Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a resident fellow and senior director for strategy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He leads GMF’s EuroFuture Project which explores the economic, the governance and the geostrategic dimensions of the Eurocrisis from a transatlantic perspective. Formerly, Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff was senior director for policy programs. In this capacity, he oversaw all GMF programs and projects that deal with the cross-border challenges which globalization presents to the transatlantic community: Trade, Foreign Aid, and Food Security, Climate Diplomacy and Energy Policy, Immigration and Integration as well as the Global Economic Governance (G-20) initiative.
Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff has been an expert on transatlantic relations for more than a decade. Before arriving at GMF, he served as the Washington bureau chief of DIE ZEIT, Germany's intellectual weekly. Educated at Freiburg University in Germany with additional schooling at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, Kleine-Brockhoff was a fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He was a witness to the U.S. Congress, has published widely in Europe and the United States and appears frequently as a commentator on radio and TV. He is a member of the German Council on Foreign Relations.
M. A. in History from the University of Freiburg in Germany;
International Business Management Certificate from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
English and German
For a listing of Thomas's blog articles, click here.
News ArticlesIt Must Adapt, Not DisintegrateJanuary 28, 2013The price to pay for disintegration is higher than any conceivable gain. Disintegration is a lazy response to a nuanced current problem.For US and Europe, governance by brinkmanshipJanuary 14, 2013Following this practice of governance by brinkmanship, the United States has Europeanized its crisis response by artificially erecting a number of cliffs, obstacles, and deadlines.What if Britain left the European Union?October 10, 2012British PM David Cameron is hinting at a referendum on membership in the European Union. But remember, Britain, if you leave the EU, it's cold out there.Germany can’t save Europe on its ownJune 20, 2012
Once again, a swelling chorus is calling on Germany to finally take action. "Start the engines, Angela," reads the colorful headline of a piece whose authors seem to assume that Chancellor Merkel commands the horsepower to save the euro, save the British and American recoveries, and -- as a throw-in -- save the Obama presidency.In Greece – and elsewhere in Europe – the moderate center holdsJune 19, 2012
Greeks voted to continue reform, austerity, and staying in the euro zone. It was a vote based largely on fear of the alternative. But at least it produced a workable result that Greece's creditors should now support by adjusting the timeline for debt repayment.Spanish bailout, Greek elections make June a make-or-break month in debt crisisJune 12, 2012
One day, when historians look back to June 2012, they will likely find it was a make-or-break month for Europe. The debt crisis, now in its third year, has produced a moment of extraordinary clarity for the 17 countries joined by the euro: Either move toward real fiscal union or break apart.Parallel Institutions as a Challenge to the Liberal OrderJune 04, 2012
One of the dangers on the road to a polycentric world is the emergence of parallel institutions of global governance. The planned BRICS Development Bank is the most prominent example. The problem is: a development bank of this kind already exists. It is called the World Bank.Why Isn’t Germany Stepping up to Save the Euro Zone?December 05, 2011
Only Germany can save the euro zone, therefore Germany must — such is the refrain heard around the world....What Would Deficit Limits Mean for Eurozone, Future of Euro? (video)December 05, 2011
GMF Senior Transatlantic Fellow Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff joined the PBS Newshour with Jeffrey Brown on Monday to discuss the fate of the euro zone. ...The Limits of German PowerNovember 30, 2011
Berlin has much potential for global influence, and just as many shortcomings....There’s Good Reason to UniteNovember 29, 2011
According to Angela Merkel, Europe will fail if the euro fails. And the euro will fail, one might add, if the Franco-German alliance fails. Disturbingly, there are signs of strain in that crucial relationship - at the most dangerous of moments....German Economic Model – American StyleNovember 22, 2011
The debt crisis is shaking Europe – and now Germany, too. But no Western country weathered the storm of the Great Recession as well as Germany. America can't copy the German model, but it can learn much from its small-business exporters.Europe’s Structural Reforms Are SeriousNovember 07, 2011
The markets are tumbling, the euro is crumbling, but I'll say it anyway: Europe is doing a better job handling its debt crisis. Visiting the IMF and World Bank fall meeting in Washington, two former members of the European Central Bank joked about whether it is better to have a plan that the financial markets do not fully buy into or to have no plan at all—as they felt applied in America.Euro Deal Reached, but Crisis far from OverOctober 28, 2011
Wednesday night's European summit was, well, a very European summit. It lasted forever, included several dramatic moments, ended in the wee hours of the morning and delivered a highly complex result. Yet, the questions that Americans might now ask are quite simple: Has this leaders' conclave succeeded in stopping the spread of the "contagion" from the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis?...Why the Next IMF Head Must Be EuropeanMay 19, 2011With Dominique Strauss-Kahn having resigned as IMF general director on Wednesday, the debate about his successor promises to get even more heated. But those who argue the next IMF shouldn't be European are wrong. Change is coming to international organizations, but it shouldn't be rushed.One Mouth, One Voice?February 16, 2011One of the prettiest phrases in politics is the demand that Europe speak “with one voice.” For 40 years, this has sounded as plausible as it is unrealistic, thanks to the capacity for Europe’s residual nationalism to promote cacophony.Is Multi-Kulti Dead?January 12, 2011Angela Merkel’s claim that “multi-kulti” has failed set off a wave of critical reactions from the foreign press. But many of her critics abroad failed to set her quote in context. Far from disavowing the idea of a diverse Germany, Merkel was actually criticizing Germany’s integration track record.America: Stop lecturing China and do your homeworkNovember 17, 2010Barack Obama finally succeeded in uniting the world - just not the way he intended. At the G-20 summit in Seoul, countries almost universally rejected America's ideas for correcting current-account imbalances as well as its second round of quantitative easing (QE2). After an electoral shellacking at home, the U.S. president suffered a diplomatic shellacking abroad. It was one of the darker hours of American economic diplomacy.How Obama Can Win Back AmericaNovember 11, 2010A little contrition is not enough. Barack Obama appeared saddened by the Democratic Party's historic fiasco this week, but he has not understood the real message of the election. His policies are too liberal for America. If he wants to get reelected in 2012, he will need to find his way to the center.Obama’s second chanceAugust 24, 2010Democrats are bracing themselves for losses at this fall’s midterm election. President Obama will likely be forced to work with the Republicans and re-invent himself as a centrist in the process.” A normal President” – Barack Obama, one year into his PresidencyApril 20, 2010" A normal President" - Barack Obama, one year into his Presidency (German Language - in "Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte"Settlements are not worth this fightMarch 16, 2010Finally the Americans have called out Israel on its settlement policy. It took the embarrassment of a Vice President for the U.S. to finally say: enough is enough. While this move may be a milestone in the overdue recalibration of U.S. policy vis a vis Israel it does not help the peace process.
Eine deutsche PakistanstrategieJanuary 09, 2010In this German-language op-ed (full text in original language here), Kleine-Brockhoff and Twining argue that ignoring Pakistan is dangerous for a country that has troops in Afghanistan -- even if it is only a midsize country and has no historical ties to Pakistan or interests there. But if Germany wants to be successful in Afghanistan and eventually withdraw, it will have to engage more actively in Pakistan, and make more resources and attention available.Ein ganz normaler PräsidentJanuary 06, 2010A year after taking office as the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama has transformed himself from a modern day Messiah to a perfectly normal President. Some speculate whether a failed presidency is in the making. But, by any measure, this is anything but a failed presidency, at least so far. Three accomplishments mark Obama’s first year as President: he has prevented a recession from becoming a depression by coordinating the global response to the crisis and introducing financial market reforms; he has presented a package of economic and social reforms to modernize America; and he has reconceptualized American foreign policy to fit the era of multipolarity. Failure this is not.The new pecking orderDecember 27, 2009Copenhagen has shown the globe to be in transition. The multipolar world may be arriving, but so far multipolarity means chaos. In such moments of transition it is not quite clear where power rests.Lessons of the Copenhagen discordDecember 21, 2009
It will be discussed for some time whether the Copenhagen accord represents an unsatisfactory compromise or an unmitigated failure. Whatever the ultimate answer, there are some preliminary lessons that can be drawn from a memorably chaotic global gathering.
They Don’t Come any Greener than ObamaDecember 07, 2009As the curtains open at the global summit in Copenhagen, critics in Europe are calling US President Barack Obama a liar and a traitor in the fight to slow global warming. In truth, though, he's the greenest president America has ever seen.A balance of power askewSeptember 18, 2008
It matters less than it used to what NATO promises new member states or candidate countries. Russia is no longer easily deterred. It's never been a secret that Russia objects to NATO enlargement, especially when it comes to countries bordering its own territory. Post-soviet Russia was initially poor and weak. Russia has since become rich, authoritarian, and has discovered new weapons in gas and oil. At the same time, America is overstretched.Russia warms to the West no moreAugust 26, 2008German policy vis a vis Russia needs to be rethought. There is no longer a basis for Germany's "Strategic Partnership" with Russia. The occupation of parts of Georgia is a game changer. In 1996, Chancellor Helmut Kohl offered the Russians a deal: Nato would allow the Central and Eastern European countries to join while Russia would be offered to gradually integrate into Western and global institutions. Germany would anker this common western policy. The argument was: Integration would make Russia safer and richer. The strategy has worked: Russia is safe and rich. Yet it is choosing a different path: it wants to be rich, authoritarian and a bully vis a vis its neighbors.Democracy and a Piece of ClothingJuly 18, 2008France has rejected a citizenship application from a burqa-wearing Moroccan woman on the grounds that she has "insufficiently assimilated" to French culture. Should cultural assimilation be a requirement for citizenshipAmerica must correct course: a conversation with Helmut SchmidtJuly 01, 2008
Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, the senior director for policy programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, recently met with former German Finance Minister and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in his Hamburg office on behalf of The American Interest to discuss the United States and the world economy.Dispatch from BaliDecember 12, 2007Will the negotiations fall apart over the idea of "climate justice"? An on-the-ground report from the UN Climate Change Conference
PublicationsCrisis Talk: How the United States Discusses Europe’s WoesJanuary 04, 2013
This policy brief analyzes the anatomy of the U.S. debate about the euro crisis.New Dangers to the Western Liberal OrderNovember 02, 2012
This policy brief presents two views on a purported widening divide between Berlin and Washington, DC.The Limits of German PowerJanuary 19, 2012
This policy brief explains that Europe is demanding the Germans come to the rescue — only to find a country in search of purpose and strategy.Message to Europe: Do not expect too much of Obama on climate policy!November 27, 2008For the first time, a U.S. president will commit America to fight Climate change. Barack Obama favors a mandatory and economy wide cap and trade system. The current UN Conference in Poznan will be the last global climate policy meeting that the U.S., still represented by the Bush Administration, attends in order to slow down or obstruct the negotiating process.