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Will Germany Permit Joint European Security?

In an institution as large and complex as the European Union, there will always be blame to go around when efforts to deepen economic and political integration fail to get off the ground. But when it comes to developing a joint EU defense capability, it is clear where the problem lies.

BERLIN – US President Donald Trump has proved truly disruptive to the transatlantic relationship. His questioning of America’s mutual-defense commitments presents NATO with an ominous and potentially existential crisis. The US security guarantee, after all, is one of the two pillars upon which European peace and prosperity have rested since the end of World War II. And nor has Trump spared the second pillar: the rules-based global trade system and economic order.

Just two years after Trump’s election, Europeans find themselves shivering alone in the icy winds of international politics, rightly wondering what is to be done. It stands to reason that Europe must deepen its internal bonds, close ranks, and strengthen its military capacity. Some might question whether this is what Europeans truly want, given that we are living in the age of Brexit, which will deprive the European Union of its second-strongest military and economic power.

But just because the British don’t seem to know what they want doesn’t mean the rest of Europe is in the same boat. In fact, most Europeans favor a stronger, more powerful EU with a joint security policy.

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