Event Recap

At the Atlantic Council on October 20, 2020, US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper outlined the Department of Defense’s strategic framework for prioritizing and strengthening allies and partners, including those in the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, and Europe.

Dr. Mark Esper, Acting Secretary of Defense, poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., June 20, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Monica King)

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and its Forward Defense practice area were pleased to present this live online conversation as part of the #ACFrontPage event series, our premier ideas platform spotlighting global leaders who are championing constructive solutions to global challenges. In accordance with the legacy of our late namesake, former National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft, the Scowcroft Center works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world. The Center embodies General Scowcroft’s ethos of nonpartisan commitment to the cause of security, support for US leadership in cooperation with allies and partners, and dedication to the mentorship of the next generation of leaders. In a renewed era of great-power competition, this mission is more important than ever.

Accordingly, the Secretary of Defense has identified the imperative to strengthen alliances and attract new partners as a pillar of the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Against the backdrop of traditional and non-traditional security challenges posed by China and Russia, the role of allies and partners in our shared defense remains crucial. In conversation with Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe, Secretary Esper discussed how the United States can expand and deepen its global networks of allies and partners, leverage security and defense cooperation to build allied capacity and capability overseas, and improve interoperability to ensure more seamless combined operations against great-power adversaries.

In conversation with

An #ACFrontPage Event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a high-level event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s sixteen programs and centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming.

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world.