President Biden has advertised that he will “rebuild” relations with Europe after what his administration describes as four years of neglect and mistreatment under the Trump administration. Maintaining close ties with Europe is important – but so is ensuring that America’s alliances there perform in ways that benefit the United States and not our geopolitical rivals. Here are 10 principles that should inform U.S. policy in Europe.
Principle 1: America benefits when Europe is stable, prosperous, and free.
Principle 2: America’s European alliances are not ends in themselves.
Participate vigorously in their own defense.
Extend reciprocity in trade with the United States.
Not actively abet the powers that the United States protects them against.
Principle 3: American alliances in Europe must align with U.S. global strategic needs.
Principle 4: Ensuring more equitable burden-sharing is necessary for sustaining the American public’s political support of alliances.
Principle 5: America should expect its allies not to abet its rivals.
Principle 6: America should expect its allies to give reciprocity in trade, even as they keep the overall strategic value of alliance trade relationships in mind.
Principle 7: Pressure should not be America’s first resort with allies, but neither should it be a taboo.
Principle 8: The U.S. must support democracy while competing for positive influence against China and Russia.
Principle 9: Europe is more than Berlin and Brussels.
Principle 10: The U.S. should treat friends better than enemies.
Additional resources for procurement and modernization will only be valuable to the extent they are tightly focused on measures that meaningfully enhance the ability to deter and defeat aggression in the most pressing and realistic scenarios. Read more.
On July 28th, a U.S. delegation met with Russian counterparts for "strategic stability" talks related to nuclear deterrence and arms control. Congress and the Biden Administration must be careful not to fall into Putin's negotiating traps.