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US Vice President Kamala Harris

Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA

What We're Watching: Harris goes to Munich, French troops quit Mali, Japan's soft opening, Africa's mRNA mission

Harris goes back to the future in Bavaria. In recent years, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) – to say nothing of the broader transatlantic alliance – have suffered from a sense of unclear purpose. US President Donald Trump questioned NATO’s value, and French President Emmanuel Macron has called it “brain-dead.” Without the Cold War framework, many have asked whether NATO even has a purpose? But things couldn’t feel more different today, according to Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer. “You’re talking about US leadership and an alliance that feels unprecedentedly threatened by the recent escalation in Ukraine from Russia,” said Bremmer from Munich on Thursday. And the face of that US leadership at Munich this year is US Vice President Kamala Harris, who will deliver an important address on Saturday. Harris, who was also tasked with handling the challenge of migration at the US-Mexico border last year, has struggled to shine in her historic role as the first female Veep. A powerful address at Munich, delivered in the thick of a major transatlantic security crisis, could be her moment in the sun.

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