Frederick Kempe

  • Markets are Underestimating the Long-term Impact of Trump’s Fight with China

    This much is clear as 2018 screeches toward a close:

    President Trump’s foreign policy has shredded the status quo on a range of issues, from global trade and transatlantic relations to Iran and North Korea.

    Yet it is the Trump administration’s tough turn on China, captured dramatically by Vice President Mike Pence’s landmark speech at the Hudson Institute in October , that will have the most lasting global consequence, altering the terms of the epochal contest of our times.


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  • Atlantic Council's Leadership Outlines Vision for the Future

    The Atlantic Council’s outgoing interim chairman, retired US Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., implored policymakers and citizens to embrace the need for change in a rapidly transitioning world. “You rise and fall based on your ability to change when the environment around you changes,” he said. “If you cannot change. . . you [will] fail.”

    Jones was joined by John F.W. Rogers, Chairman-elect of the Atlantic Council and a Goldman Sachs executive and government service veteran, in a discussion with Atlantic Council President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Kempe at the Council’s Annual Forum in Washington on December 14.


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  • China's Europe Strategy

    SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban recently shared some history with a friend, explaining why he reached out to China’s then-Premier Wen Jiabao in 2011, seeking urgent financial support and providing Beijing one of several European inroads in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
     
    Orban’s reason was a simple one: survival. Facing a potential debt crisis and unwilling to accept austere loan conditions from Western institutions, Beijing offered a lifeline. For his part, Orban convened some Central European leaders with Beijing, and they laid the groundwork for the “16-plus-one” initiative based in Budapest that since then has provided China unprecedented regional influence.
     

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  • Thank You, President George H.W. Bush

    The Atlantic Council mourns the passing of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States.
     
    President Bush was one of the most distinguished international public servants of his generation. He was one of the greatest international statesmen and Atlanticists to ever serve as commander-in-chief.  Measured by his historic accomplishments, he was one of our greatest Presidents ever and perhaps the most consequential one-term President in American history.

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  • It's Time to Stop Appeasing Putin – Here's How to Deter the Emboldened Russian President

    MUNICH – There are few better places in the world than here to reflect on the need to end Western appeasement of Vladimir Putin and his growing list of international crimes. The latest was last Sunday’s Russian attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea -- and its purpose of asserting Kremlin control over its still-sovereign neighbor.  

    This Bavarian city of beer halls and baroque beauty has another claim to fame it would rather shake, one that made its name synonymous with appeasement. On September 30th, 1938, beyond a date when one could have doubted Adolf Hitler’s perils, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and Italian leader Benito Mussolini signed the Munich Pact, which handed Nazi Germany large parts of Czechoslovakia in the name of peace.

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  • Saudi War Games

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates –  Even in a region that specializes in nightmare scenarios, the “war game” below got my attention because it falls within the realm of the possible and the horrible.
     
    What makes it even more explosive is the context. The toxic aftermath of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has got allies feuding, adversaries scheming and competitors jockeying for influence among Muslims globally.
                 
    One possible outcome in the below scenario is the worst regional war the Middle East has seen. Another could be a historic rupture in US relations with Saudi Arabia.

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  • Preventing World War III

    ABU DHABI — My reading choice aboard a fourteen-hour flight from DC to the United Arab Emirates, in a nod to this week's centennial of World War I armistice, was Norman Angell's 1909 book, "the Great Illusion."
     
    Its thesis, proven catastrophically wrong a few years later with the deadliest war in human history, was that great power conflict had grown obsolete. The rising forces of globalization, economic integration and technological advance, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate argued, made such conflict unthinkable among nations with so much to lose and little to gain.
     

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  • Trump's Test on Iran: Turning Disruption to Progress

    On foreign policy matters, President Donald Trump through this week’s mid-term elections has demonstrated a refreshing willingness to take on critical issues that his predecessors either avoided altogether or ineffectually kicked down the road.
     
    His tactics can lack diplomatic elegance (mostly by intention) and anger partners, but it’s undeniable he has locked his legacy-seeking sites on what looks to be an overwhelming list of long-festering problems. Among them: NATO allies’ unwillingness to bear sufficient defense burdens, China’s unfair trade practices, Russia’s violation of a short and intermediate-range missile treaty, North Korea’s nuclear proliferation and Iran’s dangerously malign behavior. 
     

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  • US Midterms’ World Impact

    Seldom have America's midterm elections been watched so closely across the globe.
     
    The reasons are clear enough: what impact they'll have on the competitive attractiveness of US democracy around the world, what clues they will provide about the durability of the Trump administration and its foreign policies and – hardest to calculate – the impact they will have on the populist and nationalist momentum globally.

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  • The Threat to Europe

    Europe in the coming weeks will be facing a host of political and economic challenges that are spooking international investors, endangering American interests and worrying even the most pro-European voices that their historic union has reached its limits in pooling sovereignty and burying historic resentments.

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