Washington just lost its north star in Europe. Since 2005, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the rock of the US-European relationship. Through the trials and tribulations of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the global financial crisis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, and the tumultuous four years of former US President Donald Trump, Merkel has been the unfailing constant in the transatlantic partnership. She’s had strong relations with Democrats and Republicans alike (Trump notwithstanding), and she was the first European visitor that President Joe Biden welcomed to the White House, even as her chancellorship was coming to an end. But that constant has changed, and there are major implications for the US, Europe, and NATO.
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