Frederick Kempe

  • Atlantic Council’s Istanbul Summit Affirms Transatlantic Engagement

    Speakers at the Atlantic Council’s Istanbul Summit on April 27 emphasized the importance of strengthening transatlantic bonds to the Middle East with the goal of jointly addressing challenges and harnessing opportunities.

    “We all need each other, and we are strong when we can work together, and pull in the same direction, and address the many challenges in the three regions,” said John Bass, the US ambassador to Turkey.

    “We’ve got some differences in the meantime, but how we deal with those differences… is an essential piece of what we do,” he added.

    This sentiment reflected the theme of this year’s summit: Strengthening Transatlantic Engagement with a Turbulent Region.

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  • Erdoğan Asks US to End Support for Kurdish Militias, Hand Over Cleric

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking at the Atlantic Council’s Istanbul Summit on April 28, urged the United States to end its support for Kurdish rebels in Syria and to extradite a cleric Turkey says orchestrated a failed coup attempt in July of 2016; he also accused some European countries of harboring terrorists. 

    Erdoğan’s remarks offered a preview of his upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on May 16. The Turkish leader had been unsuccessful in his efforts to convince former US President Barack Obama to drop his support for the Kurdish militias who have proven to be one of the most effective forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Syria. He was optimistic that he could open a new, and very different, chapter in the US-Turkey relationship with Trump.

    US support for the Kurds could be a sticking point in that relationship. In April, Turkey conducted a series of airstrikes against the Kurdish militias. These operations potentially put Turkey and the United States on a collision course.

    Describing the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the YPG’s political arm, the Democratic Union party (PYD) as the “aborted children” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)—a group that both the United States and Turkey consider a terrorist organization—Erdoğan said these groups will, sooner or later, “bite the hand that feeds them.”

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  • AIIB: A Platform for US-China Cooperation

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s president sees an opportunity

    The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) should be a platform for cooperation, not a point of conflict between the United States and China, the bank’s president, Jin Liqun, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on April 24.

    Former US President Barack Obama’s administration was reluctant to join the AIIB amid concern that China would use the institution to set the global economic agenda at the cost of environmental protections, human rights, anticorruption measures, and governance standards.

    Jin recalled that in his conversations with Obama administration officials he often made the point that China was eager to work with the United States to create the AIIB. “When China and the US work together, wonderful things [will] happen,” he said.

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  • Making the Case for Multilateralism

    European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer cites the importance of explaining the values of international cooperation


    World leaders must reaffirm the importance of a cooperative international system and the tangible benefits to all stakeholders, Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), said at the Atlantic Council on April 21.

    While the surge of populism throughout Europe—in response to terrorism and economic stagnation—means that “renationalization is visible,” particularly in France during an election year, Hoyer insisted that when “the cooperative approach and the multilateral approach is being put into question in an irresponsible way… it is important to explain again the values of international cooperation.”

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss Geopolitical Risk and Market Risk


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  • Innovation Key to Maintaining US Defense Leadership

    The United States’ role as a global leader in defense is not “automatic,” it must be maintained and improved by building bridges between the technology and security sectors to encourage innovation in military operations, former US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at the Atlantic Council on April 4.

    While the US military “is the finest fighting force the world has ever known,” Carter said, “that excellence is not a birthright; it’s not automatic.” He called for the federal government to invest in innovation technology to meet an uncertain future. “I believe that we need to ensure that our innovative engine works… to bring innovation and public purpose together,” he said.

    Carter delivered the keynote address at the launch of an Atlantic Council report, Keeping America’s Innovative Edge, authored by Peter Engelke, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, and Robert A. Manning, a senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center and its Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative. The report is the culmination of a year-long effort, as part of a two-year partnership with Qualcomm.

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  • Italy Seeks a US-European Front to Face Common Challenges

    ‘Transatlantic bond remains as important as ever,’ said Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano

    Unprecedented migration, instability in the Middle East, and the growing threat of terrorism necessitate a joint US-European approach to common security challenges that stem from the Mediterranean region, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said at the Atlantic Council on March 21.

    “In the past, common security threats came from the east,” said Alfano, adding, “today, they are coming from the southern shores of the Mediterranean.” Describing the Mediterranean region as a strategically significant location that ties the European Union (EU) to NATO and then to the United States, Alfano insisted that “a common effort in the Mediterranean is a keystone to our security,” and should be a priority in NATO strategy.  

    “Europe and the United States face common challenges in the Mediterranean,” he said. “For this reason, I am convinced that our transatlantic bond remains as important as ever.”

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss How the World Views the Trump Presidency


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  • Atlantic Council Report Exposes Russia’s Lies in Aleppo

    A new Atlantic Council report—Breaking Aleppo—uses satellite images, TV footage, social media, and security camera videos to debunk Russia’s claims that no civilians were killed in its airstrikes on the city of Aleppo in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

    “In an era where we’re facing a mixture of falsehoods and truths, the report is incontrovertible evidence,” said Fred Kempe, Atlantic Council president and chief executive officer, adding, “it exposes the deliberate and systematic destruction of Aleppo.” Kempe delivered opening remarks at the report’s launch at the Atlantic Council in Washington on February 13. He described how the report’s findings prove that the Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran, targeted civilians and noncombatants “in a bid to break the will and spirit of the city.”

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  • An Example from the Past Gives Hope for the Future

    In facing the challenges of the world today, leaders and policymakers can draw on examples from the past in order to create hope for the future.  As described by Fred Kempe, president and chief executive officer of the Atlantic Council, one such example can be found in the late Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster, a military leader and statesman who worked through the twentieth century to help establish the current rules-based global order.

    The Life and Work of General Andrew J. Goodpaster: Best Practices in National Security Affairs by C. Richard Nelson is a biography detailing the renowned general’s life and the ways in which he embodied “the defense of values, the defense of constructive leadership in the world alongside friends and allies to create a more secure future,” said Kempe.

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