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Last Call for Transatlanticism

Summary:
With polls having consistently favored Joe Biden in this year's momentous US presidential election, Europeans should be preparing to seize the opportunity that would come with a new administration. But the biggest threats to the transatlantic relationship have little to do with Donald Trump, and Europeans ignore them at their peril. BERLIN – Many Americans have already voted, and many more will soon go to the polls in what will be the world’s most important political event of the year. The 2020 US presidential election is a fateful moment in every sense of the word, not just for American democracy but also for transatlanticism and the future of the West. The Everlasting Mao

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With polls having consistently favored Joe Biden in this year's momentous US presidential election, Europeans should be preparing to seize the opportunity that would come with a new administration. But the biggest threats to the transatlantic relationship have little to do with Donald Trump, and Europeans ignore them at their peril.

BERLIN – Many Americans have already voted, and many more will soon go to the polls in what will be the world’s most important political event of the year. The 2020 US presidential election is a fateful moment in every sense of the word, not just for American democracy but also for transatlanticism and the future of the West.

If Donald Trump is re-elected, there are good reasons to doubt that transatlanticism will survive the next four years, or that the West will remain united in any meaningful way. It would be a veritable disaster in an already disastrous year.

Fortunately, Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, has consistently led in opinion polls, which means there could soon be an opportunity to revive the West as a geopolitical actor. The question is what a post-Trump transatlantic relationship should look like. Merely returning to the pre-Trump era isn’t an option. Too much has changed on both sides of the Atlantic these last few years, including the key political players themselves.

For the United States, there can be no returning to the status quo ante in which Europe was a security freeloader. The complaint that European NATO members have not been contributing their fair share to common defense is hardly exclusive to...

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