EA February 2017

US Officials in Europe: A Glass Half-Full

Last week, the senior leadership of the new Trump Administration turned out in full force in Europe to try reassuring anxious allies about the continued strong commitment of the United States to European security and to transatlantic relations overall.  To the extent we can make judgments based largely on media reporting, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the right things to his colleagues at the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels about the “rock solid”[1]  US defense commitment and continued implementation of decisions taken at the 2014 and 2016 NATO summits in the wake of Russian military aggression in Ukraine.  He and Vice President Mike Pence did the same thing at the 53rd annual Munich Security Conference last weekend – the defense and foreign policy equivalent of the World Economic Forum in Davos.   Many important people from more than 100 countries spoke at the Munich conference, including the German Federal Chancellor and her key ministers, the British, French, Russian, and Chinese foreign ministers, as well as leaders from many other countries from around Europe and elsewhere.