Germany’s long road from security beneficiary to internationally

co-operating security provider


Wulf-W. Lapins

(translated by Christopher Schönberger/Austrian Armed Forces Language Institute)

From the beginnings of the ‘old’ Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 until its apogee in the peaceful reunification of 1990, a spectre haunted the political circles responsible for, and interested in, national security: it was the spectre of an uncertain defence capability mired in a fixation on the constant threat of a potential Soviet military attack. Officially, these threat perceptions were reflected in the defence ministry’s eight White Papers published between 1969 and 1985[1], in studies by politically high-ranking German defence experts[2], sometimes in an alarmist manner in the print media[3], as well as in publications of former high-ranking NATO[4] and German staff officers[5].

The terminological change from defence policy to security policy officially took place in 1969/70. In 1969, the government’s first published review was called White Paper on the Federal Government’s Defence Policy. A year later, the title was changed to 1970 White Paper on the Security of the Federal Republic of Germany and on the State of its Armed Forces. The definition of security addressed in it, however, still retained the traditional focus on military policy: “The Federal Government’s security policy must ensure the survival of the Federal Republic and of its citizens (…) Maintaining peace, our free way of life and our prosperity are as important as the preservation of the unbroken will to achieve peaceful self-realization.[6] (…) In this, security policy means three things: first, participation in maintaining a stable military balance; second, consolidation of peace in Europe by overcoming the East-West conflict; third, a permanent effort to limit and monitor the armament of all states.[7]

Understandably, in the heyday of the Cold War, the term security as used by the Federal Republic was one-dimensionally focused on military defence/deterrence. During the policy of détente, a trinity was drafted: defence plus détente is equal to security.[8]

In contrast, security policy today is seen as the totality of all measures taken in the process of preventing, avoiding and managing crises, conflicts, and developments that are a threat to peace. In this context, the current extended security concept used in German security policy[9] also comprises several dimensions. These include:[10]

The content dimension: in addition to the military perspectives it also incorporates humanitarian, ecological and economic factors in the security concept. The context of the military aspect also includes the category of disarmament and arms control.

The reference dimension: a stronger orientation of the national/societal focus in security policy towards the individual as the benchmark.

The space dimension: geographically expanding the conventional security-perception of a state and its bordering areas to produce a global view.

The danger dimension: a rational approach to security-political challenges in terms of making a qualified assessment of the real dangers/threats in contrast to vague hazards/contingencies/risks.

Two further dimensions, not mentioned by von Daase, make up the German extended understanding of security:

The normative dimension: the basis legitimating the use of state/international force pursuant to UN-principles. The effort to further develop international humanitarian law also belongs to this context.

Finally, the prevention dimension: i.e. the readiness to act politically in a manner that is fast, coherent and, under certain circumstances, robust if conflicts are identified early.

Comprehensive research, based on extensive international sources, is available on Germany’s foreign and security policy during the East-West-conflict, following German reunification and the concomitant international upheavals and realignments.[11] Against this backdrop, the following paper does not present yet another attempt at stocktaking.

Without referring to systemic theories concerning the analysis of foreign policy[12], this paper will initially sum up and illustrate West Germany’s foreign and security policy in what can, by necessity, only be a perfunctory horizontal analysis and systemic cross section: given the Bonn Republic’s[13] only partial sovereignty as a beneficiary of security within and via the alliance, the decision-makers at the time did not want - or rather - were not allowed to develop a distinct strategy which would shape its foreign and security policy.

It will then outline that, during its first decade, also the Berlin Republic[14] remained in a state of strategy fatigue. “Carry on!” seemed to have been the implied maxim, instead of - as a provider of security - aiming to contain the global security-political challenges facing Germany on the basis of socially communicated and agreed-upon values, interests, goals and means, and through a strategic concept based on resolve.

Preventing, averting and overcoming conflicts, as well as peace keeping in the shape of civilian crisis prevention was first introduced into the 1989 coalition agreement, and has, since then, been a guiding light for German foreign policy. However, “civilian crisis prevention is not a self-contained policy area but provides political orientation which influences and is reflected in numerous governmental policy areas and fields of activity.”[15] Furthermore, civilian crisis prevention sees itself as only one structural element, albeit an important one, of extended security.

Germany’s increasing political influence at the end of the last century boosted the expectations of the Euro-Atlantic partners, but also those of the international community as a whole, that Germany would take on more responsibilities regarding crisis prevention and ongoing conflicts, as well as with regard to the strategic orientation, conceptual programming and shaping of multilateral platforms and bodies such as the UN, EU, NATO and OSCE. The lowest common denominator was that Germany’s responsibility did not end at the borders of the EU.

Selected and only roughly illustrated examples such as Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya or Mali show how difficult those in positions of responsibility find the required strategic extent of a sovereign German foreign and security policy, in order to (re)act appropriately as regards the complexity of interests-goals-values-ends-situations-potentials-means.

Judging by the political language used and the first decisions taken, the protagonists of the new grand coalition seem to be ready to summon the will necessary for more substantial strategic achievements and capabilities.

The present article is a policy paper/scientific analysis of policy and does not constitute a theoretical-methodological investigation to be used empirically in order to fill an existing gap in research. The author’s core interest[16] lies in the problem briefly outlined above: the process involved in the evolution and changes in German foreign and security policy, from being the beneficiary of a “culture of restraint”[17] to the regard, currently being debated, shown for a responsible “culture of shaping global civil-military action” [18]. In this, the author would like to contribute to the necessary discourse on the forthcoming practical re-accentuation of German foreign and security policy.[19]


Curtailed sovereignty

In 1969, the political scientist Arnulf Baring made a barbed comment about the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany: “In the beginning, there was Adenauer – this is how one could briefly describe the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany.”[20] In 2001, relying on research that had by that time become quite substantial, Helga Haftendorn argued equally pointedly: “In the beginning, there were the Allies – and not Adenauer”[21]. One thing remains beyond dispute: the state of West Germany was conceived as an interim solution. From its creation in 1949 until German reunification in 1990, it had only a limited capacity to act with regard to foreign affairs. The Four Power Status, concerning Berlin and Germany as a whole, limited every Bonn government’s independence in foreign policy.[22]

The foundation of national policy was - and continues to be - the Westbindung (i.e. anchoring Germany in the community of western democracies) as well as a policy of reconciliation, especially with Israel. Membership in international organisations as well as the - domestically hard-won - policy of détente and that of Ostpolitik turned the Bonn Republic into an active participant in international relations. Bonn increasingly came to be regarded and appreciated as a responsible and reliable partner that was dedicated to peace, prepared to contribute financially, and was predictable in its foreign policy. At the same time, the ‘old’ Federal Republic did not have an active, independent, regulatory role on the international stage. Western allies shied away from the risk and Bonn was shy of power. Lord Hastings Ismay, the first NATO Secretary General, precised the overlap of interests in the context of NATO’s task and function: “NATO means to keep the Americans in, to keep the Russians out and to keep the Germans down.”[23] According to witnesses, Ismay sometimes also used the phrase “to keep the Germans under control”.

For all former federal governments the transatlantic alliance meant security from, for, as well as with Germany. Through Euro-Atlantic integration the Western Allies gradually granted Bonn increased sovereignty (as a bonus, as it were), allowing it to become an effective international player - under their supervision.[24]

Until reunification, Germany’s approach to foreign policy followed three essential notions: never again, never alone, and diplomacy and politics before force. Such positively connoted political maxims, participatory as well as restrained, ideally correspond with a pacific, civilian power. [25] And it is this type of power the political elites wanted to represent.


Refusal of power as a niche

Internationally established historians and political scientists from the conservative spectrum, such as Hans-Peter Schwarz[26] or Christian Hacke[27], seemed to regret the loss of the power category as a crucial determinant of German foreign policy. When, from 1955 on, Bonn was again allowed to conduct a semi-sovereign foreign policy it was no longer power that was given a front row seat as a central tenet in the school of realpolitik. What did grow massively in the shadow of American power, however, as a beneficiary of security and diligent manager of political self-Munchkinisation, was Germany’s economic strength. Already in 1969 Helmut Schmidt, then Minister of Defence, saw his country as having the status of a global economic power.[28] The rise of Rhenish capitalism, as opposed to that of France, was substantially bolstered by the prohibition of political strikes and the state’s refusal to intervene in the economy. So, for decades, economic excellence compensated for the trauma of partition.

Towards the end of the old Federal Republic, Dolf Sternberger coined the term Verfassungspatriotismus (constitutional patriotism).[29] Jürgen Habermas[30] subsequently popularised this concept as a new narrative referring to a republican understanding of the nation, and appealed to an active role of the citizen in a constitutional state with its extensive fundamental rights/fundamental values, institutions and civilian organisations. It was a surrogate for a pseudo-homeless West German identity broken by the history of the Third Reich and subsequent partition, because the citizens’ identities were, as already shown, primarily shaped by their economic power and the Deutsche Mark.

The solution of the German question, i.e. the restoration of German unity, the implosion of the USSR and the unravelling of the East-West conflict as well as the subsequent creation of sovereign nation states in Central and Eastern Europe eventually transformed the foreign and security political architecture of the newly established Berlin Republic.


Concerns about the display of power

This transformation process, however, only proceeded slowly and is still in progress. Quite literally on the eve of German unification, on 2 October 1990, US President George H. W. Bush made overtures to Germany to adopt a leading role and become an active provider of security. “Together, building on the values we share, we will be partners in leadership.[31] The federal government, however, did not seize this opportunity. It believed that it was not able simultaneously to tackle the forthcoming reunification of Germany and to adopt a leading role in Europe. Primarily, however, it shied away from a leadership-role. Christian Hacke, the distinguished researcher in foreign policy, summed up this failure of the first years following reunification to develop a strategy that both politics and extra-parliamentary discourse could agree upon: “After 1990 Germany failed to make the leap from passive beneficiary of security to active provider of the same […] Germany rarely took the initiative, acted primarily reactively and often, as was the case in Somalia, too late and only when forced to do so by its partners. This post-heroic attitude limited the effectiveness of humanitarian interventions, as the wish to help did not correspond with the necessary readiness to act.[32]

After all, in the twentieth century Germany had made two attempts to use war to overcome the middle position it regarded as precarious. Reunification, however, meant that Germany had returned to its historic and geographic middle position and had become the European central power. It was against this backdrop that European and international politics/diplomacy as well as the political sciences observed the goings-on intently and, by degrees, with great concern: would the sloughing of the domesticated political animal in its habitat, the Bonn Republic, produce the new European alpha dog, the Berlin Republic? The German Bundestag’s decision to make Berlin the capital had already been taken in 1991, the move of parliament and government to Berlin, however, was only carried out in the summer of 1999. Foreign policy, therefore, continued for many years to be made in leisurely Bonn.

Where would the interests, means and goals of German foreign policy get their bearings in future? Would Germany again pursue self-confident power politics[33] as the “dominant structural European power[34], or as, according to some assessments, a “great power of global weight[35], or even, as Margaret Thatcher feared, again seize the historic chance ruthlessly to make itself the regional hegemon in the shape of a Fourth Reich[36]? Or would German post-war identity as the basis of a European identity retain its shaping influence in order to continue the value-driven foreign policy of a civilian power? To use a metaphor: return as Goliath or as peaceful Gulliver? As long as the German question had remained unanswered, its limited international legal personality consistently ensured its reluctance to pursue national interests in the context of foreign and security policy. Following reunification, it would have to be the lessons learned from the catastrophes of German history that would have to tame German foreign policy.


Wise restraint

In the Second Gulf War (1991) Germany refrained from deploying Bundeswehr units to combat operations of the allied coalition for the liberation of Kuwait. The Kohl Government followed the well-known pattern of the former ‘old’ Republic: it generously supported the armed conflict with 20 billion US dollars and arms shipments. Some years later German President Roman Herzog used this approach as a negative example of complacent German foreign policy and coined the term cheque-book diplomacy[37].

Does this mean that remaining on the sidelines was the first, post-reunification litmus test concerning an eschewal of the use of force in the pursuit of goals in foreign and security policy? Probably not, as Moscow had not yet ratified the Two Plus Four Agreement, through which the process of unification would be finalised and Germany would acquire complete sovereignty in foreign and security policy.

There was a further coincidence with the ratification and the Gulf War: the bloody action taken by Soviet special forces in Vilnius/Lithuania and Riga/Latvia against the independence movement in the Baltic, still-Soviet Republics.[38] Bonn was worried that a Bundeswehr deployment to the Gulf would make the warnings of a coup uttered by Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze a reality and put paid to the ratification.[39] On 15 March 1991, Soviet Ambassador Wladislaw Terechow was the last of the four Allies to present the ratification document to Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher. And the collapse of the attempted Moscow coup in August directly led to the Baltic States’ independence and sovereignty.


First attempts at self-assertion

Now fully sovereign in the scope of its foreign policy, Germany recognised Slovenia and Croatia as new international legal personalities in a diplomatic solo in December 1991.[40] Faced with the hesitation of partners who wanted to take this step together at a later date, and caught in the dilemma between the principles of European multilateralism and stability provision in the Western Balkans, the Government decided on the latter. An extensive research paper published in 1998 on German identity and the power profile of German politics diagnosed a dearth of clarity concerning this complex; a coherent strategic concept was not in sight.[41] This is remarkable considering that, quite soon after reunification, first, self-confident impulses became noticeable in questions of foreign and security policy. For example, the defence-political guidelines of 1992 defined “Germany as a non-nuclear power and continental medium-sized power with global interests”, which however “it cannot assert alone”. In these security-political stipulations the government stated plainly that “German interests do not correspond in every case with those of its allies and of other partners”. Self-confidently, it continues: “The national interests are thus also the starting point of a sovereign state’s security policy.”[42]

This was a veiled departure from the long-standing Genscher maxim “whereby Germany has no national interests - the European interest is the German interest”.[43] This means that Germany would only pursue its interests as part of an EU convoy. His creed was that German foreign policy had been absorbed by European policy. This platitude, however, whitewashed reality: what would happen to German positions if there were differences of interest among the members?

Although, due to the absence of any creative capacity, Germany’s foreign and security policy still resembled a hologram in 1992, its guidelines still pointed to a need for more international participation. Germany’s European policy following the 1992 Maastricht Treaty would show whether the agreed-upon structural European commitment would make its alleged “obliviousness to power” (Hans-Peter Schwarz) permanent, or whether Germany, with Europe in its back, would again stand on the historical power-crazed escalator on the way up.

As so often in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, old or new, decisions made by the Federal Constitutional Court require political realignments - as was the case with the momentous decision of 12July 1994.[44] This produced the constitutional foundations for “peace-support operations of the German Bundeswehr as part of a system of mutual collective security”. Every international operation of German armed forces now requires the prior consent of the German Bundestag, the so-called parliamentary prerogative. The crucial point for future German foreign and security policy was that the Constitutional Court did not differentiate between a system of collective security (typically the UN) and a system of collective defence (typically NATO, and the EU following the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009).

If the 1990 Two Plus Four Agreement at least had the quality of a journeyman’s certificate in foreign and security policy, then the Constitutional Court decision was the master craftsman’s diploma. Since then Germany has been able to deploy its soldiers legally and globally to UN, NATO and EU operations. The only restrictions come from German politics. The argument that the parliamentary prerogative restricts flexible and expeditious executive decisions is often used when attempts are made to weaken or even abolish them.[45] Rear Admiral Karsten Schneider, Deputy Commandant of the Führungsakademie of the Bundeswehr, stated that: “In this, the structural obstacles should not be overrated. The Parliamentary Participation Act, which is often described as a huge obstacle, does not stand in the way of an accelerated decision by the government. In Germany no operation has ever been scuppered by the Bundestag. The importance of parliamentary responsibility has also now been realised by nations with a more enthusiastic approach to military operations.”[46]


A warning from history

Following his term in office, Helmut Kohl employed a historical context to illustrate the nature of the power category for Germany. In the 1950’s Adenauer once told a small group of people: “We Germans were the European masters of overstatement for fifty years, now we have to be the masters of understatement for fifty years. These fifty years are now over and, unfortunately, some seem to be exploiting this fact.”[47] This hidden warning was probably directed at his successor as Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder. He, new to the office, stated that he “had thought for a long time (…) that the Germans were a normal people” and that “his generation and the coming generations should be able to run around free from any guilt complexes.”[48] Shortly afterwards, in a seminal article on the power question in German foreign policy, on invariables, determinants, and interests under his leadership, he explained in realpolitik terms: “Every foreign policy is first of all an interest-driven policy (…) Thus, Germany would be well advised to regard itself as a great European power - as our neighbours have been doing for a long time - and to align its foreign policy accordingly, in order to pursue it in the framework of the Euro-Atlantic structures.[49] He aimed, on the one hand, to link German foreign and security policy with Euro-Atlantic interests but, at the same time, also implicitly asserted distinct German national interests.


The normalcy of power

With the double change of government - the move to Berlin and a new Red-Green coalition - a new political generation took to the foreign policy stage. To the so-called 1968 Generation, hardened by years of party divisions, triumphs and drubbings, the power factor had become the twin sibling to the assertion of one’s individual political position. The step towards recognising power - redefined as robust creative power - as a significant co-governing determinant also in actions pertaining to foreign policy may not have been one as employed in an elegant tango, but neither was it a dance on a volcano. Kosovo and Afghanistan may be symbolic of participating in an alliance; Germany, however, did have problems with a strategic, i.e. conceptual profile, with coherent interests formulated ex ante, tasks, instruments as well as short-term and long-term goals, and the evaluation of its contributions to both military conflicts.[50] This, however, should not be too surprising - whilst alliance partners, such as the USA, Great Britain and France are insiders in terms of military operations, Germany has been an outsider since 1945.

Red-Green foreign policy was an attempt at re-positioning Germany’s international role. Although the Government publicly distanced itself from George W. Bush’s war policy - the slogan “Not in our name” also contributed to a successful election campaign - Berlin was nevertheless anxious “not to be listed as an adversary by the Pentagon. Agents of the Bundesnachrichtendienst worked for the Americans in Baghdad. According to a US General, this intelligence was so important that it was one reason for the US to start the war sooner[51]. This refers to an interview in December 2008 with the Senior Intelligence Officer during the Iraq war, Major General James ‘Spider’ Marks, in which he specified that: “We learned via the German channels that the Iraqis had started destroying their oil production facilities. Inter alia, the war was started earlier and the Marines were sent across the border in order to protect the oil plants.[52]

At the same time as the Red-Green government began its work, Egon Bahr, social democrat, Ostpolitiker, and intellectual force in foreign policy, released the power category from its previous near-obscenity in the context of German foreign policy. “The country faced with shaping a new chapter of its national history, has to become accustomed to power again. Power-familiarisation is a different word for normality. German power is normal.[53]

Schröder, however, swept aside any worries concerning a possible new version of a German Sonderweg. For him and his government there was no doubt that “Today, Germany pursues foreign policy in Europe, of Europe and for Europe.[54] This European policy was especially challenged by the Kosovo War in 1999: contrary to claims made by their parties during the election campaign and stipulations in the coalition agreement stating that Germany would only participate in military operations on the basis of the UN Charter, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer participated, without a UN mandate, in the NATO strikes against Serbia during the Kosovo War. In order to justify the lack of legitimation under international law, the grave violation of human rights of the Milosevic-regime against Kosovo-Albanians were repeatedly highlighted mantra-like, and the air war was rationalised as a responsibility to protect.


Reliability within the alliance

A closer look at the official sources concerning Germany’s steps towards its first participation in a war since 1945, however, exposes this: the two top-ranking politicians in Germany primarily wished to join the Kosovo conflict in order not to make its NATO partners, in particular the USA, doubt Germany’s loyalty to the alliance. The allies were not to regard the first centre-left government as a security-political drifter; in other words: Red-Green wanted to support the NATO air campaign in the national interest.[55]

Two years later, the Government was still primarily concerned with proving Germany’s reliability in matters of foreign and security policy and deployed German soldiers to Afghanistan. The starting point was Schröder’s crystal-clear and oath-like promise to the US of unequivocal, “unconditional solidarity[56] following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Bush administration, however, had not even asked for assistance by the Bundeswehr. Indeed, as proven by rigorous research, the US was not at all amused by Germany’s offer.[57] The Bundeswehr’s restricted military-operational profile, as defined by the German government (i.e. caveats), extensively limited any direct engagement of enemy forces. The German contribution to pacification and reconstruction, conceived as military stabilisation, however, developed more and more into a combat operation in which German soldiers were killed or injured.

This rendezvous with power politics, as well as the subsequent operations in the fight against international terrorism, were, however, not challenged as violations of the concept of being a civilian power in foreign policy.[58] The two Schröder governments as well as the following Grand Coalition under Angela Merkel adhered to the principle that there was a German responsibility in foreign and security policy, which one they were willing to take on. Of course, this was not altruistic. Failure to provide assistance means no say and no clout as an influential actor on the international stage. In this spirit, Germany also drafted the civilian European strategy of a modernisation partnership with the five states of Central Asia, which was adopted during Germany’s 2007 Presidency of the Council of the European Union.[59]


Military restraint

The coalition agreement of the Christian-Liberal government (2009-2013) declared that in the context of “international operations and instruments of German security policy” the “culture of restraint[60] would be the guideline. This concept may have been used there in connection with military actions; Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, however, turned this into a “culture of military restraint[61], i.e. a type of anti-intervention doctrine regarding German foreign and security policy during his time in office. Ergo, on 17 March 2011 Germany abstained during the vote on UN Security Council Resolution 1973 concerning the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. One reason for this neutral approach, however, was a misjudgement regarding the flexibility and pragmatic handling of the respective national interests of the five permanent Security Council members in the case of Libya. Germany sitting on the sidelines did not violate any alliance obligations. What the alliance partners, however, did not understand, was that Germany, once NATO had entered the Libya conflict, ended its AWACS surveillance in the Mediterranean and withdrew all German ships from NATO’s UN-mandated maritime operation in the Mediterranean for the implementation of the arms embargo against the Gaddafi regime.

In light of this, there was massive criticism across party lines in Germany[62] as well as internationally; in the latter case criticism was rather more diplomatic and restrained[63]. As there had been signs until shortly before the vote that America would also abstain, Germany had considered itself in good company. President Obama, however, changed his opinion the night before the vote. Berlin was not prepared for this and looked isolated in the alliance, because the conditions which had been postulated by, among others, Germany - i.e. a UN mandate for the no-fly zone and consent by the Arab League - had been met. The German government was not completely cut off from the Libya operation, however. As participation in NATO staffs is an alliance obligation, German soldiers continued to serve in NATO JFC Naples, which was responsible for the airstrikes. Additionally, eleven additional soldiers of the German air force were despatched there to aid in target selection.[64]

Given the unforeseeable consequences and diffuse political goals, Germany’s initially extremely restrictive behaviour in the event of military humanitarian interventions betokens prudent national interest. Research would uncover more than one reason for allied sneers that “while other nations fuel their aircraft carriers, Germany fuels its concerns”. Two causes could, with some certainty, be elaborated upon: there would appear to be a lack of German anticipatory strategic insight into the decision making processes of close partners, while not, or not comprehensively enough, communicating their own position. And furthermore: “Under Allied influence, Germany’s governmental system was optimised for totally different purposes than establishing itself as a powerful actor in foreign policy.[65] This analysis is correct, but at the same time it also seems to sum up the problem.

For: there seems to be a divergence in German self-perception and international perception of the leeway possible in Germany’s foreign policy regarding the scope of responsibility Germany is willing to accept and what other countries expect. While allies and international organisations often wish for robust commitment, something which is also an expression of trust, the country itself, with its history in mind, often gives the impression of self-doubt whether it can and wants to meet the intended role.


Participating without interests and a plan?

The Mali operation and the Syria complex are classic cases in point: how to align one’s own interests and those of the closest allies (in these two cases France), without a common European foreign and security policy. After an initial count us out!, the government eventually did bring itself to support logistic air transport and air refuelling by providing one Airbus and three Transall aircraft, as well as to participate in the EU’s multinational military training program (UN resolution 2071) in Mali: a little more than mere gesture politics and less than effective support. Paris’ official reason for its military intervention was its bilateral defence deal with Mali as well as the plea from the government in Bamako to stop the advance of Islamist fighters and thus prevent the West African state from becoming a training site and refuge for terrorists. This could, according to the French warning, develop into a threat to Europe. By intervening, however, the government also pursued its own, substantial strategic and economic goals. “France has a long-term interest in exploiting natural resources in the Sahel, especially petroleum and uranium, which Areva, the French nuclear company, has been producing in the neighbouring country Niger for decades.[66] The government in Berlin, on the other hand, had not formulated any goals in the region and did not boast a national, interest-led West Africa strategy.

Concerning its foreign and security policy commitments, Germany cannot give carte blanche or unconditional authorisation. On the other hand, à la carte participation carries with it the danger of being regarded as following a course of letting the others get their hands dirty and being pushed to the political sidelines as a result. This was a latent possibility in the question of how to react to the attack with chemical weapons on a suburb of Damascus on 21 August. The French President Franҫois Hollande, the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel were in favour of military action against the Assad Regime in Syria, even though Britain could not have participated following a no in the Commons.

The German Government explained through its spokesman that: “such a barbarous use of chemical weapons against hundreds of men, women and children is a crime, a violation of international norms, which must not be without consequences.[67] The German foreign minister demanded a clear answer from the international community: “If there is confirmation of such a use, the global community must act. Germany will then be a part of those who think that there should be consequences.[68]

Berlin, however, kept silent about what the precise consequences would be for German politics. From the outset, any military assistance by the Bundeswehr was ruled out by the German foreign minister. “Such participation has neither been requested, nor is it being considered.[69] His stance corresponded to that of SPD Chancellor-candidate Peer Steinbrück and the majority of the German population, 69% of whom rejected a military strike against the Assad regime.[70] Needless to say, given the prevailing pacifist mood in Germany, no politicians wanted to expose themselves in the run-up to Bundestag elections by supporting punitive action. But, what about standing up for and advocating duty, care and obligation? The creed - frequently stressed in parliamentary debates and as part of great speeches - that “Germany knows about its responsibility in the world” and that it is prepared to “assume responsibility[71] is in no way just a political needlepoint phrase. Assuming responsibility has been a fixture of German policy development for years.


Comprehensive humanitarian commitment supporting security

Already in the days of the old Federal Republic, its armed forces frequently participated in disaster relief operations – mostly dealing with earthquakes. For example: Morocco in 1960, Italy in 1976 and again in 1980, as well as in Iran in 1990. This was followed by combating the famine in Biafra in 1968 and in Ethiopia in 1984. Ensuring free and fair elections was the goal in Namibia in 1988-89.

The list of completed and ongoing international operations of the Bundeswehr following German reunification is considerably longer. To name a few examples: in 1991 as part of NATO support for Turkey during the Gulf crisis, and the deployment of 2 Air-Defence Missile Squadron to Diyarbarkir during the subsequent Gulf War to protect against potential Iraqi attacks, as well as a subsequent demining operation by the German Navy in the Persian Gulf. In the same year, medical help was given to Kurdish refugees in Turkey and Iran, and medical support was given to UN staff in Cambodia up to 1993. In 1992, during the civil war in Somalia, the Bundeswehr initially participated in the airlift of food aid to ease the famine. After that, from 1993 to 1994, a support unit was deployed to the UN-sanctioned peacebuilding and peacekeeping mission there. Further humanitarian aid operations were the provision of food aid to Rwanda in 1994 and the evacuation of civilians from Albania in 1997, and from Libya in 2011.

The first military operation that was autonomously undertaken by the EU in a multinational framework was that in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. Acting upon a request by the UN, it was to secure the country’s first free parliamentary and presidential elections. The military mission was commanded by the German General Karlheinz Viereck. Germany participated by deploying 780 Bundeswehr soldiers. Through this mission the EU wanted and managed to demonstrate that its own EU Battle Groups could deploy to and operate in far-off places without needing to fall back on the support of NATO and the USA. The German Navy is also part of the UN-sanctioned and NATO-led Operation Active Endeavour, which monitors the Mediterranean Sea and collects intelligence on terrorist activity in the entire Mediterranean area.

Since January 2013, and as part of Operation Active Fence, two German Patriot batteries stationed in Kahramanmara/Turkey (roughly 100 km from the Syrian border) have been protecting Turkey from potential attacks by Syrian short-range missiles.


Differing security cultures

The German humanitarian will to assume responsibility and the concomitant commitment to conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation are clearly visible. Berlin is anything but a spectator on the international stage when it comes to humanitarian aid. Now and then, however, real, alleged or pretended concerns are raised by its big transatlantic brother as to whether Germany is again falling back into the historic temptation of pursuing a Sonderweg - only this time not in a military expression of power, but diametrically opposed, in a civilian mentality. Such conjectures, advanced by international media as regularly and reliably as stories about the Yeti, obviously result from different security-strategic cultures, as well as the increased importance of the responsibility to protect[72] in foreign and security policies. In Great Britain, France, and especially the USA, special importance is quite naturally attached to the military as a tool in the assertion of international interests. Economic necessities, humanitarian importance, as well as the expediency of punitive actions here go hand in hand.

Not so in Germany, where the concept of interlinked security sets the course. Instruments and means of diplomacy, cooperation in development policy, economic aid, as well as the police and armed forces constitute a comprehensive political concept. Employing its armed forces is the last resort and should be avoided whenever possible. In conflict management, this is the third and last escalation level in reacting to crises. London and Paris follow a rather pragmatic political approach in this. What other nations perceive to be hesitation and indecision concerning the employment of the Bundeswehr, especially as regards the responsibility to protect, is largely the result of the German parliamentary prerogative described above. Add to this the necessary and extensive ministerial accommodations with individual interests and concerns. However, Germany can always be relied upon with regard to agreements entered into and responsibilities assumed, however, Germany is always reliable.


The will to assume creative power responsibly

Does the will to assume responsibility, as stated by German politicians, also result in a clear political will and, if so, to what extent? Not for nothing did the Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski state the following in his keynote speech on Europe (Berlin, November 2011): “I fear German power less than German inactivity. You have become Europe’s indispensable nation. You must not fail in leadership. Do not dominate, but lead reforms.[73] This was not the only wake-up call made by allies concerning German initiatives, the fact that it was made in public and came from a Polish source, however, made it even more remarkable and thought-provoking. Germany as the central power in Europe is the beacon providing political orientation for its neighbours and partners - whether it wants to or not. Berlin has the critical mass required for direction, momentum and reforms in Europe, but also for aberration, idling and stagnation. Germany needs Europe just as much as Europe needs Germany.

Against this background, the German President Joachim Gauck, during the ceremony in celebration of the 2013 Day of German Unity, admonished the government and the political class: “Our country is not an island. The idea that we can escape the political and economic, the ecological and military conflicts if we do not participate in their solution, is illusory. I do not want to envisage a Germany that raises itself to patronise others. But I also do not want to envisage a Germany that belittles itself to avoid risks and solidarity.[74] In a nutshell: more courage in matters of foreign and security policy. The new government seems to have this courage.

When the Grand Coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD began its work on 16 December 2015, its will to re-examine German foreign and security policy became immediately obvious. A first indication of this was that the assertion of a culture of restraint was no longer used in the coalition agreement. And Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier made it one of his first official acts to agree to Syrian chemical weapons being destroyed in the Munster disposal facility. His predecessor Westerwelle had, with possible public protests in mind, strictly refused to do so.

In hindsight, the statements by the President in 2013 were the blueprint for his opening speech[75] at the Munich Security Conference on 31 January 2014 - a speech designed as a keynote address on foreign and security policy. At this unique forum, attention was assured when he demanded of German politics that it assume more responsibilities “on the way towards becoming a guarantor of international order and security”. With a view to cooperating in the management of international conflict prevention he pushed for “the Federal Republic of Germany to apply itself earlier, more determinedly and substantially, as a good partner should”. And concerning the protection of human rights as well as the rule of law, his country should “forge ahead, in order to uphold and shape the framework of EU, NATO and the UN”. Translated into politics, this is a clear call to become actively involved.

The new ministers of foreign affairs and defence, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Ursula von der Leyen, are clearly prepared to do this. Even the manner in which they first positioned themselves publicly was proof of their political compatibility: “Globalisation means that distant conflicts are moving closer to Europe. (…) There is no crisis which can be solved by military means alone. If one gets involved, a political solution has to be promoted at the same time. (…) But Europe will not advance in the great game of global forces if the ones always discreetly pull their punches while the others storm ahead in an uncoordinated manner[76] A few days later Steinmeier illustrated his congruent position: “Right and proper though a policy of military restraint is, it must not be misunderstood as a philosophy of avoidance. Germany is too big just to comment on world politics. It is a question of pursuing an active foreign policy. We are quite rightly expected to involve ourselves and to use the possibilities at our disposal to deal with conflicts as early as possible. (…) The big conflicts have moved closer to Europe, their consequences can also be directly felt in Germany.[77]

Following on to Afghanistan, Africa has become the focus of German foreign and security policy. Large areas of this continent are witnessing murderous rule, ethno-political conflicts and acute poverty, which can also be seen as the consequence of the EU flooding the markets with subsidised agricultural products. Political instability and nation-state failure lead to migration and mass exodus across the Mediterranean. This requires European action that is both humanitarian and effective in crisis prevention. Just like President Gauck, Foreign Minister Steinmeier stated at the Munich Security Conference that “Germany must be prepared to get involved in foreign and security policy sooner, more decisively and more substantially.”[78] This is an appeal for politics to be forward-looking as well as oriented towards dialogue and taking the initiative. Germany, therefore, is intent on leaving the path of its traditional, rather reactive policy and on moving towards a structured, global foreign and security policy, as well as on becoming a provider of global order.

The first two concrete instances of implementing this assertion concern its commitment to Africa. On 13 February 2014 the German parliament agreed to an expansion of the EU training mission in Mali from 180 to 250 armed German soldiers.[79] By means of a German contribution of up to 150 armed Bundeswehr personnel to AFISMA (African-led International Support Mission to Mali), the defence ministry will provide capabilities to support the air transport of French forces to and within Mali, as well as for air-to-air refuelling of French combat aircraft.[80] At present, France has 3,200 soldiers deployed to Mali. Already in December, however, Chancellor Merkel categorically ruled out any Bundeswehr combat operations. It remains to be seen whether this statement will still apply in the event of a worsening security situation on site.

The help provided to partners for their commitment in Mali was only the beginning for further German security support in Africa. “In the defence ministry, plans are becoming concrete to have German soldiers participate in the EUTM in the Somali capital Mogadishu.”[81] To what extent and scope further missions will follow is, at present, still uncertain. In this, great leaps in security policy should not be expected, any more than simple security-political graffiti.

At present, Germany’s foreign and security policy is emerging from the twilight of an apprehensive yesterday into a tomorrow ready to assume and shape responsibility. The successful efforts in Kiev of Steinmeier and his Weimar Triangle counterparts Fabius (France) and Sikorski (Poland) concerning an agreement between President Yanukovych and the opposition following the violence on Maidan Square on 18 and 19 February 2014 point in this direction.[82] Therefore Berlin now shares the responsibility for a stabilisation of Ukraine as a foreign policy task.


A demand for a critical discourse

Such a future-proof design strategy requires sound financial footing. As its heart, German foreign and security policy, development cooperation, justice and interior matters (i.e. support in policing and in the creation of functioning legal systems) would have to be much more interlinked at an interministerial level. This is a government task.

It is up to society to engage in a critical discourse with politics concerning the realignment of German foreign and security policy. The following three topics should be at the centre of this discussion:

1. Germany’s power in Europe de facto equals that of the USA in NATO. A similar exercise of power, however, is not in the German interest and should not be undertaken, even if urged to do so. For the countries of Europe, the USA has always guaranteed a balance of power and has also acted accordingly, albeit never disinterestedly. America’s willingness to continue accepting responsibility for Europe is decreasing. Germany must accept the concomitant boost to its role in a reliable and conscientious manner. This means: in a cycle of cooperation based on trust, through dialogue and through accommodating differing positions resulting in a compromise as well as including smaller EU member states, Berlin would strengthen the Union’s political unity to such an extent that Brussels can credibly assume its role as an independent and prudent player in international.

2. A concrete example of German investment in the further development of the international legal system was its contribution to the creation of the International Criminal Court. Comparable commitment should be shown to the evolution of the responsibility to protect as a future international legal norm in the implementation of freedom and human rights. In this, the focus should be on the development and strengthening of preventive responsibility to protect.

3. In order for the EU to assume an actual role as an international actor dedicated to justice, stability and freedom and speaking with one voice, the principle of intergovernmentalism in the areas of foreign and security policy has to be abandoned in favour of supranationalism. If it were to strive for a reorganisation of the EU along these lines, Germany would send out an important signal.


[1] Following the end of the USSR as an international legal personality pursuant to the decision by the Supreme Soviet (26 December 1991), and the disbandment of the military structures of the Warsaw Pact on 31 March 1991 as well as its complete abolition on 1 July 1991, the two further White Papers of 1994 and 2006 deal with global security challenges. A sound and well-researched investigation of Soviet military policy and strategy as well as the Warsaw Pact can be found in: Frank Umbach, Das rote Bündnis. Entwicklung und Zerfall des Warschauer Paktes 1955-1991, Berlin, 2005.

[2] cf.: Helmut Schmidt, Verteidigung oder Vergeltung. Ein deutscher Beitrag zum strategischen Problem der Nato, Stuttgart, 1961.

[3] cf.: ‘Bedingt abwehrbereit.‘, in, Der Spiegel, no. 41/1962, p.32-53. For a wide-ranging investigation of the perception problem in the media of the 1970‘s and 1980‘s cf. Gottfried Linn/Wulf-Winrich Lapins: Sowjetische Außen- und Militärpolitik im Spiegel der westdeutschen Presse, Bad Godesberg, 1985.

[4] cf.: Robert Close, Europa without defence? 48 hours that could change the face of the world, Oxford, 1979. Sir John Hackett, The Third World War, London, 1978.

[5] cf. Dieter Farwick/Gerhard Hubatschek, Die strategische Erpressung. Eine sicherheitspolitische Analyse, München, 1982.

[6] Richard Löwenthal coined the phrase “freedom of own development“. cf. Richard Löwenthal, ‘Freiheit der Eigenentwicklung‘, in, Ulrich Scheuner, ed., Außenpolitische Perspektiven des westdeutschen Staates, vol. 1 Das Ende des Provisoriums, Munich/Vienna 1971, p.11-15.

[7] ibidem, p.3. The focus on the necessity of a military balance is certainly found in the work of Helmut Schmidt, who at that time was defence minister. Two years before he had published the book Strategie des Gleichgewichts. Deutsche Friedenspolitik und die Weltmächte, Stuttgart, 1969.

[8] cf. Günter Walpuski, Verteidigung + Entspannung = Sicherheit, Bonn/Bad Godesberg, 1973. Further editions in 1975 and 1984.

[9] This expanded concept of security in multidimensionality is not, however, the raison d’ȇtre of the defence policy of all NATO states.

[10] cf. Christopher Daase, ‘Der erweiterte Sicherheitsbegriff‘, in, Mir A. Ferdowsi, ed., Internationale Politik als Überlebensstrategie, Munich, 2009, p.137-153; officially: Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, ed., Weißbuch 2006 zur Sicherheitspolitik Deutschlands und zur Zukunft der Bundeswehr, p.8-13. The Defence Policy Guidelines/DPG of May 2011 define axioms and positions concerning values, interests, goals, missions, tasks and capabilities. Given the dynamic developments in the area of security policy, the White Book and the DPG will certainly soon be adapted to the new realities.

[11] From the wide spectrum of excellent national and international publications the following German publications are listed: Waldemar Besson, Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik. Erfahrungen und Maßstäbe, Munich, 1970.0 Ulrich Scheuner et al., eds., Außenpolitische Perspektiven des westdeutschen Staates, Munich/Vienna, vol. 1, 1971, Das Ende des Provisoriums, vol. 2, 1972, Das Vordringen neuer Kräfte, vol. 3, 1972, Der Zwang zur Partnerschaft. Richard Löwenthal, Vom kalten Krieg zur Ostpolitik, Stuttgart, 1974. Klaus-Dieter Schwarz, Sicherheitspolitik. Analysen zur politischen und militärischen Sicherheit, Bad Honnef, 1981. Wilfried von Bredow and Thomas Jäger, Neue deutsche Außenpolitik. Nationale Interessen in internationalen Beziehungen, Opladen, 1993. Karl Kaiser, et al, eds, Deutschlands neue Außenpolitik, Munich, vol. 1, 1994, Grundlagen, vol 2, 1995, Herausforderungen, vol. 3, 1996, Interessen und Strategien, vol. 4, 1998, Institutionen und Ressourcen. Hans-Peter-Schwarz, Die Zentralmacht Europas. Deutschlands Rückkehr auf die Weltbühne, Berlin, 1994. Wolfram Hanrieder, Deutschland, Europa, Amerika. Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1949-1994, Paderborn, 1995. Gregor Schöllgen, Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Stuttgart, 1999. Ekkehart Krippendorff, Kritik der Außenpolitik, Frankfurt/M, 2000. Helga Haftendorn, Deutsche Außenpolitik zwischen Selbstbeschränkung und Selbstbehauptung 1945-2000, Stuttgart/München, 2001. Christian Hacke, Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Weltmacht wider Willen?, Frankfurt/M, 2003. Gunther Hellmann, et al, eds., Deutsche Außenpolitik. Eine Einführung, Wiesbaden, 2006. Siegmar Schmidt, Gunter Hellmann, Reinhard Wolf, eds., Handbuch zur Deutschen Außenpolitik, Wiesbaden, 2007.

[12] Theoretical instruments such as neoclassical realism (inter alia Gottfried-Karl Kindermann and Werner Link), interdependence theory (inter alia Richard Rosecrance) or liberal institutionalism (inter alia Robert Keohane and Robert Nye), constructivism (inter alia Alexander Wendt and Thomas Risse).

[13] In the 1950’s and 1960’s Bonn served as a democratic and political antithesis to the instability of the Weimar Republic. cf.: Fritz René Allemann, Bonn ist nicht Weimar, Cologne, 1956. cf.: Karl-Dietrich Bracher, ‘Wird Bonn doch Weimar?’, Der Spiegel, no. 12/1967, p.60-68. The Bonn Republic stood for stability at home, democracy, liberalism, prosperity and Westbindung/reliability in foreign policy.

[14] The metaphor Berlin Republic at first stood for the uncertain beginnings after reunification. cf. Gunter Hofmann, ‘Das Wagnis eines späten Neuanfangs. Wird aus der Bonner Republik eine Berliner Republik - und was würde dies bedeuten?‘, Die Zeit, no. 27/1991, p.3. A comparison of both typologies can be found in Johannes Gross, Begründung der Berliner Republik. Deutschland am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts, Stuttgart, 1995.

[15] Report by the government concerning the implementation of the Civil Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Peace Consolidation Plan. Period under review: May 2008-April 2010. Berlin, 2010, p.6.

[16]Recognition demands that one wishes to know something about processes in nature or society, in order to understand clearer, to explain, to act more rationally; it itself therefore represents a shaping approach to social and natural processes. In large parts, recognition decides itself what can be recognised.” Wolf-Dieter Narr, ‘Logik der Politikwissenschaft - eine propädeutische Skizze‘, in, Gisela Kress/Dieter Senghaas, eds., Politikwissenschaft. Eine Einführung in ihre Probleme, Frankfurt/M, 1972, p.13.

[17]Thus a result of reticence can be self-privilege (…) Step by step, the Federal Republic will change from benefiting from to guaranteeing international order and security.” Speech by President Joachim Gauck on 31 January 2014 at the 50th Munich Security Conference: ”Germany’s role in the world. Remarks on responsibility, norms and alliances.

[18]Germany will never support purely military solutions, it will keep its political wits about it and use all diplomatic possibilities at its disposal. But when, finally, the ultimate case is being discussed – employing the Bundeswehr – then Germany must not say ‘no’ out of principle or ‘yes’ as a knee-jerk reaction.” ibid.

[19] The discourse will be shaped by the two most recent publications: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik/The German Marshall Fund of the United States, eds., Neue Macht. Neue Verantwortung, no place (Berlin), no year (October 2013), as well as Friedrich Ebert Stiftung/Politikanalyse, ed., Die deutsche Sicherheitspolitik braucht mehr Strategiefähigkeit, Berlin, Jänner 2014.

[20] Arnulf Baring, Außenpolitik in Adenauers Kanzlerdemokratie. Bonns Beitrag zur Europäischen Verteidigungsgemeinschaft, Munich, 1969, p.1.

[21] Helga Haftendorf, Deutsche Außenpolitik zwischen Selbstbeschränkung und Selbstbehauptung, p.17. Waldemar Besson already stated in 1970 that Germany was “the product of American strategy“. In: Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik. Erfahrungen und Maßstäbe, Munich, 1970, p.445.

[22] The Federal Republic of Germany achieved full sovereignty through the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany of 12 September 1990, Bulletin no.109/p.1153, Bonn, 14 September 1990.

[23] David Reynolds, The Origins of the Cold War in Europe. International Perspectives, Yale University Press, 1994, p.13.

[24] cf. Timothy Garton Ash, In Europe’s Name. Germany and the Divided Continent, New York, 1993, p.38.

[25] In 1990, Hanns W. Maull transferred the term civilian power (with which he wanted to characterise the international relations of the EC in the 1970’s) to West-German foreign policy. Hanns W, Maull, ‘Japan, Deutschland und die Zukunft der internationalen Politik‘, in, Jochen Thieß/Günther van Well, eds., Auf der Suche nach der Gestalt Europas. Festschrift für Wolfgang Wagner, Bonn, 1990, p.182f.

[26] Hans-Peter Schwarz, Die gezähmten Deutschen. Von der Machtbesessenheit zur Machtvergessenheit, Stuttgart, 1985.

[27] Christian Hacke, ‘Nationales Interesse als Handlungsmaxime für die Außenpolitik‘, in, Karl Kaiser/Christian Krause, eds., Deutschlands neue Außenpolitik, vol. 3, Munich, 1996, p.3ff.

[28] Helmut Schmidt, Strategie des Gleichgewichts, p.236.

[29] Dolf Sternberger, Verfassungspatriotismus, Frankfurt a. M, 1990.

[30] Jürgen Habermas, ‘Staatsbürgerschaft und nationale Identität‘, in, Jürgen Habermas, Faktizität und Geltung, Frankfurt a.M., 1992.

[31] Address to the German People on the Reunification of Germany.

[32] Christian Hacke, ‘Deutschland und der Libyen-Konflikt. Zivilmacht ohne Zivilcourage - Essay‘, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 39/2011.

[33] Wolfram F. Hanrieder, Deutschland-Europa-Amerika, p.125.

[34] Gregor Schöllgen, Zehn Jahre als europäische Großmacht. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, B 24/2000, p.1.

[35] This was advocated by, inter alia, Hans-Peter Schwarz: Die Zentralmacht Europa. Arnulf Baring, ed., Germany’s New Position in Europe. Problems and Perspectives, Oxford University Press, 1994. Gregor Schöllgen, Angst vor der Macht. Die Deutschen und ihre Außenpolitik, Berlin, 1993.

[36] ‘Wer sind die Deutschen? Protokoll eines Treffens zwischen der britischen Premierministerin Margaret Thatcher und Deutschlandexperten‘, Der Spiegel, no. 29/1990, p.109-112.

[37] Speech given by President Roman Herzog at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the German Council on Foreign Relations. Bulletin, Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, no.20, 15 March 1995, p.164.

[38] cf. Gunnar Farbe, Deutsche Russlandpolitik und das Baltikum: 1990-98. Dissertation. Kiel University, 2002, p.184f.

[39] cf. Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Erinnerungen, Berlin, 1995, p 906.

[40] cf. Michèle Knodt, ‘Europäisierung: Eine Strategie der Selbstbehauptung?‘, in, Michèle Knodt/Beate Kohler-Koch, eds., Deutschland zwischen Europäisierung und Selbstbehauptung, Frankfurt/New York, 2000, p.38.

[41] cf. Andrei Markowitz/Simon Reich, Das deutsche Dilemma. Die Berliner Republik zwischen Macht und Machtverzicht, Berlin, 1998, p.326.

[42] Federal Ministry of Defence, Bonn, 26 November 1992, Defence Policy Guidelines 1992, chapter II.

[43] Michael Zürn, ‘Edel, hilfreich - nicht gut. Deutschlands Außenpolitik genießt weltweit hohes Ansehen, warum eigentlich?‘, in, Die Zeit, 42/2006, p.10.

[44] BverfG, 2BvE 3/92. On the constitutional problems regarding the parliamentary prerogative see: Dieter Wiefelspütz, Humboldt Forum Recht, 16/2010, p.230-249.

[45] Such an attempt was made by the CDU/CSU as part of their Security Strategy for Germany of 6 May 2008. Only a day later, however, the Federal Constitutional Court explicitly strengthened the parliamentary prerogative (2BvE 1/03 - decision on German personnel serving on AWACS aircraft over Turkey).

[46] Karsten Schneider, ‘Strategische Konstanten. Denkwürdigkeiten‘, in, Journal der Politisch-Militärischen Gesellschaft in Berlin, no. 86, October 2013, p.4.

[47] ‘Ein Europa der zwei Geschwindigkeiten wäre schädlich. Ein FAZ-Gespräch mit Helmut Kohl über die Europäische Union und ihre Ziele, über die Türkei und weitere Anwärter‘, in, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 22 January 2004, p.5.

[48] ‘Eine offene Republik. Ein Zeit-Gespräch mit Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder‘, in, Die Zeit, 6/1999, p.33-34.

[49] Gerhard Schröder, ‘Eine Außenpolitik des „Dritten Weges“?‘, in, Gewerkschaftliche Monatshefte, 7-8/1999, p.392-396.

[50] cf.: the following chapter

[52] irak-die deutschen-sind-helden-a-596913-druck.html.

[53] Egon Bahr, Deutsche Interessen. Streitschrift zu Macht, Sicherheit und Außenpolitik, Munich, 1998, p.18.

[54] Gerhard Schröder, Eine Außenpolitik, p.393.

[55] cf. Gunter Hofmann, ‘Wie Deutschland in den Krieg geriet‘, in, Die Zeit, no. 20, 1999. Roland Friedrich, Die deutsche Außenpolitik im Kosovo-Konflikt, Wiesbaden, 2005.

[56] Deutscher Bundestag, minutes 14/186 (12 September 2001), p.18293.

[57] cf. ‘Ein deutscher Krieg‘, Der Spiegel, no. 36/2011, p.75-87.

[58] cf. Hanns W. Maull, ‘Germany’s Foreign Policy Post-Kosovo: Still a Civilian Power?’, in: Sebastian Harnisch/Hanns W. Maull, eds., Germany as a Civilian Power? The Foreign Policy of the Berlin Republic, Manchester 2001, p.106-127.

[59] cf. Wulf Lapins, ed., EU-Strategie für Zentralasien. Drei Jahre danach, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Almaty, 2010.

[60] cf. Coalition Agreement between CDU, CSU and FDP, 123/132.

[61] ‘Die Kultur der militärischen Zurückhaltung ist zeitgemäßer denn je. Interview mit Außenminister Guido Westerwelle‘, in, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 30 March 2012.

[62] cf. ‘Militäreinsatz in Libyen: Koalition der Kämpfer‘, in, Spiegel online Politik, 22 March 2011.

[63] cf. ‘EX-Nato-Chef bedauert deutsche Enthaltung. Krieg in Libyen: Gaddafi feiert seine Luftabwehr‘, in, Spiegel online Politik, 22 March 2011.

[65] Karsten Schneider, Strategische Konstanten, p 3.

[66] Deutsche Welle, Themen Welt. Frankreichs Interessen in Mali, 17 January 2013.

[68] ‘Angriff mit Giftgas: Merkel verschärft Ton gegenüber Syrien‘, in, Spiegel online Politik, 26 August 2013.

[69] cf. Fn.67.

[70] cf. AFP report, 27 August 2013.

[71] Chancellor Angela Merkel at the celebration of 50 Years Bergedorfer Gesprächskreis on 9 September 2011 in Hamburg. Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière, government policy statement on the reorientation of the Bundeswehr, Berlin, 27 May 2011.

[72] UN A/RES/60/1, Distr.: General, 24 October 2005. From the vast number of publications on R2P/RtoP cf.: Anne Rausch, Responsibility to Protect. Eine juristische Betrachtung. Frankfurt/M. 2011.

[73] On 28 November 2011 in the Allianz Forum in Berlin.

[74] On 3 October, in Stuttgart.

[75] Speech by President Joachim Gauck (Fn.17/18).

[76] ‘“Nicht zur Seite schauen“, Interview mit Ursula von der Leyen‘, in, Der Spiegel, no. 5/2014, p.20.

[77] ‘“Es wird zu Recht von uns erwartet, dass wir uns einmischen“, Interview mit Frank-Walter Steinmeier‘, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 30 January 2014.

[78] Auswärtiges Amt, Speech by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the 50th Munich Security Conference on 1 February 2014.

[79] Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 18/437.

[80] Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 17/12386.

[81] ‘Regierung plant Bundeswehreinsatz in Somalia‘, in, Spiegel online, 9 February 2014.

[82] Markus Wehner, ‘Steinmeiers Mission‘, in, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 23. February 2014, p. 2.