Damon Wilson

  • With Wess Mitchell’s Resignation, the State Department is Losing a Committed Atlanticist

    Wess Mitchell, the United States’ top diplomat for European affairs, will resign from the State Department next month, sixteen months since he took the job. His last day as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs is February 15.

    As assistant secretary, Mitchell’s responsibilities have included diplomatic relations with countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the European Union, and the OSCE.

    Mitchell cited “personal and professional” reasons in his resignation letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the news.


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  • Trump Doesn’t Have to Quit NATO to Undermine It, Expert Warns

    On January 14, the New York Times confirmed that President Donald Trump talked about pulling out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization more than once in 2018.

    But can the president quit NATO unilaterally?


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  • Polish Prime Minister Urges Allies to Beef Up Cybersecurity Budgets

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on January 16 called for a collective Western response to cyber threats while urging allies to increase spending on cybersecurity.


    “I call on you today and encourage your leaders and governments to spend more money on cyber warfare, as we do, on cyber soldiers to protect our Internet frontier,” Morawiecki said on the opening day of a two-day conference jointly hosted by PKO Bank Polski and the Atlantic Council in Warsaw, Poland.


    “Our enemies will not wait,” Morawiecki said, adding, “They are arming up as we speak. Only a collective response will keep he threat at bay, and only a decisive one.”


    The conference, “A New Initiative for Poland: A Future Global Leader in Securing the 4th Industrial Revolution,” seeks to deepen US-Polish ties by developing cybersecurity as a key pillar in the relationship.


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  • Atlantic Council South Asia Center Ten Year Anniversary Reception

    On Wednesday, January 9th, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted a reception commemorating the Ten-Year anniversary of the Center. The occasion was marked by a ceremony honoring Shuja Nawaz, founding director of the South Asia Center and current Distinguished Fellow. 

    Bharath Gopalaswamy, Director of the South Asia Center, began the ceremony with welcoming remarks. Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council, then offered his comments commemorating the tenth anniversary of the center and honoring Mr. Nawaz. The pair presented Mr. Nawaz with a token of appreciation for his substantial contributions to the South Asia Center as both a former director and current Distinguished Fellow.  

    The ceremony closed with a brief address by Shuja Nawaz, who expressed his continued optimism in the future of South Asia. As Mr. Nawaz reflected on the work of the South Asia Center, he noted the extensive track record of the Center facilitating Track-II Diplomacy between countries of the greater South Asia region, creating ground breaking scholarship, and fostering new initiatives to promote interconnectivity between the U.S. and South Asia. In a region so often defined by uncertainty, Mr. Nawaz praised the South Asia Center’s efforts to change this narrative and expressed his continued confidence in the Center’s ability to carry on the mission of “waging peace.”


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  • Macedonian Parliament Endorses Name Change

    Macedonian lawmakers on January 11 approved a set of constitutional amendments that will see the name of the country changed to the Republic of North Macedonia, potentially opening the way for the Balkan country to join NATO and the European Union.

    “Today, the people of Macedonia secured their future and assured their place in the heart of Europe,” Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson said. “No longer will their nation be on the transatlantic alliance’s periphery, stuck in a geopolitical limbo. With an historic parliamentary vote approving constitutional amendments to fulfill the obligations within the Prespa Agreement with Greece, Macedonians have determined their own destiny.”


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  • Washington and Its Friends Are More United Than You Think

    US President Donald Trump has an uncanny ability to divide both Americans and the United States from its democratic allies. The first two years of his administration have seen intense polarization within the United States and unprecedented slights against American friends around the world. Despite these divisions, the United States and its allies are more strategically aligned in grand strategy – endorsed by Republicans and Democrats – than they have been since 9/11, if not 1989.


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  • President George H.W. Bush Had 'The Vision Thing' in Spades

    President George H.W. Bush ascended to the presidency with a reputation for experience, judgement, integrity, and a steady hand. However, the looming question was whether he could inspire people with, in his own words, “the vision thing.”

    That quotation, first reported by Robert Ajemian in a Time feature in 1987, dogged George H.W. Bush throughout his presidency. Yet, President George H.W. Bush – more than any post-Cold War president – successfully articulated a vision of a “Europe whole and free” that became an historically successful strategy guiding US policy for the subsequent twenty-five years. Indeed, his words, first spoken when I was a high school student gripped by the possibilities of the end of the Cold War, have inspired my own career for the past three decades.

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  • Damon Wilson: US Must 'Keep Our Allies as Our Allies'

    Twenty Seventh Annual Mikulás Dinner

    Remarks by Damon M. Wilson
    Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council

    Embassy of Hungary, Washington
    November 30, 2018

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  • Wilson Quoted in The Daily Beast on Sea of Azov Crisis


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  • Russia-Ukraine Conflict Heats Up the Sea of Azov: Echoes of Russia’s War with Georgia?

    Escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov bear eerie echoes of Russian provocations that led to the war with Georgia in the summer of 2008.

    “For months, Russian forces have been working to make the Azov Sea an internal Russian body of water in order to both cut off Ukraine’s eastern ports and cement Moscow’s hold on Crimea,” said Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council.

    “Moscow’s incrementalist approach is like the ‘creeping annexation’ we witnessed in Georgia in 2008—any single move tends not to be dramatic, but in the aggregate Russia makes strategic gains. Today, the Russians escalated with the aim of intimidating Ukraine into backing off its own effort to assert its access to its own territorial waters and its own ports,” he added.

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