Germany’s leadership outside of Europe and recent interventions to stabilize the international system have been a significant source of tension. Debates over the changing global balance of power, political instability, transnational conflict, and the use of new technologies and methods of warfare will continue to occupy elected leaders. The debate on international security must incorporate both U.S. and European perspectives, but also take note of other powers including Russia and China.

In this AICGS Transatlantic Perspectives Essay, Dr. Christina Y. Lin, Visiting Fellow at AICGS and a Researcher for Jane’s Information Group, explores the role of Germany in engaging the Sino-Russian axis via positive economic statecraft in efforts to prevent Iranian nuclear capacity. Dr. Lin writes that Germany can wield its economic arsenals to hedge against the Sino-Russian strategy and perhaps pioneer new paths to resolve the current Iranian nuclear stalemate.

As NATO is increasingly engaged in Afghanistan, a new player has entered into the scene and carved out a slice of the Afghan security pie – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or SCO. In her essay “NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: New Energy Geopolitics for the Transatlantic Alliance,” Dr. Christina Y. Lin, currently a Visiting Fellow at AICGS and Researcher for Jane’s Information Group, looks at the growing global role the SCO is aspiring toward and how its presence in the energy security debate as well as its potential as a military alliance will shape the future of NATO and transatlantic relations.

New administrations took office in 2009 in both Germany and the United States, bringing with them renewed focus on counterterrorism measures. Still, despite ever-increasing cooperation among allies, the German and American publics react differently to threats of terrorism, as shown by the recent failed attack in Detroit. In Policy Report 41, former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Frank Gadinger looks at German counterterrorism policies, explaining not only how the German government perceives counterterrorism, but also how and why the German public reacts to counterinsurgency (COIN) and data retention policies as it does. Discussing the American approach to counterterrorism, former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dorle Hellmuth looks at the response to terrorism following 9/11, the strategic culture in the U.S., and the remaining challenges for President Obama in light of his commitment to closing Guantanamo and sending additional troops to Afghanistan.

According to popular opinion, German and U.S. approaches to counterterrorism could not be more different. However, when looking past the rhetoric and focusing on domestic counterterrorism responses, one sees that German and U.S. approaches are not as different as commonly thought, argues Dr. Dorle Hellmuth, former DAAD/AICGS Fellow and professor at American University. Especially since terrorism is a global issue that requires cooperation amongst nations, it is crucial to highlight the many similarities between German and U.S. counterterrorism challenges, objectives, and practices, Dr. Hellmuth writes.

Dr. Gale Mattox, professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and Director of the Institute’s Foreign & Domestic Policy Program, writes that even though the grand coalition has tried to prevent the issue of Afghanistan from playing a role in the September elections, Germany’s role in Afghanistan could prove to be a critical issue during the campaign. Dr. Mattox argues that whether or not this turns out to be the case, it is clear that after the election there is a need for German policymakers to engage the public in a discussion about this contentious issue.

The close relationship between the U.S. and Germany has undergone a dramatic change, beginning with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the resulting U.S.-led “war on terror,” and the Iraq War. In particular, the Iraq War and different counter-terrorism policies have led to a diplomatic crisis in the transatlantic relationship; it was a new phenomenon for Americans and Germans to disagree on fundamental policy issues…

German-American relations reached a historic low point during the years of the second Bush administration. Many argued that this was mainly due to widespread disagreements and a deep personal animosity between President George W. Bush and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who left office in late 2005…

As the U.S. presidental election in 2008 and the German parliamentary election in 2009 loom large on the horizon, the topic of Afghanistan and the joint ISAF mission in the country is in the public discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. finds itself overstreched in resources—both military and economic—and engaged in two complex wars. While the unpopular Iraq War is the focus of much debate, the conflict in Afghanistan continues, with successes and setbacks, for the United States and its NATO partners…

German and American relations with Russia; European and American energy security; and the future of NATO and the European Union are all pressing issues which will confront the new U.S. president in 2009. Germany, in the lead-up to its parliamentary elections in fall 2009, has its own interests in all three areas…

Security issues have weighed heavily on the transatlantic partnership since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Yet different threat perceptions have sometimes led to different German and American policies, which was especially apparent after the rift between Germany and the United States over the war in Iraq in 2003…

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