Security and Defense
Security and defense issues will continue to play a role in transatlantic relations in the years ahead. Determining the way forward for Afghanistan, the role of NATO, and defense systems integration, are only a few of the myriad challenges facing the German-American and transatlantic partnership. Analyzing the security issues and choices ahead allows policymakers and business leaders to understand transatlantic and global security challenges and provide innovative policy solutions on both sides of the Atlantic.
The debate over the response to the Libyan civil war continues on both sides of the Atlantic and in particular on Germany’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote. In particular, Roger Cohen of The New York Times energized the debate after an op-ed he wrote that criticized Merkel’s leadership and inability to learn lessons from recent history. AICGS has collected several essays and articles which have appeared recently on the debate, including pieces from Dieter Dettke, Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, Constanze Stelzenmüller, and others.
When Germany abstained in the United Nations Security Council’s vote on Libya, quite a few eyebrows were raised in the United States and in Europe (not to speak of the German strategic community). While the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom were united in the determination to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Libya, Germany sided with Russia and China – as well as with Brazil and India, two countries that also have ambitions to become permanent members of the Council – in basically declaring neutrality (let’s set aside how realistic these permanent member ambitions have now become in light of the recent vote). In departing from her traditional Western allies, Germany, reciprocating French unilateralism in the Libya crisis, dealt a blow to transatlantic – and European – coherence and security cooperation.
In an essay originally written for Handelsblatt, AICGS Trustee and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Kornblum argues for a new Atlantic equation as current events slowly make the old format of the transatlantic alliance obsolete. Kornblum writes that by defining a pragmatic vision of openness and transparency for transatlantic relations, we can maximize each side’s strengths to set a global example for the future. This essay originally appeared in the April 15, 2011, edition of Handelsblatt.
As violence continues in Libya, NATO has taken the lead in enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1973 by “all necessary measures,” the result of strenuous debates on who should be in charge. The mission – as well as the considerations leading to NATO’s decision – has ignited an intense debate in public discourse and in policymaking circles. The analysts of the NATO Defense College in Rome, including regular contributor Dr. Karl-Heinz Kamp, have assembled their views on the situation and present some options for the Alliance as it continues the mission in Libya.
In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines Germany’s abstention from the UN vote on Libya and the questions surrounding the German and other European responses to the continuing developments in the larger region.
When it comes to Libya, the Merkel government finds itself on the defensive on many fronts, writes DAAD/AICGS Fellow Pia Niedermeier. The German government has correctly pointed out that a political vision for the conflict is missing, Ms. Niedermeier argues, but it must also take the blame for not developing such a vision together with its partners.
In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines the unfolding crisis in Libya and the potential lessons of past crises in the Balkans for Germany, the EU and, NATO.
Are the Americans the only ones who can talk seriously about how to help the Libyans and to maintain global balance? AICGS Trustee Ambassador John Kornblum, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, ponders this question knowing that it is going to stay that way for the foreseeable future based on the perception that Europe cannot meet the new security challenges. Kornblum argues that a new strategy for Atlantic relations must be developed that demonstrates how Western values can help master the practical problems of globalization. The German version of this essay originally appeared in the March 8, 2011, edition of Die Welt.
Whether Muammar Qaddafi manages to maintain power in Libya or not, there will be no going back to the old order in the region, writes Dr. Ian Lesser, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States and a regular participant in AICGS events. Libya looks set for a protracted period of turmoil, Dr. Lesser argues, and the strategic implications for North Africa, the Mediterranean, and transatlantic partners could be profound. This essay originally appeared in the blog of The German Marshall Fund of the United States.
In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines the political earthquake in Egypt and the challenges ahead post-Mubarak – not only for Egyptians but for Europe and the United States in assisting the transformations in a new era for Egypt and the Middle East.