The Obama era will be remembered as the time when America's leadership role in Europe began to shift. Europeans got more freedom of action, but could no longer outsource their foreign and military responsibilities to Washington. Whether Clinton or Trump is elected president, Europe will have to do more.
U.S. defense engagement priorities in Europe are shifting in the face of Russian aggression. By engaging strategically on NATO's northeastern flank, the United States can strengthen deterrence while minimizing inadvertent escalation.
Hans Binnendijk argues that the United States may need to follow a more collaborative approach to foreign affairs, engaging and sharing burdens with partners who until now have not pulled their weight.
As national security challenges mount, the U.S. may need to follow a more collaborative approach to foreign affairs, engaging and sharing burdens with partners who until now have not pulled their weight.
The Russia that the United States faces today is more assertive and more unpredictable—and thus, in many ways, more dangerous—than the Russia that the U.S. confronted during the latter part of the Cold War.
The United States' relationship with France should be recognized and strengthened. France retains the military capability and the political moxie to contribute significantly and aggressively to collective responses to security threats to the Atlantic Alliance.
The U.S. needs to consider stationing forces in Eastern Europe to support its commitment to protect the independence of the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania against Russian aggression. If not, and Russia invades, the options available to this or a future U.S. president are stark.
Germany and America are leading Western policy in addressing the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The basic strategy is to support Ukraine and pressure Moscow to halt aggression, while leaving the door open to diplomacy. Sustaining Western unity is essential, but may not be easy to achieve.
Developing an effective and sustainable strategy to deal with the multi-layered problem that Putin's Russia has created requires deterring Russia while also engaging it. The U.S. and Europe should have confidence that they are up to the task.
Assistant Policy Analyst; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Education M.A. in diplomacy and international relations, American Graduate School in Paris; M.A. in strategic negotiation and international relations, Université Paris-Sud XI - Sceaux; B.A. in finance and international business, University of Texas at Brownsville