The United States, Germany, and NATO: A Conversation with Lieutenant General (ret.) Ben Hodges
A Conversation with:
- Lieutenant General (ret.) Ben Hodges, Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies, Center for European Policy Analysis, Former Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe
- Jan Techau, Senior Fellow and Director, Europe Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Kevin Baron, Executive Editor, Defense One
Throughout the Cold War, the United States and Germany built a strong partnership with a focus on collective security. But since the 1990s, the number of U.S. troops stationed in Germany has steadily decreased, and as a result one of the more permanent German–U.S. connections has weakened.
Against the backdrop of growing global challenges and transnational security threats, longstanding alliances are more critical than ever. The United States and Germany look back on decades of cooperation and friendship, and they have important mutual priorities in the upcoming years. Lieutenant General (ret.) Ben Hodges and Jan Techau will discuss why the NATO alliance matters in today’s global security landscape and how stable German–U.S. relations underpin the transatlantic relationship.
The discussion will be preceded by a reception starting at 6:00 p.m.
Lieutenant General (ret.) Ben Hodges is the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). A native of Quincy, Florida, Hodges graduated from the U.S. Military Academy. After his first assignment as an Infantry Lieutenant in Germany, he commanded infantry units at the company, battalion and brigade levels as the 101st Airborne Division and in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He served in an operational assignment as Director of Operations, Regional Command South, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Hodges also served in a variety of Joint and Army Staff positions to include Tactic Instructor at the Infantry School; Chief of Plans, 2nd Infantry Division in Korea;Aide-de-Camp to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Army Congressional Liaison Officer; Task Force Senior Observer-Controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, LA: Coalition/Joint – 3 (CJ3) of Multi-National Corps-Iraq in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg; and Director of the Pakistan–Afghanistan Coordination Cell on the Joint Staff, Chief of Legislative Liaison for the US Army, and Commander, NATO Allied Land Command. His last military assignment was as Commander, United States Army Europe from 2014 to 2017.
Jan Techau is a senior fellow and director of the Europe Program at GMF. His research focuses on European integration and the EU’s role in the world, German foreign policy, transatlantic relations, and security and defense issues. Techau is co-author of Führungsmacht Deutschland – Strategie ohne Angst und Anmaßung (2017) and a regular contributor to German and international news media. Before joining GMF, Techau was the director of the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum for the Study of Diplomacy and Governance at the American Academy in Berlin. From March 2011 to August 2016, Techau was the director of Carnegie Europe in Brussels. Techau also served in the NATO Defense College’s Research Division in Rome. He was director of the Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin between 2006 and 2010, and from 2001 to 2006 he served at the German Ministry of Defense’s Press and Information Department. Techau holds an MA in political science from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany. He is an associate scholar at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and an associate fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington, DC. He lives with his family in Berlin.
Kevin Baron is the founding executive editor of Defense One. Baron has lived in Washington for 20 years, covering international affairs, the military, the Pentagon, Congress, and politics for Foreign Policy, National Journal, Stars and Stripes, and the Boston Globe, where he ran investigative projects for five years at the Washington bureau. He is a frequent on-air contributor and previously was national security/military analyst at NBC News & MSNBC. Baron cut his muckraking teeth at the Center for Public Integrity and he is twice a Polk Award winner and former vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. He earned his M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University, his B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond, and studied in Paris. Raised in Florida, Baron now lives in Northern Virginia.
This event is part of a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut, and the German Federation of Industries (BDI) as part of the Year of German-American- Friendship.