I find it interesting that you left an entire paragraph out of your quote from that article.
Between these two paragraphs...
...was this paragraph, which you declined to include in your post.
Now, I'm not sure exactly who Mandelbaum was referring to in his "we" contention, but this article implies that the "we" is Germany. In that context, that quote from Mandelbaum is preposterous. I mean, seriously...the reason the US was on the winning side of WWI and WWII is because "we" (Germany) "were part of the strongest coalition"? And that "The Cold War coalition to defeat the Soviet Union, we organized." Really? Germany ("we") organized the coalition to defeat the Soviet Union???
Yes, Rostocker, that paragraph flies in the face of reality and I don't blame you for leaving it out of your post. But what it does is expose the totally unrealistic notion that, in regard to the US economic conflict with China, that Germany matters. The fact is, you DON'T matter. Trump has already shown that we don't NEED (nor want) "united coalition(s)" that ultimately don't have OUR best interests at heart...especially coalitions like the ones that writer mentions; TPP and US/EU.
Face it. The EU...and most importantly, Germany...must work with the US. Not the other way around. A China/Germany grouping will never take the place of, nor equal, the ending of a China/US grouping. Sorry, but you guys...no matter how much you think of yourselves as a "manufacturing powerhouse"...just aren't that important or useful to the US in terms of dealing with China. Yes, we'd love to engage in fair, balanced and reciprocal trade with the EU and Germany...just as we want with every other country we trade with...including China...but that's pretty much where our concerns about Germany end.
Also...face it...if Trump is reelected in November, he will be turning his economic warfare aiming reticule toward the EU, including Germany, in regard to that fair, balanced and reciprocal trade issue that I mentioned. I'm thinking THAT should be your primary concern right now. Not the US economic conflict with China.
(Unless, of course, you really DO want to take China's side against the US. If that's the case, well...I've mentioned to you before about making choices and suffering the consequences.)