Vladimir Putin’s attempt to restore Russia’s status as a great power rival to the United States lends new urgency to transatlantic relations, since Europe is the foremost theater in which Putin bids to transform the balance of power, according to Jeffrey Gedmin, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and Joshua Muravchik, a distinguished fellow at the DC-based World Affairs Institute. Many prominent European analysts and politicians fear that the U.S. has abandoned the ideological battle against autocrats and for liberal democratic values, they write for the American Interest.
They cite a manifesto issued by a dozen prominent Germans appealing for continued alignment with America even though the United States “inventor and—until recently—guardian of the liberal order, currently does not see itself as system guarantor.” Indeed, it has come “to fundamentally question the ideas and institutions of the liberal international order.”
There is also concern that the US is giving the impression that it favors political equivalents to mainstream liberal democratic politicians in Europe, a leading analyst notes.
“[T]he equivalents are the other members of what might be called the Populist International, the nativist, pro-Russian and anti-pluralist parties that are indeed growing in strength in some countries,” notes Anne Applebaum, (left), a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy.
U.S. isolationism could play into Putin’s hands, Gedmin and Muravchik fear, citing a recent ZDF poll, in which a majority of Germans—82 percent—do not see the United States as a reliable partner, putting it behind Russia, which isn’t trusted by 58 percent of respondents. RTWT Indeed, Germany and Russia Are Getting Closer – Here’s Why, Nicholas J. Myers writes for The National Interest.