The world’s geostrategic map is under reconstruction. In Asia, Tokyo’s enhanced muscularity derives directly from Beijing’s new assertiveness in regional affairs. In post- Crimea Europe, NATO must now consider new ways to deter further hypothetical Russian aggression. This reconstruction is made more pressing by another, equally critical, element of European and Japanese strategy: their changing perceptions of U.S. capabilities and commitment. Parallel concerns about the relative decline of the United States and the possibility of U.S. retrenchment from its longstanding global role also motivate foreign and security policy behaviour in East Asia and in Western Europe.
Strategists from Berlin to Tokyo want to know: How can the United States both cut its defense budget and maintain its commitments to them? On 11 November 2016, three days after the U.S. elections, Richard J. Samuels, Klaus Scharioth and Michael Stürmer will explore how perceptions of a relative decline in U.S. capabilities and commitments to its allies may affect the strategic balance in Asia and Europe and the security goals of its longstanding allies. The discussion will be moderated by Cathleen Fisher, President of the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.