Is It Time for the United States to Pivot Back to Europe?

Throughout the Cold War, Europe was a central focus of American foreign policy. Once the Cold War ended,the United States remained focused on Europe, supporting the creation of a Europe "whole, free and at peace," including through the unification of Germany and the enlargement of the European Union and NATO. But today, crises, challenges and opportunities are growing in the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia -- and indeed new partners from these regions are emerging to help address these challenges. These trends were behind the Obama Administration's well-publicized "pivot to Asia."

Yet even as the rest of the world has grown more challenging, crises in and around Europe have also grown: the Eurozone financial crisis, the worsening refugee crisis, civil war in Syria, chaos in Libya, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, annexation of Crimea and continued occupation of parts of Georgia, changing borders by force for the first time in a generation. In this changed global environment, is more U.S. leadership required to help get Europe back on its feet? Or should America "lead from behind" in Europe, focusing on other more important regions, while encouraging Europe to sort out its own problems? Is Europe the past, while Asia represents the future? Join The McCain Institute for a timely, spirited debate that tackles the question, “Is It Time for the United States To Pivot Back To Europe?"

Confirmed debaters:

Ian Brzezinski
Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

Constanze Stelzenmuller
Robert Bosch Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution


Patrick Cronin
Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security

Nile Gardiner
Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, The Heritage Foundation

Teri Schultz
Freelance journalist, NPR and CBS Radio

This project is funded by The European Union.