Time for Europe to Move Past ‘Pax Americana’: Europeans no longer have the option of relying on the US for their security needs
(Source: Politico; posted November 4, 2020)
By Franziska Brantner, German Green party spokesperson for EU affairs in the Bundestag
BERLIN --- In her recent op-ed for Politico, “Europe still needs America” (November 2), German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer argued that Europe should abandon “illusions” of strategic autonomy. Europeans, she wrote, “will not be able to replace America’s crucial role as a security provider,” regardless of who wins the U.S. presidential election.

Not only is this a message of despair, it is a dangerous approach to transatlantic relations and security policy and undermines the creation of a self-confident European Union.

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s intention to lay European security solely in American hands, irrespective of who becomes the next U.S. president, is unrealistic and therefore irresponsible.

Moreover, it is a direct attack not only on French President Emmanuel Macron — and by extension on the Franco-German alliance — but also on her party colleagues in the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU): European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both committed themselves to increased European strategic autonomy.

Instead of putting our faith in outdated paradigms of a “pax Americana,” we should be focusing our efforts on strengthening the EU.

The “pax Americana” has been a blessing for us, but pretending that it will be enforced by the next U.S. administration is wishful thinking. We know that the bloc is not able today to protect itself militarily on its own. That is why we should be focusing our efforts on strengthening the EU. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Politico website.


Europe Still Needs America: No matter who is in the White House, we are in this together(excerpt)
(Source: Politico; posted November 2, 2020)
By German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
BERLIN --- For people of my generation, the United States is, more than anything else, still the country of hope and horizons, of liberty and like-mindedness.

But on the eve of U.S. presidential elections, the German debate over the future of transatlantic relations is fractious.

Anti-American sentiment, which has always existed in our country alongside feelings of gratitude and closeness toward our ally, is on the rise and has become a notable force.

Making a strong case for transatlantic relations these days is not always an easy undertaking — not only in Germany but also elsewhere in Europe. But the case must be made.

There is an overwhelming strategic need for strong transatlantic cooperation, both on our side in Europe, but also, I firmly believe, in Washington.

In a world marked by increased power competition, the West will only be able to stand firm and succeed in defending its interests as long as it remains united. Europe remains dependent on U.S. military protection, both nuclear and conventional, but the U.S. will not be able to carry the banner of Western values alone.

With an eye on another important election — Germany’s federal election in 2021 — let me therefore propose a set of policies that my own country, alongside its European partners, should pursue forcefully. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Politico website.


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