Damon Wilson

  • Roundtable with Ouidad Bouchamaoui

    On Wednesday, April 10, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs hosted a discussion with Nobel Laureate Ouidad Bouchamaoui for a roundtable discussion on Ms. Bouchamaoui’s experience during the Tunisian revolution, current affairs, and hopes for Tunisia’s future. The discussion, moderated by Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson, touched on how Libya’s conflict can potentially affect Tunisia’s security, the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, and the role Ms. Bouchamaoui believes Tunisia should play in the region moving forward.


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  • Here’s What You Should Be Reading About NATO on its Seventieth Birthday

    NATO is being celebrated in Washington this week. The Alliance, which turned seventy on April 4, is marking its anniversary in the very town it was born.

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made history by becoming the first leader of the Alliance to address a joint meeting of the US Congress on April 3. He was treated like a rock star on Capitol Hill where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle showed their support for the Alliance. “The secretary general of NATO had so many standing ovations, I thought it was an aerobics class,” joked Atlantic Council President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Kempe. 


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  • Wilson and Jones Testify Before House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the Future of NATO

    Testimony before
    The House Committee on Foreign Affairs
    Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment

    Hearing on The Future of NATO: New Challenges and Opportunities

    April 2, 2019

    Damon M. Wilson
    Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council

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  • How NATO Can Succeed in the Next Seventy Years

    Atlantic Council leadership and experts testified to members of Congress on April 2 about ways in which NATO, the military alliance that is celebrating its seventieth year this week, can better prepare for the future in the face of an evolving threat environment.


    “The future of NATO is not just a military future. It is about economic strength, it is about governance and rule of law… and it is about the ways in which we can and must be successful against the rise of these new autocracies,” retired Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., a former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and executive chairman emeritus of the Atlantic Council, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


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  • NATO Membership for Cyprus. Yes, Cyprus.

    Fifteen years ago, NATO welcomed seven new members into the Alliance, expanding its borders eastward from the Baltic to Black Seas. As NATO reaches its seventieth birthday, it could now be time to look toward adding a new member: this time in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    After the end of World War Two, policy makers in London and across the Atlantic worried the Cyprus problem could unravel the entire Eastern Mediterranean. Following independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, tensions on the Mediterranean island flared between the Greek and Turkish communities residing there, inflaming tensions between new NATO allies, Turkey and Greece. There was considerable concern in the West that a deterioration of the situation could leave the door open for the Soviets to gain a foothold in the Mediterranean basin.


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  • Twenty Years Later, NATO Allies Remain Strong Members of the Family

    When the foreign ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary finally signed documents completing their nations’ accession to NATO it marked the beginning of a new era for the transatlantic alliance. Twenty years ago, the ceremony held in Independence, Missouri—the hometown of US President Harry S. Truman, who oversaw the creation of NATO—marked the first time former-Communist adversaries had joined the alliance of democracies.

    Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, was a junior desk officer at the US Department of State when then US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright travelled to Missouri to finalize the new enlargement. “For me, less than a year on the job, I was on a professional high,” Wilson recalled. “After watching Washington for years exude ambivalence about whether to welcome more allies into NATO, the compelling case presented by these nations’ extraordinary spokespeople won the day. The determination of Czechs, Hungarians, and Poles, and the subsequent bipartisan leadership of Robert Dole and Bill Clinton, ensured that President George H.W. Bush’s call for a ‘Europe whole and free’ would not remain just rhetoric.”


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  • How to Fight Disinformation While Preserving Free Speech

    There are solutions “within the framework of our traditions of freedom of speech and free expression” to counter the spread of disinformation online, Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council, said at the Council’s Disinfo Week event in Athens, Greece, on March 4.

    “We are not hopeless,” Fried said.


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  • Greece's Turnaround: From Achilles' Heel to Regional Bedrock

    A little less than four years ago, there was a consensus throughout Europe that Greece was Europe’s biggest headache. Athens had driven itself into economic devastation, the argument went, due to its profligate spending and uncompetitive economy and now threatened to unravel not just the European financial system, but the political unity of the European Union (EU) itself, after the election of far-left winger Alexis Tsipras. Greece became Europe’s Achilles’ heel.

    What a turnaround it has been. Today, Athens has proven to be a problem solver for the transatlantic community, projecting stability and providing leadership on a vulnerable southeastern flank. Tsipras has moved in a short time from being the bad boy of Europe to now being one of its most celebrated leaders. This transformation has not been easy and, at best, is incomplete given the stagnant economy which very well could cost Tsipras his job. Nonetheless, his government has helped bring Greece back in from the cold. After weathering extraordinary challenges, Greek democracy has emerged strong; Athens, the original source of Western political thinking, can show off this brand with credibility as it heads into competitive elections this year.


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  • Engaging Hungary Is Good for US Interests and Values

    A casual consumer of news reading sensational headlines about Hungary would question whether the United States and Hungary are even allies. US officials are criticized for a policy of “appeasement” when they meet their Hungarian counterparts. It is therefore significant that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Hungary this week as part of a concerted plan to engage Central Europe.


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  • Pompeo’s Trip to Central Europe Aims to Bring NATO Allies in From the Cold

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming trip to Central Europe is “the right call” by the Trump administration, according to Daniel Fried, a distinguished ambassadorial fellow at the Atlantic Council.

    After the enlargement of NATO and the European Union to encompass these countries by 2004, “a lot of Americans thought our work in the region was done, and yet it was not so,” Fried explained. With US attention shifting to other regions of the world, the once very close partnerships between the United States and these countries “became eerily normal,” said Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council. “Central Europe began to be taken for granted as Washington’s attention understandably shifted elsewhere.”


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