U.S.-German rapport: the transatlantic X-factor

GIS Statement by James Jay Carafano

The U.S. no longer looks at Germany as its primary political partner in Europe and NATO. Washington’s strategy is not centered on the European Union, where Germany is the leading player, but on bilateral ties in Europe. Although the two countries will still cooperate closely in some areas, their policies will diverge in many others.

“Few questions are more pressing in transatlantic affairs than the future of the German-American relationship,” observes Dr. James Jay Carafano.

These days, the United States no longer presumes that Germany will be its leading partner in the transatlantic system. Instead, Washington’s assessment is that internal political struggles will distract and confound German efforts to exercise decisive leadership. Rather than sharing vision and direction, the two countries are more likely to manage their relations over the next few years on a more transactional basis. That said, there are few signs of fissures and gaps that could eventually create unbridgeable rifts in the transatlantic alliance.

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Angela Merkel meets Donald Trump. Source: GIS

U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the United Kingdom and Normandy, France, for the 75th D-Day anniversary was instructive in this regard. In the UK and the president’s subsequent short visit to Ireland, the American leader made clear once again that the U.S. strategy for dealing with the transatlantic community is not centered on the European Union. That is crucial for Germany, which continues to remain a dominating force in EU policymaking …

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