The US, Germany and the Strategic Divide in Europe

The NATO divide is not just a trans-Atlantic split but a European one as well.

George Friedman |February 19, 2019

The Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of the trans-Atlantic security community, was held this weekend in Germany. Two things stood out. First, Germany is trying to redefine NATO’s primary functions in important ways. Second, the tensions between the United States and Europe are being redefined as tensions between a U.S.-led bloc and a German-led bloc. While Germany claims to speak for all of Europe, it’s actually leading a faction within the Continent against the United States and a group of European nations whose interests are more aligned with those of Washington.

At the conference, the most important disagreement between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was over Russia. The American view is that Russia is an adversary whose strategic interests are at odds with those of the Western alliance. Its behavior in former Soviet buffer states, in the Middle East and in intelligence operations represents a threat that must be contained an

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