Angela Merkel’s long chancellorship is coming to an end. In September, Germany will elect a new government and a new leader. Merkel’s legacy of balancing relations between Washington, Beijing and Moscow will be put to the test.
There is every expectation that a coalition government will emerge, likely including the Greens. The result will be a pairing of odd bedfellows creating a regime ruled by a fragile consensus with a weird admixture of domestic and foreign priorities.
In this scenario, President Joe Biden’s plan to outsource the stability of Europe to Berlin and Paris will bear close watching. Washington and Berlin may find working together far more difficult. It may take a great deal more work than previously imagined to keep the transatlantic community stable in the era of great-power competition.
Even under Merkel, Berlin struggled to find a realistic policy that challenged China’s malicious intrusions into transatlantic…