US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other key leaders in Berlin today to conclude a trip commemorating three decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Pompeo’s main focus will be on Germany’s economic relationships with China and Russia. The top US diplomat’s meetings come days after Denmark cleared one of the last legal hurdles to a proposed natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, known as Nord Stream 2. To the chagrin of Washington, Berlin also recently decided not to exclude Huawei Technologies from taking part in the rollout of Germany’s 5G networks.
Since the end of the Cold War, the US-German relationship has been in a slow state of decline, especially militarily. Disputes over NATO defence spending and Washington’s decision in August to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty have further weakened ties.
The Cold War US-German partnership was built off of a common military and ideological threat manifest in the Soviet Union. Until another shared geopolitical or military threat reunites the two countries and outweighs the economic benefits of Germany’s partnering with Russia and China, the relationship is likely to continue to struggle.
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Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.