When U.S. Vice President Joe Biden took to the podium at last February’s Munich Security Conference, he decided to err on the side of caution. Washington’s strategic shift toward Asia, Biden said, would have no impact on the thriving relationship between the United States and Europe. This was music to the ears of Europeans in the packed banquet hall of the Bayerische Hof Hotel. Biden’s words were clearly aimed at reassuring Europe that despite some difficulties, the trans-Atlantic relationship was intact. Biden said that America and Europe had never been so close. The relationship was alive and well. Nothing could [...]
Collective defense is a coordinated response to a common security problem by two or more countries. The core of collective defense is political: a commitment by different nations to come to each other’s aid if attacked. Existing collective security arrangements for the U.S. and its allies were designed for one kind of threat. Now they must deal with others, including new threats, if they are to remain relevant to national security. In particular, the U.S. and its allies agree that it would be useful to extend collective defense arrangements against potential cyberattacks, but implementation has proven difficult because of the [...]
Last week, at a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during Li’s visit to Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly disagreed with the European Commission’s plans to impose punitive tariffs against Chinese-made solar panels. The commission has accused China of unfair trade practices that undercut European producers. But Merkel’s concerns for German exports to China took precedence over European Union solidarity, highlighting the difficulties Brussels has faced in forging a unified policy toward Beijing. China has been a strategically important partner for Europe for at least two decades, but the economic crisis in Europe has changed the nature [...]
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