Last year, when French president Emmanuel Macron declared in an interview with the Economist that NATO was “brain dead,” he caused a stir throughout Europe. Official European reactions came quickly, and they were negative across the continent. NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “any attempt to distance Europe from North America will not only weaken the trans-Atlantic alliance, it is also risking dividing Europe itself. European unity cannot replace trans-Atlantic unity.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that she could not support Macron, and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki went as far as to qualify Macron’s statements as “dangerous.” Rather than hearing the French wake-up call, the rest of Europe rallied around the NATO flag. Instead of advancing the European debate and generating support for greater European defense efforts as Macron probably hoped to do, his statements apparently had the opposite effect. Allies eventually decided to bury the controversy in a reflection-group process, following a German proposal. Macron recently repeated his call for a stronger Europe at the Munich Security Conference, causing less irritated reactions — yet this event should not be seen as representative of the European debate. A large number of Europeans remain skeptical of Macron’s vision of a less dependent Europe.

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Germany should lead the way towards NATO’s New European Pillar

The Alliance should use the reflection process to develop a new European pillar in NATO, in order to re-calibrate the relative weight of European and American commitments to the Alliance, both in terms of resources and decision making.

By Anna Wieslander

The new NATO European Defense Pillar

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THE RIGHT STUFF - Serbia’s Relations With the United States on the Mend

Authors: Jelena Milic, LTG (Ret.) Frederick Benjamin Hodges

Prospects for stability and security in the Western Balkans have improved in recent years, despite decades of conflict, historical grievances, economic stagnation, and the disruptive interference of the Kremlin. The West should encourage this trend by exerting more strongly its positive soft power — especially the attractiveness of its democratic values — rather than lecturing Serbia and other countries in the region about their shortcomings.

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In Latest Post-Impeachment Move, Trump Administration Shifts a Loyalist to the State Department

Political appointee Alexander Alden will take over a role in a bureau caught in the middle of Trump’s impeachment and trial.

Alexander Alden, a political appointee under U.S. President Donald Trump, is being moved from the White House to the State Department to manage relations with Europe, including issues related to China and the coronavirus, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.

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