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The Transatlantic Relationship Has Been Irreparably Damaged

The Transatlantic Relationship Has Been Irreparably Damaged
The BriefGet Up To Speed

The transatlantic relationship has been a hallmark of the liberal international order for decades and, for many, a source of global peace and stability. But rising populism and inequality, coupled with surprising election outcomes in the United States and Europe, may signal an end to this historic relationship. Some worry that President Trump's support for Brexit, attacks on NATO, and tariff threats against the EU mark a significant departure from past administrations. And anti-establishment sentiments are growing on the other side of the Atlantic, too, as nationalist leaders gain ground across Europe. But others aren’t as worried, saying the relationship has weathered turbulent times before, including the Iraq War. As long as the U.S. and Europe face common threats, including China, election-hacking, and terrorism, they argue, the bond will remain strong. Is the transatlantic relationship as we know it doomed? Or will it prevail for decades to come?

  • Federiga Bindi

    6 Items
    • Professor, University of Rome Tor Vergata
    Read Bio
    "Foreign policy is like physics: vacuums quickly fill. As the United States retreats from the international order it helped put in place and maintain since the end of World War II, Russia is rapidly filling the vacuum. Federiga Bindi's new book assesses the consequences of this retreat for transatlantic relations and Europe, showing how the current path of US foreign policy is leading to isolation and a sharp decrease of US influence in international relations."

    "Together, the U.K. and the U.S. have constantly advocated for more NATO, rather than more EU security. The combined effect of Brexit and of Trump’s neglect for Brussels, have created new challenges - and consequently new opportunities - which the EU was quick to grab. For the last seventy years, the Europeans have tried to integrate in security and defense. While the failure of the EDC was a French-Italian affair, any subsequent attempt to integrate was stopped by London, acting in parallel with Washington. Trump’s reaction was late and, most of all, counter-effective. This time, several factors suggest that the EU may be able to achieve its goals."

    Federiga Bindi on whether multilateralism is on the wane:
    "No, it is rather the United States that is disappearing from the world’s map. The Paris climate accord is not going to be cancelled because of the U.S. decision to withdraw from it. In fact, the agreement’s objectives will be upheld, even in America: the United States Climate Alliance—a coalition of states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Puerto Rico, which represent 36 percent of the U.S. population and $7 trillion in GDP—has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris agreement."


    Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    "Carnegie’s Federiga Bindi gives her overall impression of the recent European parliament elections on CGTN America, which had the highest voter turnout in two decades. She mentions one of the biggest takeaways from this election are the weakening of Europe’s mainstream political parties and how this will effect the political future of the European Union."

    "CGTN's Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Federiga Bindi from John Hopkins University about the lasting financial impact of the ongoing political turmoil."

    Monday, June 24, 2019
    Federiga Bindi on whether the next U.S. President will care about Europe:
    "Last but not least, aside from the photo ops and conviviality, Europe was scarcely relevant in the deals closed by the presidency of Barack Obama, be it on diplomatic ties with Cuba, Iran’s nuclear program, or climate change. If the United States is to care about Europe, Europe has to first care about itself—that is, to stop disintegrating and step up its game."


    Wednesday, February 3, 2016
  • Constanze Stelzenmüller

    9 Items
    • Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
    Read Bio

    The Transatlantic Conference 2018 took place in Segovia and Madrid where experts, practitioners, and politicians from around the world discussed the current state of the Transatlantic Relationship.

    Constanze Stelzenmüller, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe, The Brookings Institution gives her opinion on transatlantic relations.

    In her address, Dr Stelzenmüller discussed the implications of the Trump administration‘s geopolitical approach for Europe and Germany’s future relationship with the US. President Trump’s inconsistent statements and criticisms regarding the European Union come at a time when the United Kingdom, the United States’ closest ally within the EU-28, is preparing for negotiations for withdrawal from the EU, which has led to more vocal calls for Germany to become more actively involved in shaping the future of transatlantic relations.

    Constanze Stelzenmüller on the Trump-Putin meeting and NATO summit:


    "After one of the most cringe-worthy press conferences ever held by an American president (preceded by a shock-and-awe tour of Europe), it’s worth focusing on some essentials.

    In terms of formal policy outcomes, the worst has not happened, because the administration has managed to wrestle down the president: The United States is staying the course on the illegality of the Russian annexation of Crimea, on the war in Ukraine, on deterrence and defense of NATO’s eastern periphery. For this, we Europeans should be grateful. I know I am.

    In terms of the intangibles that hold this alliance together—shared values, mutual commitment, and trust—the damage done by the president is incalculable. One look at the delighted faces of our adversaries confirms it.

    We need to decide what the president’s game is—is he playing reality TV, or destroying the rules-based international order? It matters. In the one, we Europeans are just viewers, and can simply turn off the TV. In the other, we’re vassals. Demands that are impossible to meet (such as raising European defense spending to 4 percent of GDP) suggest the latter.

    So far, European leaders and policymakers have been reacting with remarkable restraint. But above all, they must act. They should close vulnerabilities (defense spending, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline), and invest in cohesion and trust—with each other, but also with those elements of the U.S. administration that want to maintain the Western alliance. In this, Germany will be key.

    Above all, it needs to be understood that the rift between those who seek to maintain republican constitutional orders, representative democracy, political pluralism, open and decent societies, and a rules-based international order and its adversaries is the single greatest challenge of our time—and it runs through all our countries. Schadenfreude is not in order."

    "To discuss challenges to and opportunities for NATO as it enters its eighth decade, this episode features a discussion among a group of leading Brookings experts: John Allen, president of the Brookings Institution; Constanze Stelzenmüller, the Robert Bosch Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings; and Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow and director of research in the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings."

    "A quarterly evaluation of U.S.-European relations produced by Brookings’s Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) , as part of the Brookings - Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative."

  • John J. Mearsheimer

    3 Items
    • American Political Scientist & Professor, University of Chicago
    Read Bio

    "In The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, political scientist John Mearsheimer argues that the disappearance of the constraints imposed by Cold War bipolarity vouchsafed the United States the luxury of trying to reshape the world to conform to America’s domestic political creed of liberalism. Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, has written extensively on international relations from a realist perspective, including The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Now he offers his most sweeping analysis of America’s purpose. Any argument about national and world politics is necessarily schematic. But a catechistic concision which might be a fault in others is a virtue in the case of Mearsheimer, whose prose is as perspicuous as his analysis. Accessible and yet rigorous, The Great Delusion deserves to be read by policymakers, scholars and the public alike."

    Saturday, December 15, 2018

    "During these rocky times, the transatlantic relationship and, in particular the NATO alliance, is tested like never before. With an unconventional president in the White House, who is questioning the entire post World War II architecture created by the Unites States, America – the indispensable nation – is retreating from the role of primus inter paresand has embarked on its own America firstforeign policy. The Trump administration seems to undermine and overtly attack the very system of alliances and institutions which have enhanced the US power for decades. What does that mean for the rest of the world? What does it mean for its closest allies? Has the liberal order reached its limits as an American global export good? What are NATO’s latecomer members to make of all this? This year marks 14 years of NATO membership for Romania, viewed as vital for its security and a much needed and irreplaceable counterweight to increased Russian aggression in the region. What is the future of NATO in the age of President Trump? Does the Trump administration represent a momentary aberration (in which case, allies have little choice but to weather it) or is it indicative of a deeper and radical shift in US foreign policy thinking? There is probably no one better positioned to explain this unprecedented moment in US foreign policy as prof. John Mearsheimer – a landmark name in security and international politics and the founder of the offensive realist strand in international relations."

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

    In this video, John Mearsheimer explains what he thinks is wrong with the liberal hegemonic worldview, why he believes realism serves as a better lens, and whom he'd most like to debate on the subject.



  • Carla Norrlof

    5 Items
    • Professor, University of Toronto
    Read Bio
    Carla Norrlof on whether the transatlantic alliance has been irreparably damaged: 
    "There’s been a lot of stress on the transatlantic alliance as of late: controversy over NATO burden-sharing, U.S. steel and automobile tariffs, the imploding Iran nuclear deal, and imminent U.S. sanctions against European companies. But the United States and Europe have a common history and identity, coveted by Trump's base; security interests, including keeping Russia out of Europe; economic interests, especially financial; a shared vision of the future. In the age of Trump, transatlantic differences are real yet hardly irreconcilable."
    Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    "Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States was indisputably left as the dominant political actor in the world today, playing an important role in determining the world order. The main question of Carla Norrlof’s book is how the US has maintained its privileged position within international systems for more than 60 years.
    Norrlof analyses American hegemony through the lens of international cooperation theories with a special focus on trade and money in the international political economy framework. She believes that however inevitable the American decline is in the long run, a sufficient number of major and lesser powers currently have a strong interest in maintaining America’s hegemony. Also, the US has the largest domestic economy, the key world currency and the strongest military."
    "Trump’s call to put America ‘first’ internationally, and white Christians ‘first’ domestically, resonated with non-college-educated white voters who had seen their historic privileges slip away. The relationship between education and race was first noted in Myrdal’s 1944 book, An American Dilemma, commissioned by the Carnegie foundation. The Swedish Nobel laureate exposed the tension between liberal ideals and the reality of racial discrimination in the US, and called for an ‘educational offensive against racial intolerance’. His findings ring true today.
    Shoring up support for the liberal international order will require strengthening the liberal foundations of American society. Increasing access to higher education remains an effective way to fight racism, up to a point. Beware the liberal playbook…"

    "Politicians and pundits have suggested many different responses to the populist phenomenon: reducing inequality, protecting major industries from international trade, curbing immigration. But these are all indirect solutions. The best way to counter the populist trend is to address the underlying problem head-on, by fostering more liberal attitudes. There is a lot of evidence that the best way to promote liberal values is by giving more people more education. In every place where populism is surging, the main determinant of whether someone holds liberal values is his or her level of education. Higher education emphasizes equality, tolerance, and critical thinking; those without access to it are far more likely to oppose liberal values and practices." 

    Friday, March 1, 2019

    "The widening gap between rich and poor Americans contributed to making the MAGA slogan a rallying cry for his campaign. But while economic woes may explain some of his support—income and income growth do not fully capture Trump's anti-globalization appeal. Education and race were much stronger predictors of the 2016 vote."

    Wednesday, February 21, 2018
"'America first' is the battle cry of the 45th president of the US, Donald Trump. During his election campaign, he alarmed some NATO members when he said he would not necessarily come to a NATO ally's defence. Since being elected, he has assured Britain that it is still a 'special place.'
When it came to Brexit, Trump openly called for Britain to leave the EU during the referendum campaign. He has also attacked transatlantic and international trade deals, choosing to ditch the TPP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) in his first few days in office. 
Invoking the spirit of that bygone 'special relationship,' UK Prime Minister Theresa May was the first head of state to visit President Trump at the White House. Touching down on American soil, May expressed optimism that the two countries could create a strong partnership, one that would chart a different course to those that ran before. No more failed foreign forays, for a start. 'The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are decisively over,' she said in a speech to Republican leaders in Philadelphia."
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Alex Gray

Foreign Affairs asks thirty-three experts whether the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, the transatlantic relationship, has been irreparably damaged. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Foreign Affairs

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School asked the participants of the forum and launch events for the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship to briefly comment on what would be lost should the transatlantic relationship fail. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
For the Motion
"It is therefore all too easy to dismiss the current angst over U.S. President Donald Trump as the latest hymn from the Church of Perpetual Worry. This is hardly the first time observers have questioned the viability of a U.S.-led global order. The peril to the West was never greater than when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik—until U.S. President Richard Nixon ended the Bretton Woods system. The oil shocks of the 1970s posed a grave threat to the liberal international order—but then came the explosion of the U.S. budget and trade deficits in the 1980s. The perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks seemed like an existential threat to the system—until the 2008 financial crisis. Now there is Trump. It is worth asking, then, whether the current fretting is anything new. For decades, the sky has refused to fall.
But this time really is different. Just when many of the sources of American power are ebbing, many of the guardrails that have kept U.S. foreign policy on track have been worn down. It is tempting to pin this degradation on Trump and his retrograde foreign policy views, but the erosion predated him by a good long while."


Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Daniel W. Drezner
"The Atlantic alliance as we know it is dead. The end of the Cold War, the United States’ growing weariness of global burdens, and a preoccupation with domestic affairs on both sides of the ocean had already weakened transatlantic bonds when the presidency of Donald Trump inflicted the deathblow.
A future U.S. administration, even one that is more sympathetic to the idea of alliances, will be unable to restore the old alliance. If a new alliance is to emerge from the ashes of the past, it must be one based on a more realistic bargain between Europe and the United States, and one that better addresses the needs of both partners. The alliance is dead; long live the alliance."
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Philip H. Gordon and Jeremy Shapiro
"So what can be done to establish a new modus vivendi? In the short term, very little. European leaders are too divided to agree on which threats to take seriously. Nor do they know what kind of new relationship they want with the United States. Above all, they don’t want to acknowledge that the post-1945 bargain is over.
As for the Obama administration, which is increasingly distancing itself from Europe, it has yet to decide if the relationship is worth rebuilding.
Yet the longer both sides dither, the greater the opportunity for drift and misunderstanding. Russia, China, and other authoritarian countries will relish the eclipse of the postwar Western liberal order. Surely, that is not in the interests of people on either side of the Atlantic."
Monday, October 28, 2013
Judy Dempsey
Against the Motion
"The Atlantic Ocean is starting to look awfully wide. To Europeans the United States appears ever more remote, under a puzzling president who delights in bullying them, questions the future of the transatlantic alliance and sometimes shows more warmth towards dictators than democrats. Americans see an ageing continent that, though fine for tourists, is coming apart at the seams politically and falling behind economically—as feeble in growth as it is excessive in regulation. To Atlanticists, including this newspaper, such fatalism about the divisions between Europe and America is worrying. It is also misplaced.
True, some gaps are glaring. America has abandoned the Paris climate accord and the nuclear deal with Iran, whereas Europe remains committed to both. Other disagreements threaten. President Donald Trump has called the European Union a “foe” on trade and is weighing up punitive tariffs on European cars. Trust has plummeted. Only one in ten Germans has confidence that Mr Trump will do the right thing in world affairs, down from nearly nine out of ten who trusted Barack Obama in 2016. Twenty years ago nato celebrated its 50th anniversary with a three-day leaders’ summit. Fear of another bust-up with Mr Trump has relegated plans for the alliance’s 70th birthday party on April 4th to a one-day meeting of foreign ministers."
Thursday, March 14, 2019
The Economist
"[W]hile the Trump administration’s supporters and detractors are both fond of describing its approach to the world as a total break from the past, in reality, periodic crises have been a feature of the transatlantic relationship from nearly its outset. Almost as if by clockwork, a serious breach has tended to flare up between the United States and its European allies every 15 to 20 years going back to the mid-1950s—inspiring fears of a broader, more enduring unraveling of the alliance.
The current crisis, according to this calendar, is happening pretty much on schedule. And in every case so far, the West has bounced back.
Could this time prove different? Perhaps. But there are good reasons to believe that this too shall pass. At the very least, it’s useful to situate the current tempest within the context of past storms that have swept across the Atlantic. The point of reviewing this history isn’t to diminish the seriousness of the present rift or to encourage complacency. But it does offer an important corrective to the doom and despondency about the future of the West—increasingly heard among foreign-policy thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic—as well as the counterproductive amnesia that overlooks just how much we’ve already gotten through together."


Thursday, July 11, 2019
Richard Fontaine & Vance Serchuk
“'Emancipated' from the United States, could the European Union find another power to help it shape the world? A poll released last week found that while only 14 percent of Germans surveyed consider the United States a “reliable partner,” 36 percent and 43 percent see Russia and China this way, respectively. Nothing the Trump administration has done comes close to validating the belief that the regimes in Moscow and Beijing are more trustworthy by comparison. Yet hyperbolic rhetoric from those invested in the “Trump is destroying the world” narrative only emboldens Europeans in such delusions. For there is no Plan B for Europe. Seeking rapprochement with Russia, as Germany appears to be doing, is a non-starter, not least considering how Moscow has flagrantly violated the European security order in Ukraine, and seeks to unravel the E.U. entirely. So is China, with its authoritarian state-capitalism model and neo-imperialist behavior across Asia, a similar dead end for Europeans concerned about upholding the liberal world order.
A major risk of the Trump presidency, and one of the many reasons I opposed it, was that Trump would embolden anti-American forces around the world, particularly in Europe. A demagogic nationalist, Trump seems to confirm every negative stereotype Europeans hold about Americans. Now that he’s president, both sides need to recognize that the values and interests uniting Europe and the United States will survive the current occupant of the White House. Otherwise, the constant, unfounded assertions as to the death of the transatlantic relationship may become a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
James Kirchick
Inside Europe

"Russia conducted a 'continued and sustained' disinformation campaign against Europe’s recent parliamentary elections, the European Union reported Friday, the latest sign that Russia’s high-tech efforts to influence democratic votes have not slowed down."

Friday, June 14, 2019
Michael Birnbaum & Craig Timberg

"The most eye-catching political development in Europe recently has been the surge of nationalist populism. The Brexiteers in Britain, Marine Le Pen in France and the Alternative for Germany (afd) have transformed their countries’ political landscape. Italy and Poland are both governed by anti-establishment Eurosceptics. Viktor Orban’s political dominance in Hungary is undermining liberal democracy and enriching the strongman’s friends and cronies. Many European nationalists have borrowed tactics from President Donald Trump. Steve Bannon, Mr Trump’s one-time strategy chief, even toured the continent hoping to turn the five-yearly European Parliament election into a repeat of his ex-boss’s triumph in 2016." 

Thursday, May 30, 2019
The Economist
"Populists are unlikely to stage a complete takeover, but they will become a permanent and more disruptive fixture on the landscape. Europe is aging, North Africa is unstable, migration will remain high, Islamist terror looks unlikely to fade and there may yet be another financial crisis. In facing these problems, many of the established parties simply look lost. An alliance of liberals and Greens is attempting to provide an alternative, and they now share the political stage with the populists. It will be a long, drawn-out war, not a fleeting battle, and further losses for the mainstream parties lie ahead.
What does all of this mean for Europe and the U.S.? For one thing, Europe is unlikely to get the strong, stable and ideologically coherent governments that are needed to navigate choppy financial and political waters. Political fragmentation and polarization look to be the specials of the day. Investors have good reason to feel downbeat about the eurozone, while a leadership vacuum is likely to make Washington question how reliable Europe is as an economic and diplomatic partner. That said, the populist revolt on the continent is just the topic of the moment. In 2020, all eyes will turn away from a divided Europe to a divided America."
Friday, June 14, 2019
Matthew Goodwin
"One of the main arguments made in support of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is that the UK will be able to negotiate better trade deals with other countries – and even with Europe – if it is on its own. According to Brexiteers like British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, because EU member states are too divided and consumed by their own crises to defend the integrity of the European project, 'There is only one way to get the change we want – vote to leave the EU.'
But with less than a year remaining until “Brexit day” – when the UK’s EU membership officially ends – it is clear that the British government’s hopes of dividing and conquering the EU economy have been dashed. EU member states have remained impressively united throughout the Brexit negotiations. And while Brexit itself is nothing to celebrate, the process has at least shown that Europe is strongest when it is challenged.
In fact, for many Europeans, the EU seems to have returned from the dead. Slowly but surely, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – the bloc’s two most powerful leaders – have shown signs of coming together to pursue long-overdue EU-level reforms."
Friday, June 8, 2018
Guy Verhofstadt
American Hegemony
"Sometime in the last two years, American hegemony died. The age of U.S. dominance was a brief, heady era, about three decades marked by two moments, each a breakdown of sorts. It was born amid the collapse of the Berlin Wall, in 1989. The end, or really the beginning of the end, was another collapse, that of Iraq in 2003, and the slow unraveling since. But was the death of the United States’ extraordinary status a result of external causes, or did Washington accelerate its own demise through bad habits and bad behavior? That is a question that will be debated by historians for years to come. But at this point, we have enough time and perspective to make some preliminary observations.
As with most deaths, many factors contributed to this one. There were deep structural forces in the international system that inexorably worked against any one nation that accumulated so much power. In the American case, however, one is struck by the ways in which Washington—from an unprecedented position—mishandled its hegemony and abused its power, losing allies and emboldening enemies. And now, under the Trump administration, the United States seems to have lost interest, indeed lost faith, in the ideas and purpose that animated its international presence for three-quarters of a century."
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Fareed Zakaria
"After 75 years, the gap between the muscular economic reality and America’s wan self-image is enormous. The United States continues to be the world’s biggest economy by far — larger than China and Japan (No. 2 and No. 3 on the list) combined. Deloitte has forecast that the United States will replace China at the top of the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index by next year. Since 2003, the United States has added some $3 trillion more to its economy than the European Union has managed.
Yet, from the White House to the corner bar, we hear that the United States is losing ground. The idea of decline dominates policymaking and the president’s tweets. In truth, the United States has raised the world closer to its own heights, to the benefit of billions. And it started on D-Day."
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
David Von Drehle
Looking at NATO

"In the words of the British general who was NATO's first leader, the purpose of the alliance was, quote, 'to keep the Soviet Union out. The Americans in and the Germans down.' Well, 70 years later, the Soviet Union is long gone. NATO has nearly 30 members and plenty of disputes. As NPR's David Welna reports, President Trump isn't the only one wondering if the alliance is obsolete."

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
David Welna

"NATO’s foreign ministers will gather in Washington, D.C., on April 4 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the alliance. But their festivities will hardly mask the profound anxiety about NATO’s future that is building on both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. President Donald Trump is, of course, the leading cause of the disquiet. His broadsides against allies for not spending enough on defense, his public ambiguity about whether the United States will stand by its commitment to collective defense, and his reported desire to withdraw the United States from the alliance raise fears that 2019 could be a year for eulogizing NATO rather than feting it."

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Charles Kupchan

"Europe is prosperous and treats America like a patsy. Let it stand on its own."


Friday, July 6, 2018
Christian Whiton
Free Riding or Burden Sharing?

"While previous US presidents had made similar critiques of NATO members' defense spending, Trump has made it a central theme of his administration's foreign policy, repeatedly slamming allies over the issue."

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Ryan Browne
"The president has repeated his inaccurate view that NATO allies owe money and that they owe it to the U.S. whenever he discusses the topic. However inaccurately worded, Trump’s tough talk may have resulted in the desired effect: Inspiring allies to pay more.
Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO since 2014, has said the allies have achieved a record increase in defense spending. By the end of the year, he expects eight members — the U.S., Britain, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Romania — will reach the 2% mark. That’s compared to just three allies in 2014.
Still, the U.S. accounts for 22% of the NATO alliance’s common funding, which is spent on projects like military readiness, joint exercises, and initiatives to counter cyber-warfare. And there has long been widespread recognition among both Republicans and Democrats that NATO members should step up their spending. The criticism can be traced as far back as 1953, when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles notoriously threatened that the U.S. would embark on “an agonizing reappraisal” of U.S. military support if European nations didn’t show a willingness to defend themselves against the then-Soviet Union."
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
W.J. Henningan

"The United States should never expect to achieve full burden-sharing with the European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Even in the most balanced alliances, the most powerful member will pay some premium for ensuring its credibility and effectiveness. The United States can strive plausibly to minimize but not eliminate the massive degree of free riding and strategic incoherence that has become politically untenable and strategically unwise. Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay, NATO’s first Secretary General, described NATO’s purpose as keeping the Russians out, the Americans in, and the German’s down. That remains no less true today, with emendations. A muscular American presence in Europe offers the best practicable option for keeping Putin’s authoritarian, expansionist Russia at bay, Germany firmly anchored in the democratic West, and Central Europe democratic and free from the ravages of Russian imperialism."

Thursday, January 17, 2019
Robert G. Kaufman

"Mr. Obama’s frustration with much of the Arab world is not new, but rarely has he been so blunt about it. He placed his comments in the context of his broader struggle to extract the United States from the bloody morass of the Middle East so that the nation can focus on more promising, faster-growing parts of the world, like Asia and Latin America."

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Mark Landler
"[T]he United States spends more than 3.5 percent of GDP on defense. Even though NATO members have pledged to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, only four non-U.S. countries met that target last year.
So this looks bad for European members of NATO. But before the 'free rider' thing calcifies into an accepted story told around the foreign policy campfire, it’s worth considering two small complications to this narrative."
Monday, April 25, 2016
Daniel Drezner
Trade & Tariff Threats
"Ten months after Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker struck a Rose Garden truce meant to clear the way for negotiations to reduce tariffs on industrial goods and eliminate regulatory hurdles, those talks are showing few signs of going anywhere meaningful.
European officials have blamed a Trump administration that has had little time for dealing with a bureaucracy in Brussels already held in low regard by many in the U.S. president’s orbit. Distracting Trump has been a breakdown in talks with China and a need for a quick deal with Japan to assuage American agricultural interests."
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Shawn Donnan & Richard Bravo
"Both sides of the Atlantic have been at odds over trade ever since President Donald Trump took office back in 2016."
"There’s one big motivation for Europe to reach a deal with the U.S.: preventing duties on its carmakers – a sector responsible for much of the economic growth in the region."
"If there is no deal, President Trump 'is totally comfortable' with applying higher tariffs on European cars."
Monday, June 17, 2019
Silvia Amaro

"A 25 percent US tariff on cars and car parts would deal a blow to the European auto industry. Germany in particular would feel significant pain, given that it is responsible for 55 percent of all EU auto exports. Would the US car industry benefit as a result of the tariffs? GVCs would channel some of the tariff pain back to US-based car manufacturers right away by forcing these auto makers to pay a premium on essential car parts from Europe and Asia. Despite higher input costs, some economists expect expect the US auto sector to benefit from the tariffs because consumers might be more likely to buy US-built cars and foreign car manufacturers might increase their production capacity in the United States to avoid the tariffs. However, EU retaliatory tariffs against other sectors of the US economy would likely negate any positive jolt the US car industry delivers to the overall American economy. As usual, European and US consumers and workers would foot the bill for a transatlantic car tariff tit-for-tat that increases prices for cars and other goods while eliminating jobs on both sides of the Atlantic."

Friday, June 14, 2019
Ole Moehr
Europe & the Iran Deal
"The pact curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for major sanctions relief but has come under threat since the United States abandoned the accord and reimposed a near-total embargo on the Iranian economy in the fall.
Some European diplomats saw that 10-day deadline less as a firm plan to violate enrichment limits and more as an urgent call to Europe from Iran to deliver fresh concessions.
Kamalvandi said European nations needed to take 'practical measures' to offset wide-ranging U.S. sanctions and salvage Iran’s participation in the landmark deal.
One European diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that if Iran does violate the deal, Europe probably would trigger the pact’s mechanisms for arbitration and impose new sanctions. Such a response, however, would probably not be coordinated with the United States, the diplomat said, since most Europeans blame the Trump administration for the recent spike in tensions.
The United States has embarked on a 'maximum-pressure campaign' to isolate Iran and force it to halt ballistic missile tests and support for proxy militias in the region."
Monday, June 17, 2019
Eric Cunningham, Rick Noack & Michael Birnbaum
"The JCPOA is the product of more than a decade of negotiation. The West worried that Iran’s expanding nuclear programme posed a major nuclear proliferation risk. Most troublingly for Europe, there was a possibility that the United States, Israel, or both would launch military attacks on a country of 80 million people. After the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, Europeans wanted to avoid further instability in their neighbourhood."
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Ellie Geranmayeh

"There are ways to [save the Iran nuclear deal], however difficult. Not only should Instex become fully operational, but far more consequentially, the E3 should work with China and Russia to restore at least part of Iran’s ability to export oil, including by envisaging oil swaps between Russia and Iran and using the revenues from those swaps to support the Instex-facilitated trade between European and Iranian companies."

Friday, May 10, 2019
Riccardo Alcaro & Nathalie Tocci
"That means Europe may soon face a stark choice. If its leaders can’t free up enough economic benefits to persuade Tehran to abide by its commitments, they will have to decide whether to kill the agreement by reimposing European sanctions suspended as part of the deal.
Still, European diplomats believe they have a window of opportunity to rescue the pact, with some saying they don’t expect a crunch point to come for months."
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Laurence Norman
Rise of China

"Trump sees his tirades as nothing more than a justified response to the attacks the Democrats have launched on him. The (probably not quite so lasting) end to the Russian affair and the (not yet contractual) results of trade negotiations with China are unlikely to clear the air. In fact, if anything, they will lead to escalating tensions. Besides controversial areas of domestic policy such as immigration and border control, Trump will most probably turn to foreign policy issues like NATO and the trade deficit – and this means that he’ll put Germany ever more so in the crosshairs."

Monday, April 29, 2019
Metin Jakverdi
"China has nothing to do with seemingly unbridgeable divisions between the U.S. and Europe."
Monday, April 1, 2019
Michael Ivanovitch

"As next week’s EU-China summit approaches, Europe has begun to fundamentally rethink its China policies. The shift is so substantial than even seasoned Asia hands have described it as a 'revolution.' Despite differences among the EU member states, the overall thrust of the change is in convergence with the new U.S. approach. As recently as three years ago, member states resisted even modest changes to strengthen EU trade defense instruments, despite the flood of Chinese steel imports. The notion of an EU-level mechanism to scrutinize Chinese investments was still anathema to most European leaders. If the United States in early 2016 had suggested closer coordination in restricting Chinese access to Western technologies, a common public front on China’s non-market practices, or cooperation on infrastructure financing as a counterbalance to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), European allies would have responded with a bemused rebuff."

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Andrew Small