With Brent Scowcroft’s passing, the United States has lost one of the most remarkable figures in our country’s foreign-policy history. Seldom has the world seen a man of such historic accomplishment and remarkable modesty. He helped win the Cold War, he defined the role of national security advisor, and he mentored legions of principled individuals who continue to serve.
His greatest characteristic was the one he most valued in leaders: judgment. Add to that huge doses of integrity, wisdom, decency, intellectual rigor, and tireless commitment. He will be remembered alongside Henry Kissinger, age ninety-seven, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who passed away in 2017 at age eighty-nine, as one of the three strategic giants of their times.
The Atlantic Council would not exist today were it not for his leadership as a board member, as chairman, as International Advisory Board chairman, and finally as chairman emeritus. Whatever his position, his impact was outsized on the institution, its principles, and its commitment to constructive US engagement globally alongside friends and allies. We are proud to have launched the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security in 2012 in his name and in dedication to his enduring values and virtues.
Thank you, General Scowcroft, for the life that you have led and for the inspiration you have left. We pledge to serve your lasting legacy. Our hearts go out to your family, your friends, and the many in the United States, Europe, and across the world who have worked with you over the years to create a better world. We all owe you so much.
Frederick Kempe is President and CEO of the Atlantic Council.