Sitting in the great hall of the Bayerische Hof during the recent Munich Security Conference, I found myself drifting back a decade to February of 2003 and the time I witnessed the confrontation between Donald Rumsfeld and Joschka Fischer play out. “I am sorry but I am not convinced” became a legendary line which punctured …Read More

The President of the United States is required to issue an annual report to the Congress on the current state of the union—so demands the U.S. Constitution. But for many decades that report has become relevant not only for the Congress, but indeed for the entire world. Reading the tea leaves of the president’s report …Read More

Vice President Joe Biden came to Germany last weekend to proclaim what the majority of the attendees of the Munich Security Conference wanted to hear–that the U.S. and Europe are indispensable for each other. He sent a very similar message four years ago when he came to the conference as the newly elected vice president. …Read More

At the upcoming Munich security conference, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to make an appearance that will once again be designed to reassure impatient Europeans that the president really does care about Europe. Four years ago the vice president arrived at the conference amidst great fanfare to announce the end of the Bush …Read More

This essay was also published in The National Interest on January 23, 2013. As President Obama began his second term in the White House this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now wondering whether she can win a third term in next September’s national elections. The results of this week’s regional elections in the state …Read More

As Barack Obama prepares to take the oath as President of the United States for a second time, the level of anticipation both in the U.S. and in Germany reflects what has been experienced over the past four years. For the U.S., the faceoff between the White House and the House of Representatives remains locked …Read More

The upcoming state election in Lower Saxony on January 20 is the opening note of Germany’s political campaign year. Each of the political parties are positioning themselves to interpret the results—whatever they may be—to shape the core of their campaigns over the next eight months. Although Chancellor Angela Merkel enjoys high levels of personal popularity, …Read More

In advance of a new year, milestones can be a preoccupation of those looking ahead for guidance. 2013 offers a few such markers in German-American relations. They can both contrast and compare where we have been and what has changed, while perhaps even suggest what is ahead. In June there will be a ceremony marking …Read More

The massacre of children and their teachers in Connecticut has once again generated two questions with no real answers: why did this horrific event happen and how is another preventable? Similar questions emerge elsewhere around the world when such tragedies occur, as in Norway, Japan, Scotland, Russia, or even China. They have also challenged Germans …Read More

Given the enormous difference in origin of two political leaders like Barack Obama and Angela Merkel, it may not be as obvious at first glance how many similarities they actually share. Nevertheless, there are many parallel characteristics that define their political styles. One is caution, whether it involves decision-making or the dissemination of their innermost …Read More

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