I will be leaving shortly for a week in Europe, visiting Slovakia, Romania, and the Czech Republic. After 1989, these former Soviet satellites sought integration with Europe—and, in a sense, salvation—by becoming members of the two major transnational organizations: the European Union and NATO. The former was strictly European, while the latter bound Europe and the United States together.
Recent chaos in the EU and the return of Russian assertiveness has placed these three countries in difficult positions. The Czech Republic is deeply bound economically with Germany. Prague is comfortable with that relationship and shares Berlin’s fate in many ways. When I visit the Czech Republic, I am going to be talking about what I see as Germany’s weakness.