Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

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 its closest allies and partners. The Scowcroft Center honors the legacy of service of General Brent Scowcroft and embodies his 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 2020, the Scowcroft Center’s impact reflected its core competencies: strategy and foresight, alliances, and defense. Its top priority issue areas included China, remaking the global system, and emerging defense technologies and capabilities. With the arrival of COVID-19, the center quickly shifted its focus to the pandemic, releasing a special three-part Atlantic Council Strategy series: Shaping the Post-COVID World Together. The series offered three foresight scenarios for a postpandemic world, an assessment of the geopolitical environment, and a strategy for recovery and revitalization.

The center’s large body of work on China included an Atlantic Council Strategy Paper titled Global Strategy 2021: An Allied Strategy for China, which outlines a strategy for the United States and its allies and partners to respond to the challenges presented by China’s rise. In July 2020, the Scowcroft Center hosted an Atlantic Council Front Page event focused on China with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, which garnered more than 230,000 views. In addition, the center briefed its work on China to the White House, the State Department, the Department of Defense, Capitol Hill, and allied governments.

On global order, the Scowcroft Center regularly convened D10 ambassadors together with policy planning directors and staffs to discuss major challenges to the democratic world, including COVID-19 and China. It also released Twenty Bold Ideas to Reimagine the NATO Alliance After the 2020 US Election, a twenty-essay volume of forward-thinking ideas and recommendations that has gone viral across the NATO policy community and includes a video podcast series. In addition, the center released Global Value Chains in an Era of Strategic Uncertainty: Prospects for US-ROK Cooperation; this report examines key drivers that pose risks to global value chains in an era of strategic uncertainty and provides recommendations for the governments and private sectors of the United States and Republic of Korea.

A view shows a Huawei logo at Huawei Technologies France headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, France. REUTERS/GONZALO FUENTES.
A drone flies as Chinese drone maker DJI demonstrates its app that tracks a drone’s registration and owner in Montreal, Canada. REUTERS/CHRISTINNE MUSCHI

The Scowcroft Center launched three new initiatives in 2020. The Global Strategy Initiative serves to directly advance the Scowcroft Center’s core mission by cultivating an ecosystem of strategic thinkers and developing sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world. The New American Engagement Initiative challenges prevailing assumptions governing US foreign policy, particularly those involving the military and the use of force, and offers real-world solutions to urgent problems that deploy the full range of American diplomatic, economic, and other capabilities. Forward Defense shapes the debate around the greatest military challenges facing the United States and its allies and creates forward-looking assessments of the trends, technologies, and concepts that will define the future of warfare.

In 2020, the Scowcroft Center advanced several of the Atlantic Council’s top priorities, in particular through informing US and allied China strategy and harnessing technologies for great-power competition.

Barry Pavel

Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense of the United States (R), and Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo (L) review an honor guard in 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. DAVID MAREUIL/POOL VIA REUTERS

The center’s namesake, General Brent Scowcroft, passed away in 2020. In 2021, the Scowcroft Center will reinvest in advancing his legacy, including by paying tribute to three of his most notable priorities: strategy, integrity, and mentorship. The center will also continue to develop policy recommendations in its priority areas and leverage its best-in-class strategy and foresight capabilities to inform the Biden administration’s national security and defense reviews.


Annual Report

Nov 9, 2021

Adrienne Arsht- Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center

By The Atlantic Council

The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) will reach one billion people with resilience solutions by 2030.

Read the full report

Image: President Xi Jinping meets with then-US Vice President Joe Biden inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2013. REUTERS/LINTAO ZHANG/POOL