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Posts Tagged ‘Mead’

A Stronger Germany Could Save Europe

Posted by hkarner - 29. Januar 2020

Date: 28‑01‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Angela Merkel’s likely successor wants more defense spending and overseas deployments.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp‑Karrenbauer

It’s time for Berlin to take a more assertive stance in world affairs—that’s the opinion of German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp‑Karrenbauer. Ms. Kramp‑Karrenbauer is the heir apparent to Chancellor Angela Merkel and replaced her in 2018 as party chairman for the Christian Democratic Union. This soft‑spoken woman, known as AKK, told me her views on Germany’s position in world politics in an interview here last week and a follow‑up exchange of emails.

Germany, and for that matter Europe, can no longer go on in the old way, she said. In a new international reality marked by the “return of great‑power competition for spheres of influence and supremacy,” Germany “cannot just wait for others to act. . . . We must develop our own concepts, present our own options. . . . It is our duty as Germans, and it is very much in our own interest, to join in these international debates, to drive them forward, to play a part in protecting the international order.”

Since becoming defense minister last summer, AKK has been making waves, most notably when she delivered a speech in Munich last fall that called on Germany to raise military spending gradually to 2% of gross domestic product and urged Germans to consider deployments as far afield as the Sahel and the Indo‑Pacific. Germany already has about 1,000 troops in Mali as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission there. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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All Aboard the Crazy Train

Posted by hkarner - 22. Januar 2020

Date: 21‑01‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Or at least that’s how populism’s rise feels to those at the World Economic Forum.

Davos, Switzerland

For half a century the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum has brought a mix of business leaders, politicians, pundits, academics, activists, “social entrepreneurs” and celebrities to this small village high in the Swiss Alps. For the year‑round inhabitants, the conference is a mixed blessing. Security barriers and heavy traffic turn the narrow streets into a nightmare. With well‑situated one‑bedroom apartments renting for as much as $5,000 a night, however, many a Davos‑dweller can escape the madness and pocket a nice profit. The resort’s hotels also make out well; with corporations and governments competing to reserve ballrooms and salons for their events, local hoteliers can clear more in a week than they likely could make during the whole ski season in the old pre‑WEF days.

There is something inescapably ridiculous about a gathering this self‑important; certainly Marie Antoinette and her friends dressing up as shepherdesses to celebrate the simple life has nothing on the more than 100 billionaires descending, often by private jet, on an exclusive Swiss ski resort for four days of ostentatious hand‑wringing about the problems of the poor and the dangers of climate change. This year an earnest young aide at registration told me that, to reduce the event’s carbon footprint, no paper maps of the town were being distributed; one could almost feel the waves of relief from the nearby Alpine glaciers at this sign of green progress. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China Is Europe’s Problem Too

Posted by hkarner - 27. November 2019

Date: 26-11-2019

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Only the trans-Atlantic alliance can counter Beijing’s moves in the Pacific.

What will the trans-Atlantic alliance look like in a world focused on the Indo-Pacific? That, more than President Trump’s unpredictable diplomacy, is the question that haunts Europe.

During the Cold War, protecting Europe from Soviet aggression was Washington’s highest foreign-policy priority. That didn’t only mean that the U.S. put troops in Europe. Washington took European opinions seriously, engaged with Europeans, cut deals with them and was willing to make concessions to preserve alliance unity.

Clearly, some of that has changed. The next U.S. president may not share Mr. Trump’s undiplomatic instincts or his affinity for Brexiteers such as Nigel Farage and anti-Brussels figures like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán. But will he or she engage in the ritualistic ceremonies of diplomatic consultation with the various chancellors, presidents, commissioners and high representatives that Europeans so love? When America’s most urgent foreign policy worries involve smoothing over Japanese-Korean spats or facing down China in the Taiwan Strait, just how relevant will Europe be? When Europe calls Washington, will anybody answer the phone? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Nationalism Is Necessary but Insufficient

Posted by hkarner - 10. Juli 2019

Date: 09-07-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Trump’s approach helps win allies in Asia. But it isn’t a basis for world order.

As President Trump reveled in air-force flyovers and a tank display this Fourth of July, the idea that dominates his administration’s domestic and foreign policies was on full display. That idea is nationalism, and Mr. Trump hopes it will reshape both American politics and the international order.

At home, Mr. Trump relies on the power of nationalism to isolate and marginalize his opponents. At a time when some on the left believe it is more important to denounce America’s failings than to hail its accomplishments, Mr. Trump seeks to wrap himself in a flag that most Americans revere. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Case Against Europe

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juni 2019

Date: 04-06-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

The president sees Brussels as too weak, too liberal, and anti-American on trade.

President Trump

“Why does he hate us?” is the question American foreign-policy types often hear from European friends and colleagues when the subject of Donald Trump comes up—as it often does. With Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Europe this week, it seems an auspicious time to attempt an answer.

The news isn’t all bad. When Mr. Trump and senior administration officials talk about China, they attack it for abusing the international system in a ruthless quest for global hegemony. Their reading of Europe is different: that a mix of dysfunctional policies, unrealistic ideas about world politics, and poor institutional arrangements has locked the Continent on a trajectory of decline. As Mr. Trump’s team sees it, they aren’t trying to weaken Europe; they are trying to save Europe from itself.

There are five elements of the Trump critique of the European Union. First, some of the “new nationalists” believe multinational entities like the EU are much weaker and less effective than the governments of nation-states—so much so that the development of the EU has weakened the Western alliance as a whole. In this view, cooperation between nation-states is good and through it countries can achieve things they couldn’t achieve on their own. But trying to overinstitutionalize that cooperation is a mistake. The resulting bureaucratic structures and Byzantine politics and decision-making processes paralyze policy, alienate public opinion, and create a whole significantly less than the sum of its parts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Incredible Shrinking Europe

Posted by hkarner - 12. Februar 2019

Date: 12-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

The Continent’s grand unity project is failing, and its global influence is fading.

Last week offered fresh evidence that the most consequential historical shift of the last 100 years continues: the decline of Europe as a force in world affairs. As Deutsche Bank warned of a German recession, the European Commission cut the 2019 eurozone growth forecast from an already anemic 1.9% to 1.3%. Economic output in the eurozone was lower in 2017 than it was in 2009; over that same period, gross domestic product grew 139% in China, 96% in India, and 34% in the U.S., according to the World Bank.

As its economy lags behind, Europe is becoming more divided politically. Brexit negotiations have inflamed tempers on both sides of the English Channel; Central European countries like Hungary and Poland are alienated from the West; much of Southern Europe remains bitter about the aftermath of the euro crisis; and anti-EU political parties continue to gain support across the bloc. A recent report from the European Council on Foreign Relations projects that anti-EU parties from the right and left are on course to control enough seats in the next European Parliament that they will be able to disrupt the EU and weaken it further. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The EU was founded to stop Europe’s decline, not reflect it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Imperialism Will Be Dangerous for China

Posted by hkarner - 19. September 2018

Date: 18-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Beijing risks blowback as it exports surplus economic capacity to Africa and Asia.

China’s real problem isn’t the so-called Thucydides trap, which holds that a rising power like China must clash with an established power like the U.S., the way ancient Athens clashed with Sparta. It was Lenin, not Thucydides, who foresaw the challenge the People’s Republic is now facing: He called it imperialism and said it led to economic collapse and war.

Lenin defined imperialism as a capitalist country’s attempt to find markets and investment opportunities abroad when its domestic economy is awash with excess capital and production capacity. Unless capitalist powers can keep finding new markets abroad to soak up the surplus, Lenin theorized, they would face an economic implosion, throwing millions out of work, bankrupting thousands of companies and wrecking their financial systems. This would unleash revolutionary forces threatening their regimes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Putin Is Weak. Europe Doesn’t Have to Be

Posted by hkarner - 25. Juli 2018

Date: 24-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Moscow is a sideshow. The real dangers come from within the Continent.

President Vladimir Putin in Kaliningrad, Russia, July 20.

We hear too much about Vladimir Putin these days and not nearly enough about the actual forces reshaping the world. Yes, the Russian president has proved a brilliant tactician. And, President Trump’s fantasies aside, he is a ruthless enemy of American power and European coherence. Yet Russia remains a byword for backwardness and corruption. Its gross domestic product is less than 10% that of the U.S. or the European Union. With a declining population and a fundamentally adverse geopolitical situation, the Russian Federation remains a shadow of its Soviet predecessor.

Add up the consequences of Mr. Putin’s troops, nukes, disinformation campaigns, financial aid to populist parties—and throw in the power of his authoritarian example. Russia still does not have the ability to roll back the post-1990 democratic revolution, overpower the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or dissolve the EU. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Truman Can Teach Trump

Posted by hkarner - 23. Juli 2017

Date: 22-07-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The politically astute Cold Warrior knew how to navigate the tides of populism at home while maintaining America’s leadership abroad

By Walter Russell Mead

The foreign policy of the United States hasn’t seen a strategic crisis this profound since 1947, when President Harry Truman summoned the American people to fight Soviet ambitions in Europe. The Cuban missile crisis was more dramatic and the agony of Vietnam more wrenching, but since Truman, American presidents have believed that a global, outward-looking, order-building foreign policy was the necessary foundation for U.S. strategy and a peaceful, prosperous world.

No longer. President Donald Trump, backed by a substantial segment of the American public, has distanced himself from some of the key foreign-policy assumptions and policies of the postwar era. Longstanding pillars of American strategy—free trade, alliances in Europe and Asia, defense of human rights, commitment to international institutions and the rule of law—have come into question as the new president denounces today’s global architecture as a bad deal for the U.S. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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