Robert Gerald Livingston explores the motives for U.S. troop reduction in Germany, as well as the potential consequences for such a move. What effect, if any, could this have on Germany’s role in Europe’s defense plans?
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 …
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.
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière announced one of the biggest shake-ups in decades for the German military when he presented his plans for the Bundeswehr’s realignment on May 18, writes AICGS Visiting Fellow Mr. Uwe Brinkmann, professor of law at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr. In his essay, Mr. Brinkmann examines the proposed changes and gives some views on how the reforms could affect Germany’s role within NATO and the transatlantic military alliance in general.
Kurt Volker, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and a frequent participant in AICGS events, takes a look at the U.S.’ transformation in the ten years since 9/11, showing how the nation has changed its security outlook to finally reach the goal of justice with bin Laden’s killing. Volker argues that while we still have many lessons to learn from those ten years, there might be a light at the end of the long tunnel. This article originally appeared in the May 5, 2011, edition of The Christian Science Monitor.
Support the insights you need into the German-American relationship.Support Our Work
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.
Are the Americans the only ones who can talk seriously about how to help the Libyans and to maintain global balance? AICGS Trustee Ambassador John Kornblum, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, ponders this question knowing that it is going to stay that way for the foreseeable future based on the perception that Europe cannot meet the new security challenges. Kornblum argues that a new strategy for Atlantic relations must be developed that demonstrates how Western values can help master the practical problems of globalization. The German version of this essay originally appeared in the March 8, 2011, edition of Die Welt.
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.