Germany and Elections: Dodging the Afghanistan Bullet

Dr. Gale Mattox, professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and Director of the Institute’s Foreign & Domestic Policy Program, writes that even though the grand coalition has tried to prevent the issue of Afghanistan from playing a role in the September elections, Germany’s role in Afghanistan could prove to be a critical issue during the campaign. Dr. Mattox argues that whether or not this turns out to be the case, it is clear that after the election there is a need for German policymakers to engage the public in a discussion about this contentious issue.

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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Gale Mattox

Senior Fellow; Director, Foreign & Domestic Policy Program

Dr. Gale A. Mattox is Director of the Foreign & Domestic Policy Program at AICGS and a Professor in the Political Science Department at the U.S. Naval Academy. She is a former elected department chair and chair of chairs, and was awarded the Distinguished Fulbright-Dow Research Chair at the Roosevelt Center, the Netherlands, for spring 2009. Dr. Mattox served on the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State, was a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow at the State Department Office of Strategic and Theater Nuclear Policy, and an International Affairs Analyst at the Congressional Research Service.

She has been a Bosch Fellow in Germany (also Founding President of the Bosch Alumni Association), NATO Research Fellow, and a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Mattox has held the offices of President (1996-2003) and Vice President of Women in International Security (WIIS), Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, and served as Vice President of the International Studies Association and now co-chair of the ISA Women’s Caucus.

She has served on numerous boards, including the Tactical Advisory Council, Center for Naval Analysis, and the George Marshall Center Advisory Board in Germany, and now serves on the advisory boards of St. Mary’s College Women’s Center, the Forum for Security Studies, the Swedish National Defense University, and WIIS. Dr. Mattox published, with A. Rachwald, Enlarging NATO: The National Debates, and Evolving European Defense Policies with C. Kelleher. She is the co-editor of Germany in Transition, Germany at the Crossroads, and Germany Through American Eyes, and has published widely in scholarly journals. She holds numerous awards and has appeared on the Lehrer News Hour and other media outlets.