David Wemer

  • Pence Takes Aim at China

    US Vice President Mike Pence took direct aim at Beijing in an October 4 speech in which he accused China of “pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the president, our agenda, and our nation’s most cherished ideals.”

    Pence’s speech followed similar remarks by US President Donald J. Trump at the United Nations Security Council on September 26. Trump there accused Beijing of “meddling… because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade.” China and the United States have been locked in a tit-for-tat exchange of tariffs after Trump placed restrictions on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in June. On September 17, the United States placed...

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  • Midterms Seen As Potential Target of Cyberattacks

    ‘Our adversaries have demonstrated the capability and will,’ says US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

    The United States’ top cybersecurity officials believe that the midterm elections in November are a potential target of foreign cyberattacks as “our adversaries have demonstrated the capability and will,” US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a conference hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington on October 3.

    “Our goal at the heart of it is to ensure that every American has assurance that their vote is counted and that their vote is counted correctly,” Nielsen said. She gave a keynote address as part of the Atlantic Council’s Global Forum on Strategic Communications and Digital Disinformation (StratComDC), a two-day conference convening global leaders in combatting disinformation and securing digital infrastructure, co-hosted by the United Kingdom’s...

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  • 'The Fundamental Fix is Who We Are'

    “Russians really aren’t the heart of our problem,” former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said at a conference hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington on October 3. Speaking on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, Hayden noted that he does not believe that the interference had an impact on the result and that anti-disinformation measures are just “a painkiller. The fundamental fix is who are.” He emphasized that leaders need to focus not only on security, but also on doing their “duties as citizens… to help contribute to the long-term solution: which is fixing ourselves.”

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  • Here's How to Fight Disinformation

    Democracies around the world have a “growing vulnerability surplus” when it comes to protecting their societies against online disinformation and digital electoral interference, Sweden’s ambassador to the United States, Karin Olofsdotter, said on October 2.

    Olofsdotter opened the two-day Global Forum on Strategic Communications and Digital Disinformation (StratComDC), hosted in Washington D.C. by the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, Lithuania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Twitter. The forum brought together leading experts from government, civil society, and business to discuss how to address online disinformation and organized foreign electoral interference campaigns.

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  • Macedonia's European Dream: What Next?

    Low turnout in a referendum on a name deal in Macedonia has complicated that country’s prospects for joining NATO and the European Union (EU).

    Macedonians that did vote in the September 30 referendum overwhelmingly supported the name deal between their country and Greece. However, the referendum was consultative and non-binding, as the deal can only be ratified with a constitutional majority in the Macedonian parliament. The low turnout (around 37%) could embolden opponents of the deal to block passage once it comes for a vote in parliament. Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said he will call an early election if he fails to gain the support for the deal that he needs in parliament. Even if the deal passes in the Macedonian parliament, it will need to be approved by the Greek parliament, where it faces stiff opposition.

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  • Trump Accuses China of Meddling in Midterms. It's All About Trade.

    US President Donald J. Trump accused China of attempting to interfere in the US midterm elections in November at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on September 26.

    China does “not want me or [the Republicans] to win,” he said. His remarks came as he chaired the UNSC meeting on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This is the first UNSC session chaired by Trump and only the third time a US president has led a session.

    Trump offered no specific evidence of China’s purported “meddling” during his speech, but tied it directly to the trade issue, saying Beijing wants him to lose “because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade.”

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  • Trump Puts America First at the United Nations

    US President Donald J. Trump on September 25 used his second address to the United Nations General Assembly to reaffirm his commitment to an America First approach to foreign policy.

    “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination,” Trump told the gathering of world leaders at the opening of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He laid out his vision for US foreign policy, with an emphasis on protecting US sovereignty from global governance and rising globalization.

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  • The United Nations is in Session. Here's What to Expect.

    World leaders are descending upon New York this week to attend the 73rd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The meetings give the world’s top political leaders “a chance from the General Assembly podium to address media and delegations from around the world with what they think is important,” according to James Cunningham, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.

    Cunningham, who is also a former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Israel, served as the acting US permanent representative to the United Nations in 2001, including on September 11, and deputy permanent representative from 1999 until 2004.

    With a litany of speeches, meetings, and the high-profile chairing of a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting by US President Donald J. Trump, what can we expect from the world body this week?

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  • Atlantic Council Honors Global Citizens

    To Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, being a global citizen means embodying two values: “a sense of shared responsibility and shared purpose.” Speaking at the Atlantic Council’s 9th annual Global Citizen Awards dinner in New York City, Solberg argued that in the world today, as “in a village, you cannot survive without trusting your fellow people. Without joining forces in everyday life.”

    The Atlantic Council presented its Global Citizen Award to Solberg, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Hamdi Ulukaya, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Chobani, and the late Sen. John S. McCain.

    Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, said in his opening remarks that “each awardee this evening embodies the leadership, commitment, and character that these challenging times demand.” Kempe added that “we hope that by recognizing these individuals, we could inspire a host of others.”

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  • Ukrainian Patriarch Warns Russia Will Exploit Split in Orthodox Church

    Patriarch Filaret, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Kyiv Patriarchate, is eager to get Washington’s support for the peaceful unification of two church factions, warning that Russia will use any hint of conflict as an excuse to expand its aggression in Ukraine.

    For Filaret, the church issue is a key factor in the war in eastern Ukraine. In remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington on September 19, he warned that to stop further aggression by Moscow, “we need to stop [Russian President Vladimir] Putin at Ukraine.”

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