12/02/2011 · Düsseldorf · Industrie-Club Düsseldorf
Lunch Round Table
Düsseldorf: »Germany and America: Partners in Leadership in a Post American World?«
Stephen F. Szabo, Executive Director Transatlantic Academy Washington D.C.
"Germany and America: Partners in Leadership in a Post American World?"
The Amerika Haus e.V. NRW in cooperation with the Industrie-Club e.V. Düsseldorf invited to discuss the current state of the German-American relationship in the light of the new global balance of power. The current challenge for this partnership particularly concerns dealing with the rise of non-Western powers in a sometimes already called “post-American”-world as well as developing common answers to new global challenges.
Stephen F. Szabo explicitly praised Germany for its foreign policy and its leadership role in Europe. Addressing the US, he first remarked that their position of power had undergone a profound change since the end of the Cold War. After the implosion of the Soviet Union, the US had been the only remaining superpower in a unipolar world without the challenge of a single rival. The entire 1990s had been shaped by the unparalleled military and economic dominance of the US, which had led to Madeleine Albright’s remark of the “indispensable nation”. Military deployments such as in Iraq in 1991 or in Kosovo in 1999 would have been easy in comparison to America’s ongoing wars and the rise of new political rivals today. Szabo expressed his astonishment as how far this position of power had changed within not even a decade since the September 11th attacks. Nowadays the US are in large measure dependent on China, so that both countries were locked in a stalemate competition. “It’s pretty hard to say ‘No’ to your banker”, Szabo quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and pointed out that this mutual competition is going to further increase. The American military, however, was playing a minor role compared to the times of the Cold War. It had to be reorganized and the defense budget to be cut. Due to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US would be overstrained and not even capable of dealing with another, newly arising world crisis.
As another development Szabo identified a reduced fear of US power, which could be seen in the rise and the policies of China and India. He stressed that decolonization had enabled “emerging markets” and significantly reduced poverty. Szabo highly credited the Obama-administration for its foreign policy, as they would manage to lead from the middle. As much as Szabo praised German policies, he criticized the internal state of the US. American decline would be self-inflicted and not caused by external events. The German-American relationship, however, would continue to be a deep, reliable and prolific partnership of shared values and interests.
Dr. Stephen Szabo is Executive Director of the Transatlantic Academy and has been researching the German-American relations and German foreign and security policy for decades. Prior to joining the Academy, he was also Transatlanctic Professor at Johns Hopkins University and taught at the Foreign Service Institute of the State Department.
Here you can find Dr. Szabo's presentation.
Here you can find a video of Dr. Szabo's presentation
Amerika Haus e.V. NRWTelephone: 0221 – 169 26 350 │ Fax: 0221 – 169 26 308
Further information on the subject:
The German-American Relationship: In the Name of What?, Catherine Cheney (Huffington Post, 09/27/2011)