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Germany and the United States

Whither “Partners in Leadership”?

Matthew Rhodes


In 1989, u.s. President George H.W. Bush presented a vision of the United States and Germany as “partners in leadership” in building a peaceful and secure post Cold War world. A confluence of factors brought this vision closest to realization during the overlapping tenures of u.s. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Persistent limitations and shifting conditions including the election of u.s. President Donald Trump now call the future viability of the vision into question, even as u.s.-German ties remain the most plausible anchor of cooperative transatlantic ties in a period of global change.