• In Germany, Social Democrats Hold Merkel's Future in their Hands

    The SPD’s upcoming vote on the future of coalition negotiations government will not only dictate the trajectory of the country’s politics, but could have serious ramifications for the future of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    For a brief moment on January 21, all eyes in German politics will shift from Berlin to Bonn. In the predicted cliffhanger vote at a special party conference in Germany’s former capital, the Social Democrats (SPD) will decide whether to begin coalition negotiations with Merkel’s Christian Democrat bloc (CDU/CSU). If delegates approve a preliminary deal reached on January 12, detailed coalition talks could start in earnest, wrap up in a few weeks, and allow the next German government to take office by Easter.

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  • Braw in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Argues in Favor of More Permanent US basing in Germany

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  • Trump Again Questions US Commitment to Defend NATO Allies

    I’ve strengthen our relationships with America’s allies and asked other NATO members to pay their fair share and now the money is pouring in. The money is pouring in.
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  • Scholl in Foreign Policy: Edgar on Strategy (Part XI): Strategy, or Slip-Up? The Willkommen That Was Heard Round the World

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  • The Importance of Being Angela Merkel

    Chancellor is vital for European solidarity on Russia sanctions, says Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell

    If German Chancellor Angela Merkel were to step down from her role it would create uncertainty over the fate of sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, according to Fran Burwell, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council.

    “There is one area where her absence would make a great deal of difference potentially and that is on the sanctions on Russia,” said Burwell.

    “With the British leaving [the European Union] and her leaving—if she should leave—that makes the continued adherence to these sanctions less certain. Depending on what happens in the Italian elections, those sanctions could be vulnerable indeed,” she added.  

    Moreover, Burwell noted, instability in Germany would be a blow for the European Union (EU), which is grappling with the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the Union and the eurozone crisis.

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  • Building Transatlantic Common Ground in Combating Global Warming

    As the world gathered in Bonn for its twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23), the newly published Emissions Gap Report 2017 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) helped to underline the mantra of the conference: all countries need to raise their climate protection efforts quickly and substantially.

    The report shows that even if fully implemented, each nation’s current nationally determined commitments (NDCs), laid out by each of the signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement, would only achieve a mere third of the emission cuts required to meet the “(well) below 2 degrees” Celsius goal for global temperature increase set forth in the deal.

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  • Bonn and Berlin: COP23 and Coalition Negotiations Face Climate Challenges

    Both the international climate talks this week in the former West German capital of Bonn, and the negotiations over the future composition of the German government continuing this week in Berlin, will focus on the country’s approach to climate policy. While all eyes may be on Bonn, the discussions in Berlin provide a preview, and perhaps a microcosm, of the challenges ahead for global climate efforts.

    The path forward for climate action, the main focus of the twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23), is also proving to be a key sticking point in the ongoing negotiations to form a new German governing coalition following elections in September. The discussions in both cities raise questions as to Germany’s role as a global leader in climate policy when strong leadership is needed most.

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  • NATO Faces Serious Shortcomings in Command Revamp

    Since the end of June, a report marked "NATO SECRET" has been circulating in headquarters in Brussels that unsparingly lists the alliance's weaknesses.
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  • Braw in WSJ: How Much Can Germany's Military Expand?

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  • AfD’s Rise Puts Xenophobia Front and Center in Germany

    The rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is unwelcome news for Germany’s minorities, particularly its four-million-plus Muslim community.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s re-election to a fourth term in office on September 24 was marred by the fact that the AfD made history by becoming the first nationalist political party to win seats in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, since World War II. 

    Germany, along with France, is home to the largest number of Muslims in Europe. This community is relatively well integrated in society, despite claims from the far-right that Islam is an obstacle to integration.

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