Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Sommer Time

By Detlef Prinz

For us, Theo Sommer was always Ted.

The invitation to call him Ted was both a sign of familiarity and an expression of generosity, magnanimity and the absence of any kind of conceit on his part. People who had the pleasure of working with him never found themselves speaking to Herr Sommer, that towering figure behind DIE ZEIT. Instead, they were always inevitably talking to Ted.

Theo …

Dear Mr. President

By Detlef Prinz

A letter to President Joe Biden from the publisher Detlef W. Prinz

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations! When today, at 12 noon Washington time, you swear your oath to the US Constitution and are officially inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, the world will breathe a collective and deep sigh of relief. The aberration is no more. America is back.

But let’s not kid ourselves – yours will …


By Juliane Schäuble

Donald Trump wants one thing above all others: unconditional victory. Everything he does revolves around the consideration of whether the move will benefit him personally.

He pulled off a surprising win in 2016. As the 45th US president, he has since busied himself with smashing the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and setting the course for his reelection on Nov. 3, 2020.

The fact that his prospects for success …

US and China: Rocky road ahead

By Theo Sommer

For almost a decade, China’s relentless rise has been feeding fears that, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Beijing was steadily tiptoeing to world domination. The most remarkable economic transformation in the history of mankind went hand in hand with China’s burgeoning ambition to regain the position it lost in the early nineteenth century as the center of the world, with the Middle Kingdom ruling “all under heaven.”

China has …

Homecoming game: US troops leaving Germany?

By Johannes Leithäuser

US President Donald Trump’s idea of withdrawing a significant number of US troops from Germany is neither new nor a surprise. The White House issued the same threat once before, just ahead of the NATO summit in July 2018. At the time, the reasons given for the potential transfer of US forces were Germany’s inadequate contribution to NATO’s defense capability and its intention of acquiring more natural gas from Russia …

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 …