Burden-Sharing or Burden-Shifting? U.S. Policy on NATO after November 2024

Speaker: Dr. Leonard Schütte, DAAD/AGI Research Fellow and Senior Researcher at the Munich Security Conference
Moderator: Mr. Jeff Rathke, President at AGI

The specter of the United States abandoning NATO looms large over the 2024 U.S. elections. Former President Trump recently reminded Europeans of his ingrained hostility toward the Alliance when he invited Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to allies that do not pull their weight in defense spending. While a formal U.S. withdrawal from NATO appears unlikely, a potentially imminent Republican administration would seek to fundamentally rebalance the transatlantic relationship. Given the multiple parallel threats to U.S. leadership, ballooning public debt, and an underperforming defense industrial base, even a second Biden administration would face enormous pressures to shift resources and attention away from Europe.

Drawing on interviews with congressional staffers, former officials, and experts in Washington, this webinar will address what a second Trump administration would mean for NATO, how the debate within the Republican Party on NATO is evolving, what rebalancing entails concretely, and what the Europeans need to do to put NATO on a sustainable footing again.

Dr. Leonard Schütte
Dr. Leonard Schütte is Senior Researcher at the Munich Security Conference, where he co-edits and contributes to the Munich Security Report and other publications. He holds a PhD from Maastricht University and studied in Cambridge, Oxford, St. Andrews, and Paris. In 2018-2019, he was the Clara Marina O’Donnell Fellow at the Centre for European Reform in London.

Dr. Schütte has published widely on European defense, transatlantic relations, international organizations, and geoeconomics. Recent publications include Munich Security Report 2024: Lose-Lose? (Munich Security Conference, 2024, co-edited with Tobias Bunde and Sophie Eisentraut), Defense Sitters: Transforming European Armies in Times of War (Munich Security Conference, 2023, co-edited with Nicole Koenig), “The Show Must Go On: The EU’s Quest to Sustain Multilateral Institutions Since 2016” (Journal of Common Market Studies, 2023, with Hylke Dijkstra), and “Why NATO survived Trump: the neglected role of Secretary-General Stoltenberg” (International Affairs, 2021).

Please reach out to Program Coordinator Mr. Jack Fornasiero at jfornasiero@aicgs.org with questions.

This event is supported by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office. It is part of the Road to Election series, a collaborative transatlantic initiative that fosters dialogue in the lead-up to the pivotal 2024 U.S. election.

April 24, 2024


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