America owes Donald J. Trump an open mind and a chance to lead, Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. So does Europe.
But understandably, Europeans are deeply worried about some of the views expressed by Mr. Trump during the campaign. This moment of trans-Atlantic uncertainty must end quickly. It is essential for the president-elect to explain his plans without delay. How will he square the circle between strengthening America’s global role while at the same time reducing America’s foreign commitments — both goals he has announced? If he really means what he says about the value of NATO (or lack thereof), what exactly does he intend to do?… Seguir leyendo »
Les récents progrès des négociations entre les États-Unis et l’Iran suscitent une grande inquiétude dans certains pays. Benyamin Nétanyahou vient de s’en faire le porte-parole devant le Congrès américain, sans craindre de forcer le trait ni de se brouiller davantage encore avec le Président Obama. Les opposants à l’accord qui semble s’esquisser, notamment en Israël mais aussi parmi les monarchies du Golfe, redoutent des lacunes et des imprécisions qui laisseraient à l’Iran la possibilité d’accéder à l’arme atomique et de devenir la deuxième puissance nucléaire au Moyen-Orient (Israël étant jusqu’à présent la seule).
Il faut bien reconnaître que ce scénario serait profondément déstabilisateur, car il pourrait précipiter une course aux armements nucléaires dans la région.… Seguir leyendo »
Which emerging threat is the world missing right now?
After a truly horrendous year for international peace and security, this question will be even more important for the leaders, analysts and media gathering this week at the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC).
A year ago, the war in Syria and the crisis in Ukraine were the international community’s preoccupying challenges. But many of the participants in last year’s MSC would likely now admit that they did not appreciate the true gravity of these events — let alone what might come next.
Only a few months later, the rapid escalation and regionalization of both crises, together with developments elsewhere, led many observers to proclaim that 2014 marked the beginning of a less peaceful and more chaotic era in international relations.… Seguir leyendo »
Este fin de semana, Helmut Schmidt y Henry Kissinger participarán en un debate en la Conferencia de Múnich sobre la Seguridad (CMS), como hicieron hace medio siglo, cuando participaron en la primera Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnung (la antecesora de la actual). Entretanto, muchos acontecimientos habidos en todo el mundo nos han dado motivos para alegrarnos, pero también para reflexionar.
No sólo las crisis que se extienden desde Ucrania hasta Siria impedirán a la CMS, la quincuagésima, convertirse en un ejercicio de autocelebración. La asociación transatlántica, que tradicionalmente ha sido la columna vertebral de la conferencia, ha tenido momentos mejores en el pasado.
Ahora los Estados Unidos han reconocido por fin que en los últimos meses se ha perdido mucha confianza por la magnitud de la vigilancia emprendida por su Agencia Nacional de Seguridad.… Seguir leyendo »
Más de diez semanas después de sus elecciones generales, Alemania sigue sin tener un nuevo gobierno, pero, aunque las negociaciones sobre la coalición posterior a las elecciones se han prolongado más de lo habitual, existe poco desacuerdo entre los partidos que la compondrán sobre la política exterior y de seguridad.
De hecho, cuando la Unión Cristanodemócrata de Angela Merkel y el Partido Socialdemócrata (SPD) presentaron por fin su acuerdo de coalición el 27 de noviembre, hacía dos semanas que el grupo de trabajo sobre política exterior y de seguridad había acabado su trabajo. Excepto unos pocos retoques que por lo general resuenan más dentro del país que entre los socios europeos e internacionales de Alemania (como, por ejemplo, el de requerir que el Gobierno sea más transparente en relación con las exportaciones de armas a regímenes autocráticos), la continuidad y la cautela seguirán siendo las consignas de la política exterior y de seguridad alemana.… Seguir leyendo »
In the wake of revelations that the American government tapped the cellphone of Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, trans-Atlantic relations have reached a low point not seen since the Iraq war.
In fact, the current crisis may be worse: Back then it was a question of policy disagreement; this time, it is a matter of broken trust and personal humiliation, the worst thing that can happen to a political leader.
For Germans, it is particularly painful. We remember well the days of the Cold War, when East Germans like Ms. Merkel were spied on by the Stasi. Again, in some ways this is worse: The Stasi wasn’t our friend; America is.… Seguir leyendo »
Security policies in the Euro-Atlantic region — an area that includes six of the world’s 10 largest economies, four of the five declared nuclear weapon states, and more than 95 percent of global nuclear inventories — are dangerously out of date and demand urgent attention. With a new approach that is grounded in today’s opportunities and challenges, the European community, Russia and the United States can chart a more secure path for their people and the world and avoid the risks and costs of a new downward spiral in relations between states.
The first step is to get out from under Cold War-era strategies and tactics that are ill-suited to the real threats we face.… Seguir leyendo »
The NATO summit in Chicago starting on Sunday is expected to declare an “interim capability” of a NATO missile defense shield. Although Russia had been invited by NATO at its summit in Lisbon in 2010 to cooperate in setting up a joint ballistic missile defense system, or B.M.D., the alliance is now poised to proceed unilaterally, leaving Russia out in the cold.
It would make more sense to call a brief pause. The decision to set up a missile defense system was a compromise from the start, containing two equally important strategic elements: One, a system to better protect NATO territory against future ballistic threats; two, to cooperate with Russia on planning and implementation of the B.M.D.… Seguir leyendo »
At the close of the Cold War, hopes were high for a more organized and peaceful international system. Two decades later, there is not much sign of one emerging.
The focus of governments is shifting away from the Euro-Atlantic community — the heart of the international system up to now — and there is little consensus within the international community on how to deal with today’s challenges of sovereign debt, economic recession, climate change, nuclear proliferation and radicalism.
In many ways, this historic “pivot” from the Euro-Atlantic region represents a form of progress; the great rivalries between the United States, Russia and the European powers that produced two world wars and threatened to destroy the world during the Cold War are hopefully a relic of the past.… Seguir leyendo »
Commentators on both sides of the Atlantic have spent the last year trying to explain Germany’s halting, confounding approach to the euro crisis. Digging deep into the country’s history, a recent article in The Economist emerged with a telling question from the theologian Martin Luther: Why should sinners be given an easy way out?
But there is a much simpler explanation: Germans firmly believe in European integration, but they have never wholeheartedly embraced the euro.
Grasping this ambiguity helps explain Chancellor Angela Merkel’s actions — or lack thereof — during the crisis. And it helps explain why Germans first tore apart the new euro rescue fund in public debate — only to turn around and adopt it by a huge majority in the Bundestag.… Seguir leyendo »
In 1996, after the conclusion of the Dayton peace talks on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the German Foreign Ministry felt that published accounts did not give enough credit to the German contributions to the peace accord. A decision was made to publish all 53 major diplomatic cables dispatched by the team I had led during the 21-day-negotiating process.
However, the documents were carefully edited before publication. For example, most references to the behavior of individual Bosnian or Serb leaders were deleted, as were occasional complaints about differences between ourselves and, say, the U.S. delegation led by Richard Holbrooke.
As a result, the public record of the negotiating process was presented as intended, but none of the participants found any reason to be unhappy.… Seguir leyendo »
No other initiative has more near-term potential to ease the NATO-Russian relationship out of its petulant, impacted state, while giving a positive jolt to the revived but tentative and unfocused interest in an improved and more inclusive European security system, than missile-defense cooperation.
Were North America, Europe and Russia to make defense of the entire Euro-Atlantic region against potential ballistic missile attack a joint priority, they would — apart from addressing a concrete problem — in a single stroke undermine much of the threat analysis that sets Russia against NATO, and prove that trilateral cooperation on a key security issue is possible.… Seguir leyendo »
At a NATO summit in Strasbourg in April 2009, a group of experts headed by Madeleine Albright was directed to prepare the ground for a new “strategic concept.” The group’s report, presented recently, correctly stresses that conditions for our common security have fundamentally changed since the last strategic concept was issued in 1999. Key developments have to be taken into account — 9/11, the weakened nuclear nonproliferation regime, piracy, energy risks and other security issues. Above all, there is the need to establish a strategic relationship with Russia.
The report underlines the value of some guiding principles — such as NATO’s central role to safeguard freedom and security for all its members; the fact that an attack on one is an attack on all; the need to maintain a strong trans-Atlantic link; and the common understanding that equitable sharing of risks and responsibilities is an important prerequisite for alliance cohesion.… Seguir leyendo »