Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The US and Europe hold a hand that’s too good to fold

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

With the end of the Cold War, many believed the West had prevailed. In his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama wrote that humanity had reached “the end-point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” A few years later, Samuel Huntington issued a gloomier prognosis in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking …

Trade war: Donald Trump is isolating the US

By Alexander Hagelüken

Donald Trump says that Donald Trump has a date in mind. By then, America’s trade deficit with Europe is supposed to have vanished. Until that date, the US president will deploy the same threats he’s using to blackmail China, a global power. But Trump has not yet considered the ways in which Europe can defend itself, nor has he realized that in turning the global system of multilateral free trade …

Nord Stream 2 and its myriad stakeholders

By André Wolf

The project was almost 90 percent finished. Preparations for the inaugural festivities were underway. But the US was set on putting a halt to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline no matter what. Even though the ships belonging to the Swiss contractor Allseas would most likely have completed their work within a couple of days, Donald Trump abruptly threatened sanctions on companies involved in the project. And then, early this …

Knock, knock! Huawei’s there

Knock, knock! Huawei’s there
By Daniel Leisegang

It appears that the impasse relating to Huawei is finally coming to an end. Starting back in May 2019, a heated discussion had emerged within the EU as to whether or not the controversial Chinese tech giant should be involved in the expansion of the ultra-fast fifth-generation (5G) mobile network in Europe.

Ever since, two distinct fronts have stood almost irreconcilably opposed to one another. On one side are the …

Live to debate another day – not having easy answers is a liberal asset, not a moral failing

By Lutz Lichtenberger

Jeremiads about the state of liberal democracy and its institutions have been the dissonant theme of 2019. The West as a whole is in decline; NATO is obsolete; once proud and powerful parliaments and congresses have been rendered superfluous. Autocratic rulers like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un seize the day while Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro seem more inclined to emulate their …

Donald Trump wants Germany to beef up its military spending. But the real numbers underlying the dispute don’t add up

By Johannes Leithäuser

When US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Biarritz, France, in August, it marked the first time the two had ever held a meeting at which the dominant theme was not their dispute over the level of German military spending.

Trump has visited Paris, London and Warsaw twice since coming to office, but has not yet made the trip to Berlin. This, in turn, highlights the …

The German Trade Union Confederation is celebrating its 70th birthday this year at a time when representing workers’ interests is as urgent as ever

By Claus Leggewie

It’s quite possible that the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) has made more enemies than friends in recent years. In 2014 and 2015, it repeatedly called for widespread, all-day strikes in an attempt to achieve higher wages and better working conditions for its roughly 35,000 members – locomotive drivers and other railroad personnel. “All engines cease without your elbow grease.” In this case, the defiant workers’ slogan was quite literally …

NATO and the EU were created in a world that vanished 30 years ago. Clinging to that lost era means denying the facts of the present day

By Gregor Schöllgen

If solidarity is a valuable commodity, then the West was heaven on earth. It doesn’t matter that NATO and the various European communities started out as emergency solutions. They were the answer of North American and Western European states to the specific challenges posed by the Cold War. The actions, especially in Eastern Europe, of Stalin and his successors were seen as so dangerous and unpredictable that Western nations were …

Trump’s offer to buy Greenland is a sign that an ecologically destabilized Arctic could become the theater of a new Cold War

By Joachim Müller-Jung

The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans is wreaking havoc in the Arctic, where the summers used to be short and cold and winters prohibited any type of commerce – and any type of war, for the temperature was unthinkably cold and storms punished anyone bold enough or unlucky enough to be there. It used to be unimaginable that the Arctic would ever thaw, but today’s say that it …

The wander years

By Nina Kallmeier

Johanna Röh is one of the very few women ever to take up the old German tradition of the Wanderjahre, a custom that involves spending several years traveling the world as a craftsperson Johanna Röh had a queasy feeling. Just moments before, her friends and relatives had carried her with pomp and circumstance past the sign marking the city limits of her home town of Kassel. Minutes later, she …