In this recent Financial Times piece, Ulrich Speck, Publicist for Global Europe and former AICGS Fellow, dissects the foreign policy stance of Germany with regards to the use of military force. As Germany has begun reverting back to its pacifist stance toward armed conflicts abroad, such as Libya and Syria, it could… Read more >
In an interesting article in the Washington Post, Michael Birnbaum outlines how Germany’s participation in the war in Afghanistan has given rise to discussions how the country is treating homecoming soldiers. While Germany’s history gives this question a unique dimension, echos of the debate about the treatment of soldiers returning with PTSD… Read more >
In a highly controversial move, the German parliament has agreed to sell 200 Leopard II tanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While Germany has claimed to have consulted the United States and Israel about the sale, opposition critics claim it goes against Germany’s policy of arms deals with oppressive states.
In what has been termed his last major policy speech as Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates blasted NATO members for not carrying their weight within the Alliance, and questioned the viability and relevance of the Alliance going forward. While NATO’s path has been questioned before, Gates’ exceedingly strong words were aimed at multiple audiences – both foreign and domestic – and hit home at the imbalance of commitments amongst Alliance members. Please find below a selection of the range of reactions to Secretary Gates’ speech from both sides of the Atlantic.
When Germany abstained in the United Nations Security Council’s vote on Libya, quite a few eyebrows were raised in the United States and in Europe (not to speak of the German strategic community). While the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom were united in the determination to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Libya, Germany sided with Russia and China – as well as with Brazil and India, two countries that also have ambitions to become permanent members of the Council – in basically declaring neutrality (let’s set aside how realistic these permanent member ambitions have now become in light of the recent vote). In departing from her traditional Western allies, Germany, reciprocating French unilateralism in the Libya crisis, dealt a blow to transatlantic – and European – coherence and security cooperation.
Nearly ten years after the first decision on a military commitment in Afghanistan, this week the Bundestag will again debate the renewal of the mandate for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Markus Kaim examines the internal debate over whether or not a concrete withdrawal date should be included in the mandate and suggests some potential scenarios for the overall Afghanistan mission as the decision approaches. This essay originally appeared in the January 24, 2011, edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and is available in German only.
For over half a century the Federal Republic of Germany has been and still is the single most important host nation for the U.S. military in Europe. At any given point during the Cold War, nearly three-fourths of the European-based forces
were stationed there, or approximately 250,000 personnel…