November 2020, US-Präsidentschaftswahlen. Die ganze Welt blickt auf die USA, so auch wir in Deutschland. „Wie geht es weiter mit der atlantischen Gemeinschaft?“, fragen sich einige. Für viele ist klar, dass es nur besser werden kann, wenn Trump aus dem Amt gewählt wird. Zu lange, so denken viele, wurde im Weißen Haus gelogen, betrogen und respektlos mit der Welt – einschließlich Amerikas Partnern – umgegangen. Unzählige Zeitungen malen sich aus, wie die USA bis 2024 wohl aussehen würden. In den Projektionen schwingt eine klare Nachricht mit: Wir erwarten mehr von den USA. Viele in Deutschland sind enttäuscht von einem Land, das aber gleichzeitig noch immer viele Sehnsüchte zu wecken scheint. Da stellt sich die Frage, was wir eigentlich von den USA wollen?
NATO summits are usually highly organized events. Heads of State and Government adopt previously negotiated decisions and define work plans up to the next summit. Above all, they aim to demonstrate unity and solidarity so that friend and foe alike believe that the NATO allies will defend each other in the event of a crisis. But this summit threatens to disrupt this process, because no one knows how US President Trump will behave. Will we see a revival of a brash Mr. Trump G7 Summit when the US President retrospectively ‘unsigned’ the communiqué via tweet? Or will he act as a patriarch, whose stubborn grumblings are ultimately met with cooperation, and keep the family bound together?
Germany and the United States have a deeply intertwined relationship, historically, politically, economically, and culturally. The end of the Cold War, however, has arguably catalyzed a transition to a new world order, in which Germany has broken away from its traditional dependence on the West, the so-called Westbindung. Given the two divided camps of thought this development has caused, this thesis analyzes if, how, and to what extent the German-American relationship has changed. I evaluate the German-American relationship of recent years in three dimensions: Germany’s military actions and role in international crises compared to those of the United States, in respect to the Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria conflicts; Germany’s economic policies and preferences regarding the TTIP; and German public opinion of the transatlantic relationship. To inform my thesis, I conducted a literature review of existing academic opinion on the subject, analyzed German media coverage of the case studies in question and extracted data from polls conducted of German citizens. I conclude that a break from Atlanticism is unlikely, as doing so would contradict Germany’s core economic and political interests.
The transatlantic democracies are an alliance in search of a mission. The European powers have differing views about what that mission should be in the age of Trump. On the other side of the Atlantic, more than a year into office, it remains unclear whether the Trump administration has a contribution to the debate. These facts were on full display last week with the visits of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Washington. The receptions each received were a study in contrast. Macron was welcomed with the honors of a full state visit, including President Trump’s first state dinner. The two leaders almost reveled in their physical embrace of each other. The Merkel-Trump interaction, on the other hand, was short and to the point, warm but business-like.