June 09, 2021

Boris Johnson wants to be like Churchill — this is his chance

Featuring Richard Fontaine


Journalist Ryan Heath

Richard Fontaine, CEO at the Center for New American Security, in 2020 proposed a New Atlantic Charter for the post-Covid era. That could come to fruition as President Joe Biden heads to the U.K. for meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other G-7 leaders. While Downing Street and the White House are tight-lipped about what they might agree to during their Thursday meeting, it’s no secret that Johnson has sought to make himself in the image of Winston Churchill, who famously pushed President Franklin D. Roosevelt to plan for a new post-war world order in 1941.

Any new charter would need to help redefine national security challenges in light of pandemic risks and climate change, and at least touch on democracies’ need for a stronger social contract. Tom Tugendhat, chair of the U.K. House of Commons foreign affairs committee, told Global Translations a new charter would have the greatest impact if it focused on curbing China in a post-Covid world order. “The original Atlantic Charter eventually brought in 26 countries: a very clear statement of a new world order for the post-war era. Churchill’s genius was bringing Europe and America together to defeat totalitarianism. That’s the bar to clear,” he said.

Read more from Global Translations/POLITICO.


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...