Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2012

U.S.-Turkey Relations: A New Partnership

Madeleine K. Albright (Chair), Stephen J. Hadley (Chair), Steven A. Cook (ProjectDirector)

May 2012

Council on Foreign Relations


Turkey is a rising regional and global power facing, as is the United States, the challenges of political transitions in the Middle East, bloodshed in Syria, and Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. As a result, it is incumbent upon the leaders of the United States and Turkey to define a new partnership "in order to make a strategic relationship a reality," says a new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)–sponsored Independent Task Force. The bipartisan Task Force is chaired by former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright and former national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, and is directed by Steven A. Cook, CFR's Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies. The Task Force includes twenty-three prominent experts who represent a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. "Turkey may not yet have the status of one of Washington's traditional European allies," the report explains, "but there is good strategic reason for the bilateral relationship to grow and mature into a mutually beneficial partnership that can manage a complex set of security, economic, humanitarian, and environmental problems." The relationship should reflect "not only common American-Turkish interests, but also Turkey's new stature as an economically and politically successful country with a new role to play in a changing Middle East," argues the Task Force in the report, U.S.-Turkey Relations: A New Partnership.