As the battle for Libya rages on, AICGS Non-Resident Fellow Prof. Gunther Hellmann looks back on Germany’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote to intervene in the rebellion in his essay “Berlin, Great Power Politics and Libya” from the Autumn/Fall issue of WeltTrends. He examines what effect this decision has truly had for Germany in the eyes of its Western allies.

The debate over the response to the Libyan civil war continues on both sides of the Atlantic and in particular on Germany’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote. In particular, Roger Cohen of The New York Times energized the debate after an op-ed he wrote that criticized Merkel’s leadership and inability to …Read More

The debate over the response to the Libyan civil war continues on both sides of the Atlantic and in particular on Germany’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote. In particular, Roger Cohen of The New York Times energized the debate after an op-ed he wrote that criticized Merkel’s leadership and inability to learn lessons from recent history. AICGS has collected several essays and articles which have appeared recently on the debate, including pieces from Dieter Dettke, Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, Constanze Stelzenmüller, and others.

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.

As violence continues in Libya, NATO has taken the lead in enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1973 by “all necessary measures,” the result of strenuous debates on who should be in charge. The mission – as well as the considerations leading to NATO’s decision – has ignited an intense debate in public discourse and in policymaking circles. The analysts of the NATO Defense College in Rome, including regular contributor Dr. Karl-Heinz Kamp, have assembled their views on the situation and present some options for the Alliance as it continues the mission in Libya.

In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines Germany’s abstention from the UN vote on Libya and the questions surrounding the German and other European responses to the continuing developments in the larger region.

When it comes to Libya, the Merkel government finds itself on the defensive on many fronts, writes DAAD/AICGS Fellow Pia Niedermeier. The German government has correctly pointed out that a political vision for the conflict is missing, Ms. Niedermeier argues, but it must also take the blame for not developing such a vision together with its partners.

The United States and Germany have long supported the United Nations. In recent years, however, the two countries have at times been at loggerheads over whether or how to involve the organization in addressing international conflicts…

In 2005, at the occasion of the UN’s sixtieth anniversary, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on world leaders to “recapture the spirit of San Francisco and forge a new world compact to advance the cause of larger freedom.” The Secretary General believed that the bitter debates in 2003 about the use of force in Iraq and the subsequent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq reflected deep divisions among UN member states regarding the role of the United Nations as an instrument of collective security…

On 29 March 2006 the United Nations Security Council for the first time addressed the issue of Iranian non-compliance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Since the wording of the presidential statement, which had been heavily disputed among the five permanent members of the Security Council (P5), has been significantly watered-down, the statement does not predetermine any specific future action by the Security Council. For the moment, it is hard to predict whether the Security Council could agree on any more resolute steps should Iran refuse to cooperate…