LIVE STREAM: German Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ruprecht Polenz on the Middle East

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polenz event.jpg
One area in which the Obama administration has arguably fallen short of expectations is in its ability to persuade European countries to support its policies in the greater Middle East – and particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
As George Friedman has argued, the Obama administration has succeeded in changing the optics of the transatlantic relationship, but has failed for the most part to achieve real substantial policy shifts.
The Europeans – and the Germans in particular – declined to provide the levels of economic stimulus that the United States wanted to combat the global economic crisis and refused the Obama administration’s request to send substantially more troops to Afghanistan.
To offer a German perspective on how to tackle our common challenges in the Middle East, Ruprecht Polenz, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the German Bundestag, will speak at the New America Foundation TODAY from 12:15 – 1:45pm.
The event will stream live here at The Washington Note.
— Ben Katcher

Comments

5 comments on “LIVE STREAM: German Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ruprecht Polenz on the Middle East

  1. IJ says:

    Germany has built its commercial success within a reasonably disciplined monetary policy, a model that some other countries find attractive. For example this week Germany’s parliament voted against charging taxpayers with all the banks’ losses, including toxic assets.
    The German politician’s comments on EU energy security were interesting. He didn’t mention Nabucco and Turkey, but favoured discussion of a gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan [IPI]. I gather the US is enthusiastic about both Nabucco and a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan [TAPI].
    Anyway all pipelines would be far from Britain – a heavy investment there in renewable energy seems necessary.

    Reply

  2. IJ says:

    Germany has built its commercial success within the framework of a reasonably disciplined monetary policy, a model that some other countries find attractive. For example this week Germany’s parliament voted against charging taxpayers with all the banks’ losses, including toxic assets.
    The German politician’s comments on EU energy security were interesting. He didn’t mention Nabucco and Turkey, but favoured discussion of a gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan [IPI]. I gather the US is enthusiastic about both Nabucco and a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan [TAPI].
    Anyway all pipelines would be far from Britain – a heavy investment there in renewable energy seems necessary.

    Reply

  3. Don Bacon says:

    One “common challenge” the US and Germany DON’T share is current account balances.
    world ranking, country, CAB, USD, bn (2007)
    2, Germany, 252.501
    181, United States, -731.214
    When one considers how much better German live than Americans in terms of working conditions, living conditions and health care, and they are doing so much better economically, then one must conclude that the country is probably managed better, and this also provides a clue as to why Germans “declined to provide the levels of economic stimulus that the United States wanted to combat the global economic crisis and refused the Obama administration’s request to send substantially more troops to Afghanistan.” They simply know better, in spite of the changed “optics.” They_know_better.
    So I shout hurrah! that the Obama administration “has failed for the most part to achieve real substantial policy shifts” in Germany. Good for the Germans.
    Hey, here’s an idea I hadn’t thought of before. How about the US undergoing its own “real substantial policy shifts” to something more sensible, say on the idea of German performance. Sure, it would mean chucking American Exceptionalism, but would it be so bad to be better off?

    Reply

  4. Paul Norheim says:

    I agree with Don. On a whole range of issues, from the economic
    downturn to the military tribunals; from Iran (“all options on the
    table”) to Israel/Palestine; from Russia to Afghanistan, Barack
    Obama appears in substance as BUSH LIGHT. Despite the change
    in “optics”, his policies on these issues must be read as an
    unadmitted tribute to the policies of his predecessor.
    The worsening of the transatlantic relations during George Bush
    was not primarily an issue of style and optics; it was related to
    differences in substance, political differences. Why would anyone
    expect a huge change in this relationship if the differences largely
    remain the same as when George Bush was in the Oval Office?

    Reply

  5. Don Bacon says:

    I guess that “changing the optics of the transatlantic relationship, but [failing] for the most part to achieve real substantial policy shifts” answers a previous TWN question: “What Comes Next for New Media and Public Diplomacy?”
    Concerning Europe it’s a good thing that better US PR, and a photogenic president, can’t change deeply held, and correctly held, views on the wrongness of blindly bailing out miscreant banks, and sending more young people to kill others and die in the Hindu Kush. So any expectations that the Obama administration had in this regard were thankfully erroneous.
    So much for the US and Germany “tackl[ing] our common challenges in the Middle East”. Common challenges? Germany is bothered neither by AIPAC nor by Empire building, as the US is. So what are the “common challenges?” Was Germany ever “challenged” by Iraq?

    Reply

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