Germany and the United States: no longer united in safeguarding the transatlantic security community?

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The Transatlantic Security Community – the core centre of the liberal post-war international order – is being challenged by internal and external crises. Internal factors like the rise of populist parties and illiberal democracy, Brexit and strategic changes in Trump’s foreign policy have put a strain on the transatlantic security community’s two main institutional pillars, NATO and the European Union. External factors like Russia’s revisionism in Ukraine and Syria and China’s geo-economic challenge to the established order further question the stability of this community. The emerging systemic multipolarity adds additional pressure on the 70 year old Atlantic Alliance, weakened by the United States’ strategic retreat, the transatlantic crisis and the European impasse. Trump’s ‘America First’ policy has meant a more transactional and unilateralist approach towards America’s European allies, with Germany in particular being accused of military freeriding in NATO and unfair trading policies in its relationship with the US. The paper problematizes the changes in Germany’s relationship with the United States and sets out to analyse the foundations of the Transatlantic Security Community, the possible causes for transatlantic and European divergences and suggest how Germany and the United States share an added responsibility in safeguarding the transatlantic security community.

Keywords: Transatlantic Relations, Germany, United States

Patrícia Daehnhardt | IPRI-NOVA

Patricia Daehnhardt is a researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Affairs (IPRI-NOVA) and Assistant Professor in International Relations at Lusíada University. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on German foreign and security policy, Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and on the United States, Russia and the European Union as international actors of the global order. She has published widely, in Portuguese and in English, in IR journals and books.