'America is back,' Biden tells Munich Security Conference


By video link at the Munich Security Conference. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke NPR's Rob Schmitz was watching from Berlin. Welcome, Rob. Hey, Howdy President Biden emphasized today that he is reaffirming America's commitment to the transatlantic relationship. What else did he have to say? He had a lot to say. First off. He really hit home that Europe is a cornerstone of America's approach to the rest of the world, and that the transatlantic alliance is more important than ever, he pointed out. The West faces a new set of challenges. He mentioned the strategic threat of China as well as Russia and, of course, the Corona virus pandemic. But he said one of the biggest challenges the West faces now is that as we gradually come out of this pandemic, he said, many people in the world are wondering if autocracy Has emerged as a better system for governance. And he said the U. S and Europe need to work together to show the world that democracy will prevail. Here's what he said Democracy doesn't happen by accident. We have to defend it. Fight for it, Strengthening renew it. We have to prove Our model is in a relic of history. It's a single best way to revitalize the promise of our future. And the response from Germany or France. You know, Merkel and the crone got right down to business. Both of them reacted with the kind of a laundry list of items that have built up over the past four years that need to be done multilateral approach to vaccinations for the developing world, reinvigorating The Iran nuclear deal. The Paris climate accord Afghanistan, you name it, these air all issues that from the European perspective have suffered from neglect under the Trump administration. And have been festering over the past four years. I spoke to Sudha David will of the German Marshall Fund after the event, and she told me it's clear. Both Merkel and McCrone are thrilled that Biden has reaffirmed the transatlantic alliance. Europe needs a strong U. S. And buying, I should say, because Merkel is now a lame duck. She's going to be inward looking as she looks to preserve her legacy, which has taken some knocks lately because Germany has not done a great job dealing with the second phase of pandemic. And Micron is going to be busy with an election in 2022. But are the French president? Macron did say that the EU needs to be more involved with its own security going forward, and we've been hearing that for the last couple of years. That was a complaint from former President Trump that that you needed to spend more on its own defense. Are they actually doing that? They are And as you mentioned, your former president, Trump spend years badgering them about this. And in today's speeches, both Merkel and McCrone pointed out there spending more than ever on defense and Grown even went so far to say that Europe should spend even more in the future because, he said, the U. S is clearly focused on China and in the Pacific region more than ever. And that means that Europe needs to step up its own defense to better manage threats in its own neighborhood. That's NPR's Rob Schmitz. Joining us from Berlin. Rob, Thanks for your reporting. Thank you. What is the point of buying something now? If you can't

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