Is the German-American Relationship in Trouble?

On April 11, the Center for the National Interest organized a small, off-the-record lunch discussion with Jürgen Trittin, a member of the German Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the former German Minister for the Environment. Mr. Trittin discussed U.S.-German relations and the Transatlantic relationship, among other topics. Ambassador Richard Burt, former Ambassador to Germany and a

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“…maybe the most important policy decision that he [President Trump] has made is to outsource strategic decisions about Afghanistan to the Defense Department. For now, some additional four thousand troops, the department announced today, are headed to Afghanistan. This is not what Trump supporters voted for. If he heads further into Afghanistan, he may find that it becomes a military and political quagmire in addition to his current troubles.”

-Jacob Heilbrunn

“Russia is prepared to help its partner Iran, especially on matters of shared interest. But there is little if any evidence that Moscow is willing to support Iran in areas in which they disagree — particularly if that support carries real costs to Russia’s other interests.”

-Paul J. Saunders

“Russia is using the Syrian muscle to demonstrate that they have military options…They went to Syria not just because of the local position but to demonstrate that they cannot be pushed around by the US and sanctions.”

-Dimitri K. Simes

“North Korea really is the land of lousy options. Since 1993, when—thanks to their declaration—we first became aware of North Korea’s emerging nuclear capability, we’ve discussed possible military action, we’ve done negotiations in many different formats, we’ve had agreements (e.g. Agreed Framework), North Korea cheated on the agreements, and we’ve applied sanctions repeatedly that are always advertised as “effective this time.” North Korea’s emerging capabilities show how effective we have been.”—

-Wallace C. Gregson

“’Without progress on Ukraine, I don’t see how one [the Trump administration] would ease sanctions…And it’s not like Russia is going to send special forces to Damascus to arrest Assad and deliver him to The Hague or to President Trump.’”

-Paul J. Saunders

“While we are certainly in for a time of tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, we are not destined for war or a conflict. Now is the time for the Trump administration to get tough when it comes to North Korea. Indeed, the era of strategic patience, thanks to Pyongyang’s rockets, is truly over.”

-Harry J. Kazianis


After Russia’s Election: A New Crisis in U.S.-Russia Relations?

On March 26, the Center for the National Interest organized a panel discussion entitled “After Russia’s Election: A New Crisis in U.S.-Russia Relations?” Panelists included George Beebe, director of the Center’s intelligence and national security program and a former head of the CIA’s Russia analysis as well as a foreign policy aide to former Vice

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