David Wemer

  • Remembering Ellen Tauscher

    Ellen O. Tauscher was “a patriot, a politician, a transatlanticist, an Atlantic Council board director, a mentor to many of us…and above all a friend to many of us,” retired US Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., the Atlantic Council’s executive chairman emeritus, remembered on April 30. Tauscher, a seven-term California Democratic congresswoman and former undersecretary of state for arms control, passed away on April 29.


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  • Atlantic Council Launches Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center

    Center has a goal of enhancing the resilience ofone billion people by 2030

    The Atlantic Council on April 29 announced that it has received a $25-million gift from philanthropist Adrienne Arsht to endow the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience. The gift follows a $30-million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The Center will be renamed the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center effective May 1.

    Describing it as a “historic day for the Atlantic Council,” Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe said the Center will have “a major and ambitious goal” to “enhance the resilience of one billion people by 2030.”


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  • Remembering Sen. Richard Lugar: ‘An American Jewel’

    One of Washington’s most important foreign policy voices, US Sen. Richard Lugar “was an American jewel,” Atlantic Council Eurasia Center Director John Herbst recalled. Lugar, who spent more than thirty years representing Indiana in the United States Senate, passed away on April 28 at the age of eighty-seven.


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  • US Envoy Sees a Role for Chavismo in a Democratic Venezuela

    Supporters of the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, should have a place at the table in a democratic Venezuela, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on April 25.

    Nicolás Maduro currently leads the party founded by Chavez—the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). While the United States and more than fifty other countries recognize National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela, Abrams said PSUV should not be excluded from participating in a future Venezuelan democracy.


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  • Skepticism Casts a Shadow Over China’s Belt and Road Summit

    Heads of state and top government ministers will be listening to the Chinese sales pitch with much more skepticism than in previous years at the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a three-day conference that got underway in Beijing on April 25.

    Established in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seeks to improve international trade connections, infrastructure, and development throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa, with specific focus on connecting China to these international markets. According to the Chinese government, the program has already resulted in an investment of $80 billion in partner countries and Beijing has signed agreements with 122 nations and

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  • The United States is Adapting to the Cyber Challenge, Says Top DHS Official

    One of the United States’ top cybersecurity officials noted the progress the US government has made in engaging potential domestic and international targets of cyberattacks, but argued that “information sharing is the minimum bar” the federal government should clear. According to Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the Department of Homeland Security, “we have to get beyond information sharing… to operationalizing information security.”

    Krebs, who spoke at the eighth annual International Conference on Cyber Engagement (ICCE) in Washington, DC, on April 23, argued that more action is needed to defend US businesses and critical infrastructures as hostile nation states are ramping up their attacks on US entities.


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  • International Engagement Key to Building Cyber Resilience

    US and international cybersecurity officials called for greater international cooperation to combat Internet crime and malign cyber activity during the 8th annual International Conference on Cyber Engagement (ICCE) in Washington, DC, on April 23.

    David Koh, who serves as commissioner of cybersecurity, chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency, and defense cyber chief in Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, called for likeminded nations to establish “a rules-based cyberspace based on applicable international law and the adoption of voluntary operational norms.” Koh argued that other global common spaces, such as maritime and aviation, are governed by complex international rule systems, and “cyberspace should not be any different from the physical domains.”


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  • Zelenskiy Wins: What’s Next for Ukraine?

    Following his landslide election as president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy must now turn his attention to following through on much-needed economic and anti-corruption reforms, all while continuing to confront Russia in Ukraine’s east and the illegal occupation of Crimea.

    The results of the April 21 contest, which saw Zelenskiy beat incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, with nearly three-quarters of the vote was “clearly a vote for change,” according to Atlantic Council Eurasia Center Director John Herbst, who is a former US ambassador to Ukraine. Zelenskiy cannot be content with the margin of his victory, Herbst added, as “Poroshenko’s 2014 first round victory was also unprecedented and he was very popular at the time he won” before experiencing a decline in popularity.


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  • Why the US Marines Were Sent to Northern Australia

    Thousands of miles from home, 1,700 US Marines began slowly arriving for their newest mission. Their destination was not the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, however, nor the established bases of Europe and Japan, but the tropical city of Darwin, located far in Australia’s north.

    The contingent of Marines is the largest to visit Australia since Washington and Sydney agreed in 2011 to allow up to 2,500 US troops to use the country for basing and training. The deployment, known as Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, will remain in Australia’s north until October, primarily participating in large training exercises with Australian

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  • Congressional Russia Sanction Push Needs to Maximize Cooperation with Allies

    As the US Congress considers passing new sanctions to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, interference in US elections, and material support for Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, lawmakers should remain committed to a united approach with Washington’s European allies and ensure that the new legislation maximizes US cooperation with its partners, according to Atlantic Council Distinguished Ambassadorial Fellow Daniel Fried.

    Two current bills, the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression (DASKA) Actand the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act , have been reintroduced in the US Senate as attempts to mandate the Trump

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