Stefan Fröhlich in Foreign Affairs

Stefan Fröhlich in Foreign Affairs

On January 29, 2017, Foreign Affairs published an op-ed by Transatlantic Academy Senior Fellow Stefan Fröhlich, entitled "Looking to Germany: What Berlin Can and Can't Do for the Liberal Order."

"With U.S. President Donald Trump poised to pull the United States back from global leadership and with the United Kingdom mired in a messy withdrawal from the European Union... the hope among many anxious Europeans and Americans, worried about the fate of the liberal order and the transatlantic relationship, is that Germany will take the United States’ place as leader of the liberal order," Fröhlich writes. "But that is wishful thinking. Germany is already overwhelmed by crises at home and on its borders. And it cannot replace the United States as the world’s liberal hegemon for the simple reason that it isn’t one. In 2015, it had a defense budget that was one-twentieth the size of the United States’, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. It is not a nuclear power and has comparatively smaller ambitions to provide for the common good on the global stage than the United States."

"But neither is Berlin complacent," Fröhlich argues, "and there is much it can and is willing to do to ensure that Europe stays united, particularly on defense. For the first time since reunification, Germany is set to increase its defense budget, a rise of eight percent from 2016. And it is also moving to advance EU defense cooperation. In fact, even though Germany is unlikely to take over for the United States on European defense, it and its partners may find much opportunity in Trump’s threats to overcome their own political malaise."

The full article can be read here.