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.
The president of the American Council on Germany sees a "definite improvement" in U.S.-German relations since Angela Merkel became chancellor five months ago. Ahead of Merkel's second visit to Washington this year, William Drozdiak says that a key issue for Merkel and President Bush is what to do about Iran's nuclear program.
It seems a long time since talks between a U.S. president and a German chancellor could produce anything approaching a meeting of the minds. That may not happen yet, but experts believe there is promise in Angela Merkel's meeting with President Bush.
U.S. troops on conquered territory, infrastructure in ruins, international squabbling over reconstruction: a window onto occupied Germany seven months after V-E Day, when progress was still unsteady and Europe's future hung in the balance.
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