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Talking Transatlantic, Turning Toward Asia?

Talking Transatlantic, Turning Toward Asia?

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Originally published in April 2009, this brief examines how President Obama makes his first trip to Europe amid growing signs that European leaders may resist his calls for help on resolving the economic crisis, contributing to Afghanistan, and managing detainees from Guantanamo. Europeans quietly wonder about the depth of President Obama's commitment to Europe.
Originally published in April 2009, this brief examines how President Obama makes his first trip to Europe amid growing signs that European leaders may resist his calls for help on resolving the economic crisis, contributing to Afghanistan, and managing detainees from Guantanamo. Europeans quietly wonder about the depth of President Obama's commitment to Europe.

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Published by: German Marshall Fund of the United States on Sep 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Summary: President Obama
makes his rst trip to Europe amidgrowing signs that European lead
-
ers may resist his calls for helpon resolving the economic crisis,contributing to Afghanistan, andmanaging detainees from Guanta
-
namo. Europeans quietly wonderabout the depth of PresidentObama’s commitment to Europe.The upcoming NATO and G-20summits, and the debates overAfghanistan and economic stimu
-
lus, will test the commitment of leaders from the developed anddeveloping worlds to the kind of liberal internationalism neces
-
sary to rekindle the prosperityand peace in which our commonvalues can ourish.
Foreign Policy Program
Opinion
President Obama makes his rst trip toEurope amid growing signs that Euro-pean leaders may resist his calls or helpon resolving the economic crisis, con-tributing to Aghanistan, and managingdetainees rom Guantanamo. Just belowthe surace, however, Europeans are wor-ried that the United States may be luredaway rom its historic commitment to thetrans-Atlantic alliance that dened the20th century and toward a rising Asia thatsome say will dene the 21st.Europeans quietly wonder about thedepth o President Obama’s commitmentto Europe. Ater all, his rst-ever visitsto France and Germany took place only last summer. British observers poredover every diplomatic detail o PrimeMinister Gordon Brown’s recent visit toWashington or any hint o a slip in close-ness (and ound several). It did not gounnoticed that the rst oreign leader tovisit President Obama in the White Housewas Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, orthat Asia was the destination o Secretary o State Hillary Clinton’s inaugural tripabroad.In act, U.S.-European ties have enduringstrengths that will not easily be erodedby the resurgence o Asian nations likeChina and India. America and Europehave the largest bilateral trade relation-ship in the global economy. Transatlanticperspectives on climate change are muchmore closely aligned relative to thoseo developing Asian nations that acedierent trade-os between growth andthe environment. Most undamentally,Europeans and Americans share a set o values grounded in liberal democracy andopen societies – values that Asian pow-ers like Japan, India, and Indonesia alsoembrace, creating the possibility or East-West convergence rather than divergencein coming years.Americans actually appear more Atlan-ticist than Europeans in some respects.Support or NATO has been declining inrecent years in Europe – but not in theUnited States. Polling by the GermanMarshall Fund shows that while Ameri-can support or NATO has been around60% since 2002, support in Germany ellsharply rom 74% to 62% in 2008 and inPoland rom 64% to 51%.Observers oten suggest that an older gen-eration o Europeans may be giving way to a younger generation or whom theAtlantic alliance is less important. Thisappears to be true in the United Kingdom,where 77% o 55-64 year-olds still say NATO is essential, compared with only 
Talking transatlantic, turning towardAsia?
 
by John K. Glenn and Daniel Twining*
 
 April 1, 2009
1744 R Street NWWashington, DC 20009T 1 202 745 3950F 1 202 265 1662E ino@gmus.org
*
John K. Glenn is Director o Foreign Policy and Daniel Twining is Senior Fellow or Asia at the German Marshall Fund o the United States.The views expressed here are those o the authors and do not necessarily represent the views o the German Marshall Fund o the United States(GMF).

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