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Merkel’s Twin Mission with Trump: NATO and Trade

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel has her first face-to-face meeting with President Trump in Washington on March 17,* she will have two key tests. Can she take the sting out of …

A New Narrative for German-American Relations

This essay will be published later this year in Mandarin by the Tongji University Center for German Studies in their “Annual Development Report of Germany 2017.” Download the full article. It is said …

A New Narrative for German-American Relations

It is said that Mark Twain once commented, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Maybe a more accurate version is that history doesn’t repeat itself, but people often do—for better or for worse.

A German Blueprint for Europe

German leadership has been crucial to the efforts to hold the EU together—while also trying to articulate Berlin’s vision without alienating its neighbors. The domestic debate over German foreign policy …

Principle, Policy, and Purpose: The Balance of Values and Interests

The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr once stated that the essence of statecraft is locating the point of concurrence between the parochial and the general interest, between the national and international common good.[1] Niebuhr emphasizes that realism implies an obligation to see the world as it actually is, not as we might like it to be. He warned that hubris can blind realism, finding expression in outsized confidence in both the power as well as the values of a country as being universal. Any country is susceptible to such temptations.

Demolition Enterprise Trump: A Manual for Saving the Transatlantic Relationship

Transatlantic relations play an important role in how the West reacts to the challenges of the twenty-first century, and certain measures must be taken to maintain the relationship under the …

The Transatlantic Alliance: Between Reassurance and Renewal

There is a well-known warning to all politicians seeking to sound convincing to their audiences: if you have to explain too much, you are losing them. If there are too many ambiguities in a message, you trip yourself up justifying them. The platform of the Munich Security Conference is a tough testing ground for all politicians given the enormous concentration on what is discussed there. This year’s meeting was no exception.

MSC 2017: The World at a Crossroads

The Munich Security Conference has had many memorable milestones over the last half century; I have been privileged to experience several. The famous “I am not convinced” exchange between Joschka Fischer …

Dangerous Silence

It is not the first time the Bundeswehr is engaged in the Baltic States. For a number of years, the German air force has participated as a rotating member in …

Uncertainty Surrounds the Putin-Trump Relationship

Few issues stir more concerns—and confusion—about where the Trump administration is heading than relations with Russia. Several Cabinet secretaries, during their confirmation hearings and subsequent statements, voiced strong support for …

Expectations for the Munich Security Conference

The Munich Security Conference convenes at a time of the great unraveling of the world order.   The world is less stable and more uncertain than it has been for years. …

Berlin’s New Pragmatism in an Era of Radical Uncertainty

Germany has emerged as the EU’s central economic and political power in today’s crisis-ridden Europe. The U.K., after the Brexit vote, has probably dropped out of global crisis management for …