Authors: Ralf Beste, Konstantin von Hammerstein, and Alexander Szandar
Germany's parliament votes will determine whether to extend Berlin's participation in the military mission in Afghanistan. This article reports that Afghanistan is on the brink of disaster, but German politicians have chosen to ignore Afghanistan's real problems.
This paper from the German Marshall Fund of the United States looks at the troubled tripartite relationship between Poland, France and Germany. The paper says this unstable relationship – the so-called ‘Weimar Triangle’ – has made it difficult to coordinate relations between the three countries, but notes that recent meetings have seen leaders of the three countries put contentious issues aside and concentrate on finding solutions to outstanding problems.
Triggered by recent events in Afghanistan, Germany is debating the future role of its special operations forces (SOF). Particular criticism has focused on the lack of transpar-ency regarding the deployment of the Special Operations Forces (Kommando Spezialkräfte, or KSK) and on insufficient mechanisms for political oversight over these forces. The German government wants the KSK to continue to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). However, in order to prevent further domestic political backlash against the use of these forces, there needs to be a political debate about the future role of SOF in German defense and security policy as well as a revision of current practice.
Authors: Steven Erlanger, Lily Gardner Feldman, Helmut Hubel, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Tony Smith, Bassam Tibi, Angelika Timm, and Clemens Wergin
The long-standing German-American transatlantic partnership suffered setbacks in the wake of the Iraq War, another Middle East flashpoint. The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University has released a report offering a German-American perspective on the continuous Israel-Palestine struggle in the Middle East and the link between culture and politics.
This paper from the German Marshall Fund of the United States looks at Germany’s evolving relationship with the European Union. Growing in stature and, at the same time, sacrificing some of its own interests for the European Union, Germany has guaranteed its fundamental interest: a peaceful co-existence with its neighbours. In the meantime, Germany was also the only state to possess a foreign policy outlook that was both pro-European and transatlantic. However, under the administration of Chancellor Schröder, the tone and substance of Germany's European Policy evolved in two ways. First, within Europe, the "national" or the "German" component was accentuated. Second, during the war in Iraq, Germany made a break with its traditional foreign policy when it stood by France in opposing the United States. The paper explores how this new German orientation will develop during the German presidency of the EU during the first six months of 2007.
The German Institute for International and Security Affairs has released a report that offers German perspectives on the challenge of increasing Europe's voice and its ability to react to security challenges around the globe.
This report from Amnesty International contains an extensively documented account of the unlawful detention or ‘rendition’ of Khaled el-Masri, a 43-year-old German of Lebanese origin. El-Masri was arrested while on a trip to Macedonia in December 2003. He was initially detained and interrogated by Macedonian officials for 23 days, then handed to US agents and secretly flown via Iraq to Afghanistan. He was then taken to a prison that his lawyers believe was the "Salt Pit", an abandoned brick factory run by US agents as a prison in the north of the business district in Kabul, during which time he was allegedly ill-treated. He was then flown to an as yet unidentified location in the Balkans, and driven to the Albanian border, after the US authorities apparently realized they had the wrong man. The Albanian authorities then arranged his flight back to Germany.
Benn Steil's latest Forbes op-ed, co-authored with Dinah Walker, shows why Greece may turn out to be a deciding factor in the German elections. While it is widely believed that a fresh mandate for Chancellor Merkel means more robust German involvement to end the eurozone crisis, they show why the loss of her FDP coalition partner could mean the opposite.
The fall of the Berlin Wall was not the only significant international development of 1989, writes James Goldgeier. The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and the Tiananmen Square massacre in China signified the emergence of two new international challenges: failed states and illiberal capitalism, each of which has "vexed" the United States for the past two decades.
Barack Obama will be given a euphoric reception this week when he speaks at Victory Column in Berlin. But in this Bloomberg article, Amity Shlaes argues that the Berlin cityscape reminds us of the limits of Obama’s foreign policy and that sometimes you encounter war even when you don’t want to.
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The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
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