But this is not so easy. You have already raised many points. But what is the contribution we need to make now?
Wolfgang Ischinger: It begins with the duties of security and defense. For many years, long before the Trump era, we had this bitter debate that America was complaining about: Why should we, the United States, bear the brunt of defending Europe? Why, of all things, is Germany, as the largest and richest country in Europe, unable to fulfill its own commitment since 2014, that is, to spend 2% on security and defense? “It ends when Joe Biden takes office and the next issue on the agenda of the chancellor and others is the Baltic Sea pipeline, Nord Stream 2. This is a point of contention that will not be eliminated overnight.
Former chancellor Schroeder put forth the hypothesis that Trump, Biden’s predecessor, had only broken what could not be saved in the transatlantic relationship. Do you see it the same way?
Wolfgang Ischinger: No, I don’t see it that way at all. There are, of course, a number of topics where Joe Biden has already shown that he can repair the mischief inflicted by Donald Trump, as it can be fixed fairly easily. First example: America’s return to the so-called Paris climate agreement, which has already begun. President Biden receives applause from all over Europe: from the left, from the center, from the right. That’s beautiful like that. The second example: Donald Trump’s exit from the arms control and arms control efforts. Joe Biden flips it now. He announced that he would begin talks with the Russian Federation regarding the continuation of the so-called New Beginning Agreement. These are very welcome first signs of a return to a policy that will also be fruitful across the Atlantic. Which will enable us to join hands again on many ropes.
Wolfgang Ischinger, president of the Munich Security Conference, talks about the challenges that US President Joe Biden has to face in domestic and foreign policy in today’s topic on the current B5.