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Carnegie Europe: Why Germany Won’t Be America’s New Geopolitical Partner

Author: Jan Techau, Director, Carnegie Europe
June 18, 2013

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"Obama is right to invest in Europe. He is right to devote special attention to Germany. But he should not expect any immediate return on his investment."

U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Berlin this week is many things.

On the one hand, it's a long overdue investment in one of America's most important bilateral relationships. It's a thinly veiled gesture of support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her campaign for reelection this September. And it's an attempt to restore some of the old magic with Europeans who feel betrayed by the man who dared to ignore them on Guantanamo, drone warfare, and climate change.

But, on the other hand, Obama's trip is also a desperate effort to find a partner in Europe with whom the United States can finally talk serious geopolitics. America is starting to realize that, even in the age of the pivot to Asia, it still needs Europeans to get stuff done on a global scale.

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