The anniversaries we mark this year represent great achievement, mixed with tragedy. 100 years of US relations with the newly-independent nations of Central Europe; eighty years from the start of the Second World War, in part the terrible consequence of US strategic withdrawal from Europe; thirty years since Central Europeans overthrew communism, which led to the end of “Yalta Europe”; twenty years since NATO’s first enlargement beyond the Iron Curtain, in which the United States played a leading role; and fifteen years since the European Union’s enlargement beyond that same line, led by Europeans and supported by the United States.
Congressional Democrats and the US Trade Representative (USTR) are inching toward agreement on key elements of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Trump administration is aiming to achieve Congressional approval of the new trade agreement during September or October, when it still may be possible to get it through the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives before 2020 electioneering is in full swing.
The delivery of a Russian air defense system to Turkey has jeopardized the defense relationship between the United States and one of its most important NATO and regional allies.
The first components of the Russian-built S-400 air defense system arrived in Ankara on July 12, according to the Turkish ministry of defense, beginning the fulfillment of an agreement Turkey signed with Russia in December 2017.
If ever there was a “wrong war at the wrong time,” the transatlantic trade conflict that’s boiling this summer defines it.
President Trump’s own National Security Strategy describes the primary US challenge to be major power competition with authoritarian China and Russia, yet the world’s leading democracies instead could be locked in a series of morale-sapping, growth-slowing and politically polarizing skirmishes.
A gathering of more than sixty Afghans in Qatar this week provided a rare opportunity for frank discussion on the open questions facing a society still gripped in a decades-long conflict. A group of Kabul-based political, civil society, and government-endorsed representatives sat across from more than a dozen Taliban political officers, in a wrenching exchange of grievances, hopes, and fears about a slew of long-standing and contentious issues.
A few years ago, I was asked by an international journalist to comment on rumors about the presence of French troops in eastern Libya. Purportedly, France was actively supporting former Qaddafi army general Khalifa Haftar in his attempt to expand his control over the entire region of Cyrenaica. This was done under the pretext of combating Islamic radical terrorists and other opponents of the general, who had been appointed as Marshal by the rubber stamp Libyan parliament in Tobruk.
Amidst rising discord between the United States and Europe over trade, financial contributions to NATO, and the threat from Iran, US policy makers should stop viewing Europe as a competitor, but rather as a friend whose prosperity and unity helps the United States, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš said on July 10.
“The [European Union] is the United States’ most natural ally,” Kariņš said at an Atlantic Council event on July 10 in Washington. “It is a friend that you don’t have to gain…[but] it is a friend that you can lose,” he warned. “Europe without the United States and the United States without Europe are only half [powers]. Combined, [they are] the leading power in the world to protect these three fundamental [principles] that too many people take for granted: freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”
London’s top representative in Washington has resigned his post after unprecedented pressure from the White House against a top US ally, the latest sign of an increasingly rocky special relationship.
Sir Kim Darroch, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States since 2016, announced his resignation on July 10 after days of pressure over comments he made about US President Donald J. Trump in a series of secret diplomatic cables—leaked to The Daily Mail and published on July 6—that described the US president as “incompetent,” and his administration as “uniquely dysfunctional.”
The US administration just announced a new $4 billion list of European Union (EU) products which it could apply additional tariffs on in response to the ongoing dispute between both sides of the Atlantic over government subsidies to aerospace companies Boeing and Airbus. While the United States thinks it can create better economic outcomes by forcing concessions out of Europe, this new action will only continue the lose-lose spiral of threats gripping the transatlantic trade relationship. Washington could pursue a different strategy, however, by legitimately working with Europe to reduce government subsidies, while also taking tangible steps to strengthen antitrust enforcement at home. The transatlantic trade environment, growth prospects, and public finances would greatly benefit from such a change in approach.