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Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Joseph Ralston Visited CSD

On March 19, 2002, General Joseph W. Ralston, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), visited the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD). General Ralston became the Commander-in-Chief, United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe in May 2000. General Ralston commands one of the nine Unified combatant commands in the Department of Defense. The United States European command is responsible for the activities of all U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps forces operating within its area of responsibility in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Accompanied by Mr. Michael Durkee, International Affairs Advisor to SACEUR, General Ralston met with Dr. Ognian Shentov, CSD President, Ambassador Boyko Noev, Director of CSD's European Program and former Bulgarian Minister of Defense, and Mr. Boyko Todorov, CSD Program Director.

The main topic of discussion was the potential for cooperation with non-governmental organizations and think tanks in the global war against terrorism. This is particularly relevant in Southeast Europe where the new security risks are linked to the stability of government institutions and the capacity of law enforcement. At the same time, SELDI and its network of think tanks in the region have developed a considerable analytical potential in linking the new security challenges with the work in good governance in general, and anti-corruption in particular (CSD serves both as a Secretariat to the national anti-corruption initiative Coalition 2000 and an Executive Secretariat to the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative (SELDI). A cooperation has already been developed in this area between CSD and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies at Garmisch, Germany. SACEUR encouraged this cooperation and underlined the contribution which efforts in the field of the rule of law can make to the security objectives pursued by the US government and its allies in the region.

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