French, German and Italian ,and speaks some Spanish.
 
Before joining the Clinton White House, Gordon worked at the German Society for Foreign Affairs in Bonn, as a visiting professor for the international business school INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and Singapore, and as a professor in the European Studies program at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.
 
Gordon became Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council under President Clinton, where he was responsible for as range of issues, including NATO, Western Europe, Turkey and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and in developing and coordinating NATO policy in the run-up to the alliance’s 50th Anniversary summit in Washington, DC.
 
From 1994-1998 he was the Senior Fellow for US Strategic Studies and the editor of Survival, a journal of global politics and strategy, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
 
In 2000, Gordon joined the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, where he has been a Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and director of the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe. His research has focused on strategies for confronting global terrorism, with a special emphasis on the Middle East and Europe.
 
During the 2008 presidential race, Gordon was a foreign policy advisor and leader of the Europe expert group for the Obama campaign.
 
He has also published articles on international relations and foreign policy and frequently contributes to major publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, and Financial Times.
 
Turkey on the Brink (by Philip Gordon and Omer Taspinar, Washington Quarterly) (PDF)
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Bookmark and Share
Overview:

A key diplomatic office within the US Department of State, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs is responsible for implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The bureau promotes US political and economic interests in the region on issues ranging from NATO enlargement to energy supplies to the war on terrorism.

 
 
more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bureau was created in May 2001, when Secretary of State Colin Powell merged the Bureau of European Affairs with the Office of the Special Adviser for the New Independent States.

 
Diplomatic relations between the United States and Europe and Russia have represented the backbone of American diplomacy since the early 20th Century. Europe in particular has been America’s most important foreign policy relationship dating back to World War I, when the US agreed to send military forces to the European continent to assist Great Britain and France in their war against Germany and Austria-Hungary.
 
A complicated web of diplomatic alliances began WWI when Serbian separatists, vying for independence from the Austria-Hungary, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the empire’s throne. With the backing of Germany, Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia, which was supported by its Slavic ally, Russia, which responded by declaring war on Germany. France was pulled into the conflict through its alliance with Russia, and Great Britain through its support for France. World War I lasted four bloody years, killing 20 million and wounding another 21 million. The conflict did little to settle political distrust between the US-England-France alliance and that of Germany, which was left bankrupt and in ruins. The United States’ backing of Great Britain and France’s insistence that Germany pay war reparations prolonged domestic strife within Germany, which helped lead to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party in the early 1930s.
 
Before WWI ended, the Czarist government ruling Russia was overthrown during the Bolshevik Revolution which brought the Communists to power and established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR or Soviet Union). The new Communist government negotiated a separate peace treaty with Germany to allow the Soviet Union to withdraw from the conflict. This move by the USSR was followed by the US, Canada, Great Britain, France and Japan sending military forces to the Soviet Union to fight on behalf of the Czarist’s White Army against the Communist Red Army. The invasion failed to stop the Bolsheviks from taking power and pulling the USSR out of WWI. What it did do, however, was begin a long history of distrust between the USSR and Western Europe and the US.
 
At the outbreak of World War II, the US supported not only France and Great Britain, but also the Soviet Union in the fight against Germany to keep Hitler’s Nazi empire from taking over Europe and the vast reaches of the USSR. But American distrust of Communism lingered before, during and after the war, and once Germany and the other Axis powers were defeated, American diplomats soon began to warn of the Soviet Union’s efforts to spread Communism throughout war-torn Europe and beyond. The US soon adopted a policy of containment, as composed by George F. Kennan, a career State Department official. The policy ultimately led to a combative posture on the part of the US vis-à-vis the USSR, setting the basis for the Cold War that ensued between the two Superpowers over the next 40 years.
 
As part of American efforts to curb the expansion of Soviet-backed Communist movements, US diplomats in Europe helped implement two major strategies designed to stabilize and protect Great Britain, France and the rest of Western Europe. These two strategies were the Marshall Plan, a multi-million-dollar campaign by the US to rebuild European economies, and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance designed to protect Western Europe from Soviet invasion. At the same time, the USSR cemented its political and military control over Eastern Europe through an Iron Curtain of Soviet-friendly governments that agreed to join the Warsaw Pact, the USSR’s answer to NATO. In addition to controlling the governments of East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the Soviets - through their East German allies - held sway over large parts of Berlin, which was now located in East Germany.
 
The Soviets first tested the West’s military resolve in 1948 when they cut off access to West Berlin by land. Refusing to allow the USSR to claim full possession of the former German capital, President Harry Truman launched the Berlin Airlift, in which the US Air Force flew round-the-clock supply missions into the city for the next year to keep its residents from starving. The airlift ceased after the Soviets conceded and reopened the roads and train routes into West Berlin.
 
In the ensuing decades of the 1950s and 1960s, other major Cold War flashpoints occurred. Two of the most volatile were the Soviet Union’s crushing of rebellions in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. Both separatist movements were heavily encouraged by the US.
 
During the late 1970s, the US and the USSR escalated tensions in Europe over the deployment of a new generation of medium-ranged nuclear missiles. This provoked huge protests in the early 1980s in London and other major Western European cities, calling for the US to withdraw its Pershing II and cruise missiles. Meanwhile, American and Soviet arms control negotiators discussed offers to pull the weapons out of the European Theater. Little progress was made until a new reformist leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, took control of the Soviet Union. As part of his promises to change the domestic (Perestroika) and foreign (Glasnost) policies of the USSR, Gorbachev reached a breakthrough agreement over nuclear missiles with President Ronald Reagan at the Reykjavik summit in 1986. The accord led to the signing of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty the following year that withdrew all such weapons from Europe, and marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War between the two superpowers.
 
Only two years later, the Soviet Union allowed free elections to be held in Hungary and Poland. Also in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, which began the reunification of East and West Germany. In 1991 the Communist government of the USSR collapsed in the wake of a failed coup to overthrow Gorbachev, bringing to power Boris Yeltsin. The change in government led to warmer relations between the United States and Russia as the US led economic efforts, such as passage of the Freedom Support Act of 1992, to help the former Soviet Union transition from a command economy to a free market one. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, Europeans all over the continent looked forward to new era of peace and prosperity.
 
That hope was quickly dashed when a bloody civil war erupted in the Balkans in 1992. Lasting three years, the war in Bosnia was viewed as NATO’s first big post-Cold War test. Instead of intervening with military forces, NATO countries stayed out of the conflict, in part out of concern over how Serbia’s ally, Russia, might respond. NATO inaction allowed Serbian paramilitary forces to conduct ethnic-cleansing campaigns against Croats and Muslims, the worst occurring in Srebrenica. The failure on the part of NATO to stop the slaughter was still fresh in the minds of American and Western European leaders when, in 1999, the predominantly Albanian province of Kosovo tried to secede from Serbia. This time NATO air strikes were ordered to keep Serbian military units from rampaging Kosovo. Thousands still perished in the fighting. Following the end of hostilities, a UN peacekeeping mission was established to maintain the peace as US and European diplomats negotiated a way for Kosovo’s independence. In February 2008 Kosovo’s parliament declared the province an independent country, sparking another tense controversy with Serbia and Russia.
 
Since the end of the 1990s, relations among Russia, the US and Europe have cooled, not only because of conflicts in the Balkans but because of the rise of Vladimir Putin as the president of Russia following the resignation of Yeltsin in 2000. Putin, a former KGI agent, has been determined to reassert Russian influence in former Soviet republics and throughout Europe. Putin has opposed efforts by the US and Western European countries to expand NATO by including former Warsaw Pact countries, and under his leadership, Russia has attempted to gain greater economic clout through its vast reserves of oil and natural gas.
 
In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, European members of NATO participated in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to drive out al-Qaeda and its Taliban supporters. Some non-US NATO forces also played a role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, although most of those forces were from one country, Great Britain. As the US continues to conduct military operations and nation-building strategies in both Afghanistan and Iraq, American diplomats have placed a high priority on courting European assistance in both of these foreign policy endeavors.
 
more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A key diplomatic office within the State Department, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs is responsible for implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The bureau promotes US political and economic interests in the region on issues ranging from NATO enlargement to energy supplies to the war on terrorism. Bureau diplomats work with representatives from the governments of 53 countries and entities.

 
One of the key duties of the bureau since the end of the Cold War has been the implementation of the SEED Act. Adopted in 1989, the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act was passed by Congress to promote political, economic and social changes in Central and Eastern Europe and to integrate those countries into Europe as a whole. Sixteen countries covered by the SEED Act have received economic assistance from the US. Eleven of these have become NATO members: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Five others belong to NATO's Partnership for Peace. Eight SEED-recipient countries are members of the European Union (EU), and two others, Bulgaria and Romania, joined the EU on January 1, 2007. Croatia is actively engaged in EU accession negotiations. The bureau publishes annual reports detailing SEED activities.
 
Another key piece of legislation that the bureau helps to implement is the Freedom Support Act (FSA). Similar to the SEED Act, the FSA has both economic and security goals with respect to those countries that became independent following the collapse of the Soviet Union. FSA provides assistance to former Soviet republics as they continue to develop market-based economies. The act also encourages these countries to cooperate with US policies on nuclear nonproliferation and the Global War on Terrorism. Recipients of FSA include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The bureau produces annual reports on FSA assistance to recipient countries.
 
The bureau’s top political objectives are: settlement in Kosovo, stability in Afghanistan and containment of Russia’s economic pressures on Europe. Kosovo became a flashpoint again in February 2008 when its government declared independence from Serbia. The US and some European countries have supported Kosovo’s sovereignty, while Serbia, Russia, China and numerous other countries have remained opposed. The move by Kosovo, and America’s support for it, led to Serbian protests outside the US embassy in Belgrade that resulted in broken windows and small fires being set.
 
With respect to Afghanistan, the bureau’s concerns are more than just threats from al Qaeda and the Taliban. American diplomats are working on stemming criticism coming from Germany and other European countries that is undermining the US-led campaign. The criticism is focused on the number of Afghan civilians who have been killed or wounded during attacks by US and other NATO forces.
 

When discussing the bureau’s third main objective, Russia, American diplomats seem to be aiming for a “cold non-war” in their attempts to counter Russia’s economic pressures on Europe. Russia’s intimidation of Europe through energy supplies is “growing and convincing the Putin regime that it can ignore calls to curb its authoritarian domestic trends and uncompromising diplomacy,” according to

European Affairs

.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs conducts diplomatic affairs with more than 50 foreign governments. It also has numerous economic stakeholders, including governments outside the region and private companies that are involved in the natural gas industry. One of the bureau’s top objectives is to reduce Russia’s supply of natural gas to Europe, and thus reduce the one-time superpower’s influence in the region. Currently, Russia provides Europe with one-third of its natural gas supplies. Those supplies arrive via two major pipeline routes constructed in the 1980s over the objections of the Reagan administration. The bureau is trying to convince several European and Eurasian governments to diversify their natural gas supplies by building pipelines that would bypass Russia. Such a move would have serious ramifications for Russia, which exports 80% of its natural gas to Europe.

 
The bureau has held discussions with Algeria, Libya and Qatar about selling some of their natural gas to Europe. Also, many European companies have interests in Russian gas projects. German energy giant E.On Ruhrgas AG and chemical giant BASF AG own minority stakes in a pipeline belonging to Russia’s huge government-controlled gas corporation, Gazprom. The Italian state oil company, Eni SpA, is Gazprom’s partner in the Blue Stream pipeline that carries gas from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea.
 
US efforts to thwart Russia’s gas exports have ramifications for American and British petroleum giants. British Petroleum has been working to gain access to Russian pipelines, while Chevron and Conoco Phillips are vying for rights to explore Russia’s big Shtokman natural gas field.
 
Another objective of the bureau’s is to convince the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic to allow the US to base a limited number of missile interceptors on their soil. These interceptors would be part of the US National Missile Defense system still under development. That system has the involvement of numerous large defense contractors, including Boeing, Raytheon/Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Bechtel, among others.

FAS on National Missile Defense

 

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Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suicides Not Good PR

In June 2006 a diplomat in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs wound up in hot water after she described the suicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as a “good PR move” by the inmates. The remark was made by Colleen Graffy, deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy in the bureau.
 
“Taking their own lives was not necessary, but it certainly is a good PR move,” Graffy said. “It does sound like this is part of a strategy - in that they don't value their own lives, and they certainly don't value ours; and they use suicide bombings as a tactic.”
The Bush administration distanced itself from Graffy’s comments, which aired on the BBC the day after two Saudis and a Yemeni hanged themselves in their cells.
 
A State Department spokesman told reporters “that we would not say that it was a PR stunt” and added that President Bush had said he “had serious concerns about what had happened.”
 
Graffy, a former law professor at Pepperdine University in California, reports to former Bush adviser Karen Hughes, who left the White House for several years before returning to serve as under secretary of state for public diplomacy. Hughes was brought back by the White House in an attempt to improve the United States’ world image, especially in Islamic countries.
 
Graffy was not reprimanded.
Suicides are not 'PR,' U.S. says (International Herald Tribune)
 
Holocaust Language Criticized
The bureau also got in trouble the following summer when Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, reviewed the office’s background note on the Holocaust. Hier found the historical account to be understated when compared to other State Department descriptions of genocide.
 
The Holocaust entry read: “Once in power, Hitler and his party first undermined and then abolished democratic institutions and opposition parties. The Nazi leadership immediately jailed Jewish opposition and other figures and withdrew their political rights. The Nazis implemented a program of genocide, at first through incarceration and forced labor and then by establishing death camps.”
 
Surprised by the lack of specificity in the background note on the bureau’s web site, Hier checked the State Department histories of mass killings in Rwanda, Sudan and Cambodia and noted all were more meticulously detailed than the recounting of the Holocaust. Hier then wrote Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the center was “greatly disturbed” by the official description of German history, which “ignores and downplays the Nazi role in the ‘Final Solution’ and the murder of six million Jews.”
 
Hier noted that the bureau’s description came at a time when anti-Semitism and Holocaust revisionism were continuing in many parts of the world, such as Iran. “The official website of the United States State Department should emphasize and not minimize the centrality of the Holocaust,” wrote Hier.
 
State Department officials told Hier that they would change the background note.
Detailed History (by Rachel Dry, Washington Post)

Marvin Hier on State Department History of Germany

(YouTube)

 

 

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Comments

Dariusz Wolosz 2 years ago
it's understable why the text on this web-site is so 'general.' an idividual who is involved in those european affairs and posseses certain sort of knowledge, including historical background, comprehends in full extention what the text refers to. having planty of experience in this field supported with background knowledge, i would like to see more information (obviously without any dplomaticly strategic important details) about present u.s. state department agenda, however, the p...

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Founded: 2001
Annual Budget: $626 million
Employees: 2,606
Official Website: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Nuland, Victoria
Assistant Secretary

President Barack Obama has nominated Victoria Nuland to be the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Serving as State Department spokesperson since May 2011, Nuland played a major role in editing the administration “talking points” in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year. Nevertheless, recent praise for her nomination from key Senate Republicans suggests that she will be confirmed to succeed Philip Gordon, who was appointed Middle East coordinator for the National Security Council.

 

Born in 1961, Nuland is the daughter of Yale bioethics and medicine professor Sherwin B. Nuland, the family’s original surname being Nudelman. She earned a B.A. at Brown University in 1983.

 

A career Foreign Service officer, Nuland says she took the Foreign Service exam on a whim during her senior year at Brown. Her early career assignments included service in Guangzhou, China, from 1985 to 1986; in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 1987; and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where she helped open the first U.S. Embassy in 1988.

 

She spent the next four years focused on the then-faltering Soviet Union, serving on the Soviet Desk from 1988 to 1990, and covering Russian politics at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1991 to 1993.

 

Back in Washington, she was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott from 1993 to 1996, and deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs from 1997 to 1999.

 

She also spent two years at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), as a State Department fellow in 1996-1997, when she directed a CFR task force on “Russia, its Neighbors and an Expanding NATO,” and as a “Next Generation” fellow studying the effects of anti-Americanism in 1999-2000.

 

Nuland served as U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO, in Brussels, Belgium, from 2000 to 2003, and as principal deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney from 2003 to 2005. Returning to Brussels, Nuland served as permanent representative to NATO from June 20, 2005, to May 2, 2008, when the war in Afghanistan and NATO-Russia issues dominated the agenda.

 

After a year on the faculty of the National War College in 2008-2009, Nuland served as Special Envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe from February 2010 to June 2011, when she was named State Department spokesperson.

 

Nuland speaks Russian and French. She is married to neoconservative writer Robert Kagan, with whom she has two children.

 

Official Biography

Obama Taps Victoria Nuland for Assistant Secretary (by John Hudson, Foreign Policy)

Alums in the State Dept: No Praying from the Podium (by Beth Schwartzapfel, Brown Alumni Magazine) 

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Gordon, Philip
Previous Assistant Secretary

Philip H. Gordon, who was confirmed as Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs on May 4, 2009, is no stranger to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, having served on Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff during the former president’s first term in office. Gordon has spent his career studying Europe as an academic and think tank researcher, and is considered a specialist on France and Turkey.

 
Gordon, 46, received his Bachelor of Arts in French and philosophy from Ohio University in 1984, and his master’s (1987) and PhD (1991) in European studies and international economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is proficient in French, German and Italian ,and speaks some Spanish.
 
Before joining the Clinton White House, Gordon worked at the German Society for Foreign Affairs in Bonn, as a visiting professor for the international business school INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and Singapore, and as a professor in the European Studies program at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.
 
Gordon became Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council under President Clinton, where he was responsible for as range of issues, including NATO, Western Europe, Turkey and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and in developing and coordinating NATO policy in the run-up to the alliance’s 50th Anniversary summit in Washington, DC.
 
From 1994-1998 he was the Senior Fellow for US Strategic Studies and the editor of Survival, a journal of global politics and strategy, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
 
In 2000, Gordon joined the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, where he has been a Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and director of the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe. His research has focused on strategies for confronting global terrorism, with a special emphasis on the Middle East and Europe.
 
During the 2008 presidential race, Gordon was a foreign policy advisor and leader of the Europe expert group for the Obama campaign.
 
He has also published articles on international relations and foreign policy and frequently contributes to major publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, and Financial Times.
 
Turkey on the Brink (by Philip Gordon and Omer Taspinar, Washington Quarterly) (PDF)
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