Daniel Fried

  • Two Years of Trump: Key Moments in Foreign Policy

    January 20 marks two years since US President Donald J. Trump took office. We take a look back at some of the big foreign policy headlines made by the president and his administration over these past two years.


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  • Two Years of the Trump Foreign Policy: The Good, the Bad, and the Worst

    First, the good news. Amid the daily drama and questions about US President Donald J. Trump’s actual relationship with Vladimir Putin and his Russia, pieces of a defensible Trump foreign policy have emerged over the past two years. 


    The focus on a return of great power rivalry, a theme of the administration’s national security strategy, is a solid judgment. The administration’s challenge of China’s predatory trade and other aggressive practices is a worthy and overdue objective. The Trump administration was right to move beyond the Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience” toward North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program and replace it with a policy of maximum pressure. The president has a point when he challenges the assumptions of US military engagement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria (Obama did much the same). Whatever the explanation for the president’s obsequious approach toward Putin, the administration’s actual policy toward Putin’s

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  • Polish Prime Minister Urges Allies to Beef Up Cybersecurity Budgets

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on January 16 called for a collective Western response to cyber threats while urging allies to increase spending on cybersecurity.


    “I call on you today and encourage your leaders and governments to spend more money on cyber warfare, as we do, on cyber soldiers to protect our Internet frontier,” Morawiecki said on the opening day of a two-day conference jointly hosted by PKO Bank Polski and the Atlantic Council in Warsaw, Poland.


    “Our enemies will not wait,” Morawiecki said, adding, “They are arming up as we speak. Only a collective response will keep he threat at bay, and only a decisive one.”


    The conference, “A New Initiative for Poland: A Future Global Leader in Securing the 4th Industrial Revolution,” seeks to deepen US-Polish ties by developing cybersecurity as a key pillar in the relationship.


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  • The End of the Great War and the American Grand Strategy in the American Century

    On December 13, 1918, Woodrow Wilson arrived in France, the first US president to leave American soil while president, aiming to make peace of a new kind at Versailles. The Allies had won the Great War, as World War I was known at the time, thanks to US power, and Wilson was trying to use military success to lock in a strategic breakthrough at the upcoming peace conference in Versailles, which was to begin the next January. Instead of a settlement which gave a province or two to the winners, Europe’s practice for centuries, Wilson—in a breathtaking combination of vision and ambition—would try to set to order a rules-based world which favored freedom, a lasting peace built on a foundation of US power, and reflected US values.


    Wilson had set out US war aims—his famous Fourteen Points—in January 1918. These challenged the imperial, balance-of-power system of the European powers (on both sides) that had started the war, and at the same time took on the revolutionary alternative

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  • Our Holiday Reading List

    We asked our community of experts for a list of books they would recommend for the holidays. Whether you like to read from cover to cover or between the lines, we have you covered.
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  • George H.W. Bush: The Right Man at the Right Time

    Vision and boldness are not labels usually attached to President George H.W. Bush. But such were the qualities he displayed in 1989, when he led the United States to embrace the advent of democracy in Poland, the first breakthrough in what turned out to be the end of Communist rule in Europe. Ahead of almost the entire US foreign policy establishment, Bush bet on freedom, one of the great calls of US Cold War policy. He showed prudence and restraint in his tactics, but deployed these qualities in the service of strategic US interests and its deeper values, which he understood were indivisible.

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  • Trump Cancels Meeting With Putin

    ‘Better no meeting than a bad one,’ says the Atlantic Council’s Daniel Fried

    Hours after the Kremlin confirmed a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald J. Trump on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, the US president cancelled the appointment with his Russian counterpart citing the continued detention of Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew by Russia.

    “Better no meeting than a bad one,” said Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center.

    Fried was referring to the last Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July.

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  • Is Another Trump-Putin Meeting a Good Idea?

    US President Donald J. Trump is expected to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Buenos Aires later this week. Is that a good idea in light of Russia’s latest aggression toward Ukraine and the somewhat stymied success of past meetings between the two leaders? In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump left open the possibility that he might, after all, cancel the meeting over the incident in the Kerch Strait. “Maybe I won’t even have the meeting,” he said.

    Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and the Eurasia Center, said: “A meeting...

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  • One Hundred Years of American Grand Strategy

    On November 11, 1918, World War One, the Great War, ended. Amid the chaos that followed—revolution, the fall of empires, and rise of nations—the United States attempted to build a rules-based world which favored freedom. American power had won the war, and President Woodrow Wilson was trying to shape a peace along the lines of what we now call a rules-based or “liberal” world order. Wilson’s Fourteen Points, presented the previous January, challenged the imperial, balance-of-power system of the European powers (on both sides) which had started the war, and at the same time took on Lenin’s revolutionary alternative. Wilson’s ideas were a rough draft of American Grand Strategy in what has been called the American Century.

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  • How Will the Outcome of the Midterms Affect Trump's Policy Options?

    Democrats captured the House of Representatives while Republicans strengthened their Senate majority in the US midterm elections on November 6.

    We asked our analysts what they believe are the policy implications of this outcome. Here’s what they had to say*:

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