Stephan Wallace is a defense and security policy analyst following political, military, and economic developments in Europe. He has worked more than 33 years on this area for the U.S. government, most recently for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Dr. Bruno Kahl became president of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst – BND) on 1 July 2016, replacing Gerhard Schindler about two years ahead of his expected retirement. As head of Germany’s only foreign intelligence service, Kahl heads an agency of about 6,500 personnel charged with the collection and analysis of political, economic, military, and …Read More

Ukraine and EU Sanctions against Russia The European consensus for maintaining Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia is beginning to unravel.  In addition to the economic costs of sanctions to European industry and agriculture, two major factors are contributing to the decline in support for the sanctions policy: Although the sanctions have damaged the Russian economy, the …Read More

Germany has stepped up its military aid to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq as part of an international effort to combat the growing threat to regional peace and stability posed by the Islamic State.  The Bundeswehr recently provided another tranche of arms and equipment to the Kurdish Regional Government’s armed forces (Peshmerga) and the German-led …Read More


Germany and its NATO and EU partners continue to rely on Russian heavy airlift to support their expeditionary military and humanitarian relief operations in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa, despite political tensions over Ukraine and associated western sanctions. Germany was the driving force behind the creation of the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS), which …Read More


The German government’s decision to provide arms and military equipment to aid the Kurdish Regional Government in its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant provides further evidence of its greater willingness to take on responsibility for international peace and security. The move will be welcomed by Germany’s allies and partners, who …Read More

A public opinion poll conducted by Infratest dimap for ARD-Deutschlandtrend in early March gave the government its best marks in foreign and defense policy.  According to the poll, 67 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the government’s conduct of foreign policy, and only 28 percent said they were dissatisfied.  A slight majority of …Read More

A report posted by Chancellor Merkel’s office on the occasion of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Berlin in late January stressed that the transatlantic partnership with the United States is one of the most important pillars of German foreign and security policy, along with European integration.  The report described the United States …Read More

The opening paragraphs of the foreign policy section in the coalition agreement emphasize Germany’s willingness to assume greater international responsibility and contribute reliably to crisis and conflict resolution in partnership with its allies and partners. [1] The new direction expressed in the coalition agreement and the subsequent statements and actions by the German government comes …Read More

Foreign Minister Steinmeier and Defense Minister von der Leyen emphasized Germany’s responsibility to support international crisis prevention and conflict resolution efforts during statements laying out the government’s policy priorities to the Bundestag in late January and again in remarks to an international audience at the Munich Security Conference in early February, where they were supported …Read More

Dr. Ursula von der Leyen took over leadership of the Ministry of Defense on 17 December 2013. She replaced Thomas de Maizière, who returns to the post of Interior Minister, a position he held during the first years of Merkel’s second cabinet before becoming Defense Minister in March 2011 following the resignation of Karl-Theodore zu …Read More

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