Experts Say

European nuclear deterrence in the era of Putin and Trump

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
January 8, 2018
By Felix Wimmer

The American commitment to European security has been one of the few constants since World War II. Fractures have started to appear in the alliance, however. In May 2017, German Chancellor Angela Merkel observed that “the times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over … we Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.” At the European Union foreign ministers’ meeting in November, 23 member states agreed to work more closely together on defense. For the first time since 1945, Europe faces the possibility of having to maintain its security without American help. Simultaneously, Russia’s current activities—such as its intervention in Georgia, annexation of Crimea, and war against Ukraine—pose the most severe threat to European security since the end of the Cold War.
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