Dr. Henning Riecke

Head of Study Groups

Areas of Expertise

  • German and US foreign and security policy
  • European and transatlantic security policy
  • Security organizations
  • Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and arms control


English, French


Phone: +49 (0)30 25 42 31-35
Email: riecke@dgap.org

Henning Riecke has been head of the DGAP's Transatlantic Relations program since January 2009. He joined the DGAP in 2000 as a program officer responsible for the study groups on “Strategic Issues,” “European Policy,” and “Future Global Issues.”

Before joining the research institute, he was a Thyssen Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, where he worked on a project on US small arms and light weapons policy. Between 1994 and 1999, he held several positions at the Center for Transatlantic Foreign and Security Policy Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin. In 1995, he spent five months as visiting fellow at the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

He holds a doctorate in political science, for which he wrote a dissertation on the Clinton administration’s nuclear non-proliferation policy, and a diploma from the Freie Universität, Berlin. He studied political science, history, national economy, and international relations in Frankfurt-am-Main and Berlin.


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Selected Publications

Mission Possible in the Strait of Hormuz
Giving a flat “no” to a naval mission to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf does not solve Germany’s dilemmas.
by Henning Riecke
Berlin Policy Journal, 2. August 2019
Mission Possible in the Strait of Hormuz
The German government has just decided not to back a US-led mission to protect the shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. It will now find it harder to work for its interests in the region.
The Ties That Bind
by Henning Riecke, Alin Polyakova
Atlantic Council, September 27, 2017
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel enters her fourth term in office, the US-German relationship will need to overcome trade and policy disagreements in order to thrive in today’s uncertain political climate.
Category: Transatlantic Relations
Foreign Policy and the Next German Government
Experts from the German Council on Foreign Relations offer case studies
by Josef Braml, Claire Demesmay, Dina Fakoussa, Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Wilfried Jilge, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid, Stefan Meister, Christian Mölling, Jana Puglierin, Henning Riecke, Claudia Schmucker, Daniela Schwarzer, Svenja Sinjen, Sebastian Sons, Sarah Wohlfeld
DGAPkompakt 7, Summer 2017, 42 pp.
Foreign Policy and the Next German Government
A new German government will take office after the elections on September 24, 2017. DGAP experts outline in 12 separate areas the foreign policy goals Germany should pursue (and with which partners).
Category: International Policy/Relations, Germany
After Paris
What are the Political Consequences of the Attacks within Europe and beyond?
by Claire Demesmay, Sarah Hartmann, Stefan Meister, Henning Riecke, Gereon Schuch
Originally published in German (Monday, November 16, 2015).
After Paris
How will domestic and external discussions of European security change in response to the November 13 attacks on Paris? How will they shape future measures to fight ISIS in Irak and Syria? This Monday, five of the DGAP's experts came together for a discussion – and noted the grave danger of combining an analysis of the causes of the Paris attacks with the ongoing debate on how to handle Europe’s refugee crisis.
Category: Security, France
Vigilant Partnership
The NSA scandal gives new impetus to transatlantic relations
by Henning Riecke
DGAPstandpunkt 7, November 11, 2013, 3 pp.
Vigilant Partnership
The National Security Agency’s surveillance of the Germans shows that the US seems to have other ideas about friendship than its allies. But there is also criticism in the US about how the NSA has been treating America’s friends. What is important is that surveillance of communication, done reasonably, may make sense to a degree. But spying on friendly governments and industry is enough to undermine any partnership.
Category: Security, United States of America
Transatlantic Renaissance?
German-American Relations in Obama’s Second Term
by Stormy-Annika Mildner, Henning Riecke, Claudia Schmucker
Institut français des relations internationales, Note du Cerfa 104, July 25, 2013, 32 pages
Transatlantic Renaissance?
President Obama recently characterized the relationship between his country and Europe as “the cornerstone of our freedom and of our security.” This fits well with current efforts by Brussels and Washington to create the largest free-trade zone in the world. In terms of security policy, however, working together is a good deal more difficult. Points of contention will likely proliferate, from military capability to the war on terror to Internet surveillance. (Cerfa report in French and German.)
Category: Transatlantic Relations, Security, Economy and Finance, Trade, United States of America, Germany
Afghanistan after 2014: How Can Reconstruction Succeed?
Regional cooperation is the key to long-term stability. A new publication in the DGAP publication series
by Henning Riecke, Kevin Francke
Partners for Stability, Involving Neighbors in Afghanistan's Reconstruction - Transatlantic Approaches, DGAP-Schriften zur Internationalen Politik, Nomos Verlag, March 2013, 280 pp.
Afghanistan after 2014: How Can Reconstruction Succeed?
The withdrawal of international security forces is fully underway and will be complete by 2014. Although the Allies will not turn their backs on the country entirely, responsibility for regional security will now rest largely with Afghanistan and its neighbors. The problems are substantial – from the drug trade to terrorism. Moreover, neighboring countries and external actors have opposing interests. This DGAP volume (in English) brings together experts from Europe, the US, and Central Asia.
Category: Security, Afghanistan
US Elections and Foreign Policy
Whoever wins, tough times for the Europeans
by Henning Riecke
US Elections and Foreign Policy
While Germans overwhelmingly support Obama, the race in a divided America is much closer. Despite being strongly in President Obama's camp, Europeans will find that a Romney presidency would not be much different.
Category: Transatlantic Relations, North America, Germany, Central Europe
Assistance or Alibi?
Strengthening regional players in Africa
by Henning Riecke
Assistance or Alibi?
The European Union has decided to support the new Malian government in reclaiming sovereign control over the northern parts of Mali. The EU will create a small training mission for Bamako to help it better cope with the Islamist occupation of this territory, which makes up the greater part of the country.
Category: State Building, Government and Society, CFSP/CSDP, West Africa, Africa, Europe
Democracy Abroad Can Be Defended at Home
Why Germany should ban public screenings of an anti-Islam film
by Henning Riecke
Democracy Abroad Can Be Defended at Home
Following violent protests staged at Western embassies against an anti-Islam film, Germany is wrestling with the question of whether to ban the film's screening or not. The film can be restricted without damaging larger freedom of expression, and may in fact help the democratic transition process in Arab Spring countries.
Category: Political System, Government and Society, Germany, Central Europe, Europe