On Saturday, Berlin will celebrate Independence Day and the return of the American Embassy to the famous Pariser Platz with the grand "Amerikafest 2008," which will take place where the German soccer fans celebrate their team today...
The festivities are organized by the The Federation of German-American Clubs e.V. (in German), which describes the event as an occasion to discover many aspects of American culture, from politics to sport and entertainment.
I will be there from noon until 6:00 PM as part of my day job at the Atlantische Initiative e.V. We have a stand on Pariser Platz (on the Eastern side of the Brandenburg Gate). See our announcement: Meet the atlantic-community.org Editorial Team at the Amerikafest!
Anybody planning on coming? Write a comment or send me an email.
Okay, the headline is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely unwarranted:
The Economist reports about the novelties in the new French defense review. The white paper defines France's "first formal national security strategy, to be overseen by a new national security council." That sounds very American, does not it? There will also be a new national intelligence co-ordinator, answering to the president, just like in the US. And, the white paper approves France's reintegration into NATO's military command structure.
The Atlantic Community has published a transatlantic press round-up about France's Adoption of a Multilateral Defense Policy.
"Most European military sites equipped with US nuclear weapons fail to meet Pentagon security requirements, according to a US Air Force study." reports Reuters:
Hans Kristensen, director of the [Federation of American Scientists'] Nuclear Information Project, said the security problems occurred at installations operated by the national militaries of Germany, Belgium, Holland and Italy, all NATO members. About 200 to 350 nuclear weapons are believed to be stored at the sites.
"What's really going on here is that the United States has changed its standards (since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States), but NATO has not followed and it's at the national bases we're seeing this problem," Kristensen said on Monday.
"In a way, it's the United States knocking on NATO's door and saying: 'C'mon, guys, you need to upgrade, too.'"
Though, rather than calling for such security upgrades of military sites, many German politicians call for the removal of US nuclear weapons from German soil. Our reader Zyme writes this guest post:
Continue reading "US Nukes not Secure in Europe"
"Americans are increasingly choosing to live among like-minded neighbours. This makes the culture war more bitter and politics harder," writes The Economist
Residential segregation is not the only force Balkanising American politics, frets Mr Bishop. Multiple cable channels allow viewers to watch only news that reinforces their prejudices. The internet offers an even finer filter. Websites such as conservativedates.com or democraticsingles.net help Americans find ideologically predictable mates. And the home-schooling movement, which has grown rapidly in recent decades, shields more than 1m American children from almost any ideas their parents dislike.
Why is this voluntary segregation bad for politics? Because:
Continue reading "Political Segregation Increases Culture Wars in America"
The Atlantic Community think tank recommends a daily selection of five commentaries from leading international newspapers. Here are the best from last week:
Time Magazine: US Nukes Are Not Secure in Europe
Die Welt: Bush Leaving Means no More Teasing
Die Zeit: It is Not Only Bush Who Was the Wrong Guy
The Economist: Iraq Starts to Fix Itself
Nicolas D. Kristof: "Israelis Helped Create Hezbollah and Hamas"
Madeleine Albright: No More Humanitarian Interventions
Joseph Nye: Chindia: A Rare Success of the Bush Era
The daily Top Press Commentary Section is featured in the top left corner of atlantic-community.org