November 10, 2022
Principal U.S. Deputy, National Security Advisor
Former Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
In October, the White House published its 2022 National Security Strategy, outlining how the United States intends to strengthen its geopolitical position amid the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and unrest in eastern Europe. In the face of these economic and political challenges, strengthening transatlantic partnerships has emerged as a potential path to advance national security.
During the 2022 Transatlantic Business Works Summit, Principal U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to discuss the current state of the nation’s transatlantic partnerships and the need for continued cooperation with European allies.
Transatlantic Relations Have Strengthened Amid Conflict in Ukraine
Finer explained that strengthening transatlantic alliances has been a key goal of the Biden administration, particularly as the conflict in Ukraine has amplified the need for cooperation among global leadership.
“We see [our global partnerships] as a force multiplier — as one of our major strategic advantages in the world,” he said. “We believe in the transatlantic relationship to further almost everything we do.”
Finer added that he believes the conflict between Russia and Ukraine strengthened the United States’ existing transatlantic partnerships.
“I think [Russia] believed that the West would be divided by what they decided to do and that the transatlantic relationship would be frayed. Instead, it has emerged more unified and stronger than it has been in decades,” he said.
The United States Relies on the Success of Its Transatlantic Partners
Finer noted that the United States has a vested interest in the strength and security of its European allies.
“The United States fundamentally believes in a strong Europe. We think a strong Europe is good for the United States, good for people in Europe, and broadly good for the world,” he said.
“That is something we believe is fundamentally in our interest,” Finer added. “We don’t shy away from that, and we’re going to work with our European partners to continue to bring that about.”
Cooperation Among Global Leadership Is Necessary to Achieve Shared Goals
When asked how the United States and its transatlantic partners can mutually strengthen each other despite their differing interests, Finer stressed the importance of cooperation among global leadership.
“No relationship between two countries is ever going to be characterized by 100 percent alignment on every issue,” he explained. “There are always going to be disputes, even among the closest of partners.”
Finer added that the ability to navigate those disputes amicably characterizes a strong alliance.
“I think that [the United States] has demonstrated an ability to solve problems when they arise with our European partners and allies, and that is a sign of a mature, strong, resilient relationship,” he said.
“When we are aligned, and on the same page, there is almost nothing that we cannot achieve globally,” Finer concluded, expressing optimism about the future of the United States’ transatlantic partnerships. “Even at a time where…global threats and challenges are as severe as they’ve ever been, we feel stronger in addressing those because of this relationship [with Europe].”