Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Review of Transatlantic Relations from the US-German Blog Carnival

The US-German blog carnival, sponsored by the Atlantic Review and GM’s Corner, was held on December 11. As I mention previously, this is a quarterly event to promote dialogues and understanding between the United States and Europe. Around 20 bloggers from both sides of the Atlantic, and Pacific (which is me), participate in this event. Carnival attendants discuss not only politics and economics, but also popular culture and citizens’ life.

I received an e-mail from Atlantic Review yesterday, saying that Time Magazine has chosen as the “Person of the Year”, because its editors "control the Information Age." It is delightful that bloggers can promote intellectual talks and exchange ideas across the nations. The carnival focus on US-German and transatlantic relations, and I recommend ardent students of international relations to see this link.

This autumn, NATO summit was held in Riga, Latvia, and the Euro-American partnership will play increasingly important role to prevail liberal democracy and advance global stability. Not everything is optimistic. I would like to mention some submitted posts related to the agenda of this blog.

Atlantic Review, the host of this carnival, submits “Germany and the United States Failed to Train Afghanistan’s Police” to discuss critical problems to accomplish stability in Afghanistan. The United States and Germany do not provide sufficient training staff and equipments with Afghan police and military forces. The editor points out that the United States makes the same mistakes there as it does in Iraq. More seriously, this blog quotes Christian Science Monitor to mention negative effects of drug problem o Afghan police. The split between the United States and Germany is another critical issue, as Germany refused to transfer its troops to hard battle regions.

Some bloggers, such as Observing Herman … and the Assistant Village Idiot compare the leadership of current administrations in the United States and Germany in their posts, “Lame duck” and “The German American Economic Collapse.”

The issue of Mitteleuropa and energy is another focus. The International Affairs Forum points out that increasing cooperation on energy development between Germany and Russia stimulates anxiety in Poland. According to its post, “Merkerl’s Geopolitical Menage Trois”, Poland is concerned with close Russo-German partnership and ultimate marginalization of Poland itself.

As expected, threat of Islamic radicals is discussed at the carnival by Chicago Boyz in “The Future Doesn’t Belong to Islam, Thank You Very Much.” The author criticizes a comment by a conservative columnist Mark Styne that while Muslim population is too young and rapidly increasing, Western population is too old and decreasing. According to this blog, his arguments are based on completely wrong demographic data.

I submitted a post “NATO Summit at Riga, Latvia” to discuss globalization of NATO. I focus on future expansion of NATO to Japan, Australia, and so forth. Also, I talk about NATO’s commitment to tackle common threats to the global community, like non-proliferation, terrorism, and rogue regimes.

More blogs participate in this carnival, and it is a pity that I cannot mention all of them in this post. I have no doubt that it very helpful to visit the carnival site to understand what issues are crucial today in US-German and US-European relations. Some of them are vital, but drawing little attention by the media.