German Foreign Policy

Just to show that the Germans are not going to be free of terrorist activities just because they opposed the war in Iraq…

Recently, officials in Yemen prevented bombings of the German, British, and U.S. embassies in Sanaa.

So I think that we can see that no civilized country is safe and that includes the Germans and I hate to be mean, but one of these days I may engage in some schadenfreude of my own if the French come to realize that their self-serving efforts have not gained them any respite from the al Qaeda.

You still don’t understand why Germany and France did oppose the US attack on Iraq, huh?

Don’tr worry mesheel, when the next war starts in Europe, I’ll be sure to bring a couple of pockets full of Hershey Bars… :laughing: :laughing:

No need, thanks, there is enough good chocolate here…=)

Fred, we’re not going to start tossing candy down to the European kids from our tanks, are we? It just slows down the column.

This might be interesting to those of you concerned with German Foreign Policy:

Germans As Victims

You can read the rest of the article here:

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar … Oct14.html

Mesheel:

No I do not understand why Germany opposed and why France opposed so actively to the point of running around the world to organize opposition.

It is all fine and dandy for you to come online and argue from a politically correct viewpoint that “war is always wrong” and “women and children might get hurt” but the fact remains that when a nation like Germany has built its entire security policy since WWII around its security relationship with the United States and has nothing else in place except some nebulous “common European force” then we really have to wonder if the Germany leadership is congenitally stupid.

As to France, the leadership could have abstained and things would have been fine. The leaders of France were so stupid and poorly advised to believe that they could stop the US invasion of Iraq. Look at where that has gotten them. No one is coalescing around the French position now and even Germany and Russia are rebuilding ties with the US. Russia was always a bit of a spoiler so fair’s fair but France was supposed to be a friend.

You can look at the fact that they are not really helping with troops or money right now and say that is fair and I would agree, but actively opposing, well that is something that the French will have to live with for a generation. They could have kept to the abstaining position in the beginning and would therefore not have been required to send troops or money in the first place. The US will never include them in any important security fora again. AND it will be France that suffers.

Tigerman:

Must look through this site and get back to you (washington post). Guess off hand, I would agree about the tone of “victimhood” but as someone whose family was one of the ones expelled - actually, I should say, the 7 percent of those that were not killed in war or by the Russians, were expelled - I would agree to a large part of your assessment. Now that said, I think that we are looking at things from the wrong point of view here. This seems to me to be one part of an overall effort that soon may involve legal action to reclaim “expropriated” properties. Now, as a lawyer, do you see where this is going? Once Poland is part of the EU for example, there may be more pressure that can be brought to bear against its government to restore certain properties. I believe that is where this is headed.

No one in my family for example had anything to say except “We got we deserved.” They (not including me haha) started that war regardless of the fact that Hitler was a dictator, they fought it, they were morally responsible. No one is disputing that. But I wish that Stalin and Mao would get half the attention that the poor Germans do :wink: . Maybe I should start a thread? haha

Ohje, another attempt by Fred to “bash” the Germans? Have fun talking to yourself … :wink:

Rascal:

Who’s bashing? Besides for someone who has so many opinions about US foreign policy, you seem eerily quiet (perhaps uninformed) about German foreign policy, no?

freddy

Tigerman:

Let me draw out the excerpts that I find much more interesting.

That point of view, always popular on the far right of the German political spectrum, has spread rapidly leftward in recent years, attracting supporters among Social Democrats, bank presidents and others. Not everybody agrees by any means, but the subject is shockingly raw, even difficult to discuss politely. As I can attest, there are German politicians who will shout down other guests at dinner parties if their right to victimhood is questioned too harshly. (OH yes, I have definitely seen this type of behavior recently).

It is my guess that these things are related: It cannot be an accident that a wave of unusually virulent, even irrational anti-Americanism has peaked just as Germans have begun, for the first time since the war, to talk about their past in a new way. Germany is reassessing its place in Europe, its role in the world, its postwar subordination to the United States. Some of the recalcitrance we’ve seen in Germany during the past year has been genuine opposition to the war in Iraq and genuine dislike of President Bush and what he is thought to stand for. But some reflects a deeper change. Germans, or at least some of them, no longer want to apologize for the 20th century. Germans, or at least some of them, no longer want to accept the political leadership of the United States. Just look at the bestseller lists for proof.

Finally, not to harp on the same subject, but I think this was exactly Gunther Grass’s point in his new book “Crab Walk.” I believe that it is this sense of victimhood that is resurfacing “someone is to blame” that bedeviled the protagonist’s mother and she naturally found an outlet for this in anti-Semitism. It was not a genuine dislike of the Jews or well thought out hatred but a sort of airy general well they are in charge of finance and the media and so they must be to blame. Also, I think that it is important to remember that it was precisely this sense of victimhood which led to such a strong support for Hitler prior to WWII.

Nobody. Note the “”.

This article was right up my alley. I think that many will find it very interesting as well.

freddy

foreignaffairs.org/20030901f … iance.html

Summary: Despite the myriad setbacks of recent months, the U.S.-European alliance is not doomed. But repairing it will require a strategic overhaul no less bold than that which followed the end of the Cold War. The key to today’s transatlantic divide is not power but purpose. To revive and revamp the alliance, therefore, the United States and the European Union must forge a new grand strategy capable of meeting the great challenges of the era: expanding the Euro-Atlantic community and stabilizing the greater Middle East.

Ronald D. Asmus is a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Opening NATO’s Door: How the Alliance Remade Itself for a New Era and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 1997 to 2000.

no opposition to the us allowed huh…so go nuke europe too…i’m sure it’s going to be fun for u guys…where’s the use in so many different countries anyways, why not just expand the us to the other continents as well…makes things easier, doesn’t it.

Mesheel:

What the hell kind of response is that? Are you even keeping up with this thread? Go back and reread the postings and then make a sensible response. No one is saying Europe cannot oppose the US but it is time to sit down and do some serious talking about putting this (most important) alliance back together again. I think it is worthwhile. Also, I believe that you do the US a great injustice with your offhand comments suggesting that the US just wants to go out and nuke or take over as many countries as possible. Clearly, the threats from North Korea, Iran and the former Iraq justified a response and even the Europeans believed so. The debate was over how to react.

freddy

From an interesting article by Robert Zoellick on Germany’s foreign policy:

Third, Germany cannot ignore the dangers stirring on Europe’s southeastern periphery. Germany will be on the frontline for refugees from the Balkans, Turkey, and the Middle East; it could be on the firing line for terrorists. Too often, European policies toward these regions seem paralyzed by old fears, national legacies, and a lack of will to use Europe’s latent power. If a European Security Identity is ever to be more than an empty phrase, Europe should be able to handle bullies and limited conflicts on its own continent without American intervention. I suspect it will eventually require strong German involvement to catalyze effective British, French, and European-wide action.

If Germany and Europe ignore these dangers, or fail to develop military capabilities that can contribute to a response, the United States will of necessity tend increasingly toward unilateral action on security questions. German contributions to European and trans-Atlantic security capabilities could be decisive in preventing a breach in Alliance cohesion caused by accident, inattention, or even design. As we saw in the less vital case of Bosnia, failure to maintain the trans-Atlantic link can lead to brutal and frustrating consequences. Europe and the United States would be wise not to risk such a breach in regions of vital interest, especially when devastating weapons may be involved.

The interesting point is that this was written by an official in the Clinton administration and it was written in 1998. That was five years ago.
csis.org/html/op981201.html

Again, another important speech from FIVE YEARS AGO. How prescient.

Speech by
Rudolf Scharping
German Minister of Defense

Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 23, 1998

Since Germany’s accession to the Alliance, a broad consensus has emerged in my country - a consensus unequivocally supporting three facts: Firstly, NATO is and remains the indispensable anchor of peace and security in Europe; secondly, NATO is the unique forum linking the United States of America, our most important ally and partner, closely and permanently to peace and freedom on our continent; and thirdly, NATO has become the nucleus for the Euro-Atlantic peace order we are building today. Thus, we have all reason to celebrate the most successful alliance in history - an alliance of shared values and shared interests.

On the other hand we cannot turn a blind eye to challenges which have a direct bearing on the future of Europe. We need to take a fresh look at risks emanating from NATO’s periphery. There is a band of instability running from the Balkans across the Mediterranean to North Africa and the Middle East Security into the Caucasus and South West Asia. Security is indivisible. The spread of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism, internal instabilities caused by a mixture of socio-economic and political imbalances, and political fundamentalism could very well lead to a crisis requiring action on our part. These risks are unlikely to decline over the next years.

The extent of the challenge calls for a broad, comprehensive and joint strategy of the Euro-Atlantic institutions. We need to meet all challenges - politically, socio- economically, and militarily

Germany said its budget crisis precluded any contribution beyond the $224 million it has already pledged. Development Minister Heidemarie Weiczorek-Zeul also said Germany was unwilling to forgive an estimated $4.6 billion in Iraqi debt.

Iran is, in fact, one case where Europeans and Americans currently agree. A nuclear Iran would destroy the whole strategic stability of the region, said a high-ranking German diplomat speaking in Washington this week: “It cannot happen. It would be a catastrophe.”

Something for Germany’s diplomats to consider:

While German-Russian relations are close right now, what happens if Ukraine becomes part of Russia again? Are the Germans confident that a weakened relationship with the US and a weakened NATO will serve their security interests? Will the much touted European Defense Force with France, Belgium and Luxembourg be enough to protect its security interest in Eastern Europe and the Baltic? See some comments regarding Ukraine below:

Within the forthcoming year, the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance. Since its independence in 1991 following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has been mired by a flailing economy, a corrupt leadership and isolation from the West. It now faces the prospect of fighting for its very survival as an independent state. The Bush administration would be wise to exert its influence in the impending battle. More ominously, Mr. Kuchma seeks to abrogate Ukraine’s hard-won national sovereignty: he wants to foster closer ties with Moscow. A staunch Russophile, his ultimate goal is for Kiev to rejoin a Great Russian Imperium. At Yalta, he recently signed an economic union pact with the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. He has a tight-knit rapport with Russian President Vladimir Putin who wants Ukraine to fall under Moscow’s sphere of influence.

This resource-rich nation of roughly 55 million is of immense geopolitical importance. An electoral victory by the democratic opposition would provide the impetus for spreading economic development and liberal governance throughout Eurasia. Moreover, a prosperous, democratic Ukraine can act as a strategic bulwark against Russian expansionism. Under Mr. Putin’s leadership, Russia has increasingly taken on the role of the successor to the defunct Soviet empire, threatening the interests of its neighbors and America as well. Moscow has increased its meddling in the internal affairs not only of Ukraine, but also of Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

[quote]Bush administration would be wise to exert its influence in the impending battle.

Under Mr. Putin’s leadership, Russia has increasingly taken on the role of the successor to the defunct Soviet empire, threatening the interests of its neighbors and America as well.[/quote]
That calls for a pre-emptive strike, doesn’t it? :unamused: