North America

NATO Members Owe Money. To Themselves, Not the U.S.

Since the decision was made in 2006 to require NATO members to spend 2% of their GDP on defense, only five countries have lived up to that promise. President Trump is correct in drawing attention to NATO members’ chronically underfunded militaries. He is absolutely incorrect, however, in stating that NATO members owe any amount to the US for services rendered. View
 

How Germany and the United States Can Strengthen Cooperation

“Federal governments should no longer be viewed as the sole source for action and solutions both because of the current administration in the US and a continued power shift towards NGOs and local actors. Engagement at the subnational level is ever more critical.” This is one of the key conclusions from the first “Atlantic Expedition”. View
 

It's the State of our Democracy, Stupid! Why Transatlantic Relations are in Trouble

The transatlantic relationship is in trouble mainly because both the US and Germany struggle with domestic political problems. This is evident particularly in light of the current populism – more and more people do not feel represented any longer by political elites. In order to revitalize transatlantic relations, domestic homework needs to be done first. This is a summarized and updated version of a Key Note at the Harvard Council Forum, Soho-Haus Berlin, October 22, 2016. View
 

The Reverse Trump Effect: EU Populist Movements After Trump Took Office

Germany's state elections in Saarland and the Dutch general elections show that the fear of right-wing populism was, if not unfounded, certainly slightly unreasonable. Even more so, polls suggest that after gaining momentum through the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, Europe's right-wing populist movements have actually lost their attraction after he took office. View
 

Smaller and Larger Nations: Concert of Big Powers or Fair Balance of Interests?

The destiny of the people living in Europe has been shaped for many years by the interests of the great powers. For centuries, the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg empires, as well as France and Britain, have dominated the European continent. From the nineteenth century until the end of World War II, first Prussia and then Germany—directly and indirectly—joined this competition for influence. Indeed, during the Yalta Conference, the great powers of the time shaped the European political landscape for decades to come. View
 

The Trump-Merkel Summit: After the Storm, a Vital Trans-Atlantic Agenda

Dr. Ariel Cohen, Atlantic Council US, consider the massive snowstorm that postponed Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House as symbolic of the chill in the US-German relations: President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Frau Merkel’s open borders policy, which has brought over 1,250,000 refugees to Germany since 2015. Merkel has responded with a strong defense of freedom of movement, refugee rights, and freedom of the press. View
 

Americans as Soviets: The Problems of Washington Postmodernism

Dmitry Shlapentokh, Associate Professor of History at Indiana University South Bend, argues that the United States has serious economic problems. Instead of addressing these issues, the Washington elite blames Russian propaganda and Trumpism. They look quite similar to those in the Soviet Kremlin, but unlike most Soviets they are true believer. They assume that smooth transition to improved “normality” would take place after Trump’s departure, but can be wrong like Gorbachev. View
 

Remedies Against Populism

Democracy is not “the rule of the people” and not even “the rule of majority”. It is a compromise between four principles: the will of the people, the wisdom of the elected, respect for rules and social commitment. The second principle is under attack by populists and needs protection as democracy should be strictly representative. How can we gain a balance between the necessary distrust and the equally necessary confidence towards politicians? View
 

Sharing, Gigs, On-Demand: Opportunities and Risks of the New Digital Economy

The old classifications of employed or self-employed seem not to fit in the new growing digital economy. If we do not address the role of the employers, the status of the workforce and the status of wage-dependent work in general, inequality in Europe and the US could become more pronounced. Digital labor might become a strain on the welfare system as well, when young digital workers do not contribute to the social security and health care systems. View
 

The UK Cannot Afford Capability and Contribution Gaps to NATO Post-Brexit

Post-Brexit and at a time of precarious power dynamics the UK cannot afford to have significant capability gaps which would harm the credibility and image of the UK as a significant global contender. The UK government has an obligation to fulfill its part towards collective security and defence for the NATO alliance. What you do wrong is far more often remembered than what you do right. Britain must remain vigilant. View