The transatlantic alliance at risk

Washington has made it clear that there will be no cooperation on intelligence matters with the secret service of a country that allows highly sensitive data to end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

If Washington gave up its close intelligence cooperation with Europe, this would have devastating consequences. A decoupling from the US would hit us much harder than a decoupling from China, both in terms of our economy and security.

Decoupling Germany and the US would mean relegating to the dustbin of history the alliance that helped rebuild a democratic Germany after World War II, that secured supplies to the city during the Berlin Blockade by organizing the airlift guaranteeing West Berlin’s survival, and which directly and indirectly made German reunification possible.

Europe has been avoiding the alliance question for a long time, but is the time to make that decision. This does not directly have to do with the coronavirus crisis. And it certainly has nothing to do with the question of where the virus originated.

The crisis focuses the way we look at long-standing dependencies, even those in so-called vital supply chains, how we see fundamental differences in communication and crisis management, and our regard for what is ultimately a completely different concept of humanity. Employees from the Robert Koch Institute estimate that China kept the virus secret during very decisive weeks, then played it down and, by doing so, facilitated its spread worldwide.

Dr. Mathias Döpfner
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