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.
Watch Fritz Stern, university professor emeritus at Columbia University, discuss the legacy of Hitler's transformation of Germany into a one-party dictatorship. This meeting was hosted in collaboration with the National History Center.
Listen to Fritz Stern, university professor emeritus at Columbia University, discuss the legacy of Hitler's transformation of Germany into a one-party dictatorship. This meeting was hosted in collaboration with the National History Center.
Charles A. Kupchan, CFR’s top Europe expert, sees major improvements in the mood of U.S.-Europe relations, but, he cautions, there are only “slim pickings” to show on policy issues like Iran and Afghanistan.
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.
William Drozdiak, president of the independent American Council on Germany, says the White House meeting last week between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Bush indicates “they seem to have struck up a much more friendly rapport than what Bush had with her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder."
Germany’s U.S. ambassador says his country will use new leadership positions in both the European Union and the G8 to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and issues such as energy security with Russia.
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.
In a policy shift, Germany pledges to act on security issues in a way more commensurate with its economic, diplomatic, and cultural heft. For a nation that has felt the need to tiptoe in the world, the shift raises more doubt than hackles.
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.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »