Daniel Fried

  • Trump's Reversal of North Korea Sanctions Sends a Dangerous Signal

    US President Donald J. Trump’s stunning decision to reverse Treasury sanctions on North Korea because he “likes” Kim Jong-un sends a troubling message to the United States’ friends and foes.

    “Hard to believe, but the president is undercutting his own policy of maximum pressure/maximum diplomacy, which was arguable sound, in favor, it seems, of an obsequious gesture,” said Daniel Fried, a distinguished senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center who as the State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy crafted US sanctions against Russia, the largest US sanctions program to date, and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia. 

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  • Twenty Years Later, NATO Allies Remain Strong Members of the Family

    When the foreign ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary finally signed documents completing their nations’ accession to NATO it marked the beginning of a new era for the transatlantic alliance. Twenty years ago, the ceremony held in Independence, Missouri—the hometown of US President Harry S. Truman, who oversaw the creation of NATO—marked the first time former-Communist adversaries had joined the alliance of democracies.

    Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, was a junior desk officer at the US Department of State when then US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright travelled to Missouri to finalize the new enlargement. “For me, less than a year on the job, I was on a professional high,” Wilson recalled. “After watching Washington for years exude ambivalence about whether to welcome more allies into NATO, the compelling case presented by these nations’ extraordinary spokespeople won the day. The determination of Czechs, Hungarians,


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  • Fried quoted in Euractiv on Russia disinformation

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  • How Do You Defeat Disinformation? Tackle Demand, Not Just Supply

    “Disinformation is a cause of democratic deterioration, but it is also a symptom of a much deeper disease affecting liberal democratic society,” according to Ana Palacio, a former Spanish minister of foreign affairs. Comparing the fight against disinformation to the war on drugs, Palacio warned on March 5 that actions to stop foreign actors from spreading disinformation must be paired with concrete steps to make democratic societies less vulnerable to disinformation operations. “Unless demand is also addressed,” Palacio argued, “we are in for a very, very long and maybe interminable war.”

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  • How to Fight Disinformation While Preserving Free Speech

    There are solutions “within the framework of our traditions of freedom of speech and free expression” to counter the spread of disinformation online, Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council, said at the Council’s Disinfo Week event in Athens, Greece, on March 4.

    “We are not hopeless,” Fried said.

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  • Now is the Time to Fight for Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace, Global Democratic Leaders Say

    Global democracy has seen better days. Disruptive new technologies, demographic change, stagnant wages, and uneven economic growth are leading many citizens to question the effectiveness of democratic institutions and the usefulness of global cooperation. At the same time, authoritarian regimes around the world have become emboldened in recent years, directly challenging global rules, regional stability, and attempting to undermine democratic electoral processes. Former leaders from democracies around the globe now say it is time to fight for the principles of freedom, prosperity, and peace.

    “There has been much hand-wringing about the state of democracy and the world in general,” Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center, said. “The point now is to take action.”

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  • A Conversation with Former Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew

    On Tuesday, February 19, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics program’s Economic Sanction Initiative hosted a public discussion featuring former US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

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  • Buy-In From Allies Critical for Effective Sanctions, Says Former US Treasury Secretary Lew

    US approaches to Iran and Venezuela provide a study in contrasts

    While the Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran will be ineffective because the United States does not “have the support of our allies,” its approach to Venezuela—working in concert with friends—“represents more the way things ought to be done,” former US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on February 19.

    As the Trump administration and the US Congress increasingly view sanctions as effective means to achieve the United States’ foreign policy objectives, Lew, who also served as White House chief of staff to then President Barack Obama, had some advice: “Sanctions are most effective when there is broad buy-in around the world amongst our allies.”

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  • Fried Quoted in New York Times on Trump's Syria Withdrawal

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  • Mike Pence Stands Up For NATO, But is That Enough?

    US Vice President Mike Pence, addressing US and Polish armed forces in Warsaw on February 13, emphasized the importance of NATO, reaffirmed the US commitment to the principle of collective defense, and encouraged allies to meet the Alliance’s defense-spending goal. It is an open question, however, whether his boss, US President Donald J. Trump, shares his conviction.

    “While Vice President Pence’s words were eloquent and reassuring, allies have learned that there is a disconnect between the administration’s policy and the president’s own feelings about NATO and other US alliances,” said Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a former deputy secretary general of NATO.

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