Shifting Values and Changing Interests: The Future of German-American Relations
German-American Issues 3
During the past two years, there has been an argument across the Atlantic about arguments. Are our recent troubles cyclical or are they harbingers of a deeper and growing divide between Europeans and Americans?
After all, frictions in the transatlantic relationship are nothing new. Others argue, however, that the rift in the wake of Iraq is really more serious and that we have lost our anchor. During the Cold War, the German-American relationship was encased in a framework in which the choices we faced were clear and consistent. Germany was divided, American force was needed to protect German and American interests in Europe, and the Soviet Union was an identifiable antagonist posing a clear threat on which we mostly agreed. We had an equation of power and principle as a common bond. Germans could leave or take what they wanted from the American culture that surrounded them. And Americans had a good deal of exposure to Germany through the millions of American military and their families who spent time there.