Military Review

Germany will stop looking at America from the bottom up

On Tuesday, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, spoke at a Berlin foreign policy forum organized by the German Körber Foundation. Gabriel’s speech was readily quoted by the leading German media. There is a reason for this. After long altercations, the Social Democrats, who in the current cabinet of ministers represent the head of the foreign ministry, agreed to negotiations on the formation of a new German government. So this speech can be viewed as a request by the Social Democrats for a new foreign policy agenda. First of all, it concerns relations with the United States of America. It is noteworthy that it was the United States who persistently pushed the leaders of the SPD to participate in the new government of Germany.

Social Democrats asked to the government

As is known, after the elections to the Bundestag that took place in September in Germany, an unusual political landscape emerged, in which the main parties could not form a majority in parliament to form a government. The former partners of the Christian Democrats (the party of Angela Merkel), the Social Democrats announced their retirement to the opposition.

Angela Merkel, whom German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier commissioned to form a new government, had to gain a parliamentary majority, not so much by political as by arithmetic principle. Thus, a coalition formed from a bloc of Christian Democrats (CDU / CSU), free democrats (FDP), and an environmental party (the 90 / Green Union) came to light.

Experts were skeptical of this new political entity. Because the program goals of the parties, which Merkel attracted to the negotiations on the establishment of the ruling majority, did not coincide on many key points - issues of energy security, the admission of migrants and the reunification of their families, environmental protection, etc.

In the end, it happened. An unusual coalition collapsed at the stage of preliminary consultations. Acting Chancellor Angela Merkel in a fever suggested going to new elections, but then she woke up in the Germans historical memory. A similar situation was in the thirties of the last century.

Then, as we remember, the democratic parties of the Weimar Republic could not agree on unity of action and a common political program. On their contradictions, the German nationalists broke in coalition with the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) Adolf Hitler. Dictatorship came to Germany.

In the current Bundestag, a radical right-wing party also appeared - “Alternative for Germany”. Local politicians sometimes evaluate it as extremely radical and recognize that AdG has the potential for further growth. After all, the migrant crisis of 2015-2016 has fueled the nationalist moods of the Germans well. No one knows how this will manifest itself under conditions when democratic parties cannot agree among themselves.

Not only German politicians were concerned. President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the American President Donald Trump, and the head of France Emmanuel Macron spoke with the leader of the Social Democrats Martin Schulz. Schulz was strongly advised to keep the old large coalition with the Christian Democrats and not to put Germany on the prospect of questionable elections.

The Social Democrats have long resisted. For the fourth term, they did not want Angela Merkel to bear the new reputational losses and finally lose her seriously depleted electorate. As the previous cadence and the elections that followed it, the mistakes of the Chancellor in matters of migration and reception of refugees, relations with Russia and multiculturalism policy hurt the authority of the Social Democrats who are in the ruling coalition.

The SPD has learned from this lesson and moved into the opposition. Now she was actually forced to return to the ruling majority. The other day Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz announced the start of negotiations on forming a cabinet of ministers, and his party colleague (Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel), in a speech at the Körber Foundation’s forum, practically formulated the conditions for at least their foreign policy part SPD

Germans want to press the USA in Europe

Gabriel spoke floridly. “The undoubtedness with which we perceive and preserve the US role in the world — even in the presence of random contradictions with them — ceases to be unshakable,” the Bavarian newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes the minister. - Washington itself gradually begins to consider Germany differently than one of its many partners. This means that we are inevitably perceived as competitors. ”

Behind this diplomatic rhetoric, the experts clearly saw the desire of the German minister to reconsider the policy of the Federal Republic of Germany with regard to the United States and to make substantial corrections to it. And Gabriel proposed this approach: “We should designate our positions and, if necessary, draw a line beyond which even our partners cannot enter.”

The minister outlined two such features in his speech at the forum. The first is the interference of Americans in the energy plans of the Federal Republic of Germany. Gabriel cited the example of the restrictive measures imposed in the summer by the US Congress against Russia and its companies. They questioned the future of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

In the text of the law approved by the House of Representatives of the United States Congress on 25 in July, opposition to this project is stated as one of the goals of American policy in Europe. Meanwhile, Germany connects its energy security with Nord Stream-2 and is ready to pursue the construction of this important highway for the German economy.

The second forbidden line that the United States crossed was for the minister to see Washington’s stated willingness to abandon the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program - the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JAP) concluded in 2015 in exchange for the gradual abolition of Western sanctions.

Of course, Germany has accumulated more claims to America. This could include multibillion-dollar fines imposed by the US Department of Justice on German banks, automobile and engineering concerns, listening by US intelligence agencies to the negotiations of leading German politicians, including Chancellor Merkel.

Finally, the attempts of the US administration to make a new independent power center in Europe from Poland became a serious irritant to Berlin. In the summer, before the NATO summit, US President Donald Trump turned to Warsaw. There he actively supported the Polish geopolitical project of the Intermature Sea. Along the way, he criticized Germany for spending too low on defense.

German media then exploded with a barrage of indignation. Radio WDR, commenting on Trump's visit to Poland, saw in him an attempt to split Europe. The weekly Spiegel called the visit of the US President and his speech in Warsaw an "anti-European and anti-German gesture." The newspaper Handelsblatt did not like that Trump in Warsaw criticized Germany for its cooperation with Russia in the field of energy. Radio Deutschlandfunk noted that statements made by Trump in Warsaw "may be the cause of acute disharmony in the European Union."

About all this, accumulated in the German memory, Sigmar Gabriel said nothing. I stopped only on two examples - obstacles to the construction of the Nord Stream-2 and withdrawal from the agreement on Iran. “In both cases,” the minister stressed, “Germany cannot afford to just wait for the decisions of Washington and act in response to them.” So the application was made for an independent German foreign policy.

An example of her Gabriel demonstrated, without leaving the podium of the forum. He proposed to the European Union a kind of "new eastern" policy in relations with Russia. The reason for this “new turn” is that without the Russians, Europeans will not be able to solve many of their key problems, the main of which is the problem of security. Hence the gradual easing and lifting of sanctions, the resumption of full-fledged cooperation with Russia.

The Germans, accustomed to looking at America from the bottom up, were a little taken aback by the bold conclusions of their minister. Then they themselves grew bolder and began to comment on Gabriel's speech. For example, as its meaning was understood, Stefan Meister, Program Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the German Society for Foreign Policy (DGAP).

“Berlin is understood,” said the analyst in an interview with Deutsche Welle, “that America will play a smaller role for Germany in the future and we need to look at who we can work with in Europe to resolve conflicts, and solve them independently.” And here I see that Gabriel is signaling readiness for steps towards Moscow. ”

This readiness has not yet become official policy. Moreover, in Germany there is not even a government that would undertake its implementation. However, the conclusions of the Acting The German foreign minister shows that the need for a “new eastern policy” has emerged. Now Germany and Europe have to comprehend this new reality.
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  1. Sergey-svs
    Sergey-svs 7 December 2017 15: 15
    The Germans, accustomed to looking at America from the bottom up, were a little bewildered by the bold conclusions of their minister. Then they themselves became bolder and began to comment on Gabriel's speech ...

    laughing What nevertheless turns out to be the fearless “heroes” of these Germans! Look how bold they are, that look will soon rise from their knees and even stop saying: “Yes, my white master!” yes
    1. maxim947
      maxim947 7 December 2017 18: 31
      The author slightly gives out wishful thinking, until, unfortunately, he does not particularly smell of change, but as they say, the water wears away the stone. There, fuss goes for ministerial seats, and not for the "independence" of Germany, as soon as they receive the necessary ministerial posts, they immediately agree on a coalition and calm down in their zeal.
  2. solzh
    solzh 7 December 2017 15: 56
    Germany will stop looking at America from the bottom up

    Well, the Germans will change their position, they will look at America from above. From change nothing will change.
    1. Berber
      Berber 7 December 2017 16: 37
      The fact that the trend has already been good. Awareness is the first step to realization. We need a state independent Germany. Better yet, let them depend on us better.
      1. Captain Pushkin
        Captain Pushkin 7 December 2017 19: 26
        Quote: BerBer
        BerBer Today, 16:37 ↑ New
        The fact that the trend has already been good. Awareness is the first step to realization. We need a state independent Germany. Better yet, let them depend on us better.

        So far, the Germans see “interaction” with the Russian Federation differently: the German commands, the Russian performs.
        1. Berber
          Berber 8 December 2017 09: 01
          Understand the depth of error. We’ll stick a couple of times in the bowel movement - they will understand.
  3. vlad007
    vlad007 7 December 2017 16: 19
    The article is interesting, but it is not clear when the government will be formed.
  4. NF68
    NF68 7 December 2017 16: 23
    Too optimistic the assumption that the Germans stop looking at the United States from the bottom up. And the same goes for the French and others. As they were all afraid of the United States, they still do not know how many decades they will be afraid of them. But if someone does not push the United States far from the “feeding trough”, then in Europe many will not mind that the United States has squeezed.
  5. ando_bor
    ando_bor 7 December 2017 17: 38
    The Germans have a slavish nature already at the genetic level - for several generations in occupation, repentance has grown, they are satisfying and comfortable:
    1. pafegosoff
      pafegosoff 8 December 2017 05: 31
      It's not even about occupation. For a thousand years, in cramped conditions, kings, dukes, electors and smaller masters have beaten the liberty of the people. This is not Russia, where it was fashionable to pull into the forests, to Siberia, to the Don. But there are few places where it is fashionable to wander and hide from the authorities.
      Here is natural selection: you need an emperor, a Fuhrer, a large and immense boss. The GDR had the USSR. Germany has the USA ..
  6. Troll
    Troll 7 December 2017 17: 40
    Germany is a occupied country, and until it ends, the newly-elected president, his first foreign trip, will make overseas. And nothing will change fundamentally and any minister can be fired.
  7. Wolka
    Wolka 7 December 2017 18: 54
    Grandma remembered when she was a girl ...
  8. aybolyt678
    aybolyt678 7 December 2017 21: 23
    Hitler is probably turning in a coffin now: Ukraine is fighting with Russia, and Germany is against it, instead of cleansing the nation, Araboids, Negroids, who are paid for this, go to it, and if they touch any kind of floyin on holidays, they are guarded and paid extra. The Americans with whom he fought, rule the foreign and domestic policies of Germany ... And the country is led by the former Komsomol laughing
  9. Nemesis
    Nemesis 8 December 2017 00: 02
    While in Germany there are US military bases, there is no need to talk about the full sovereignty of Germany ...
  10. pafegosoff
    pafegosoff 8 December 2017 05: 22
    "The Germans want to squeeze the United States in Europe" - Here comes a forester from across the ocean, and spanks everyone.
  11. Fight
    Fight 8 December 2017 05: 37
    Will look out from under the baseboard.
  12. V. Ushakov
    V. Ushakov 8 December 2017 06: 59
    "Germany will stop looking at America from the bottom up"
    This expression will only make sense after the de-occupation of Germany by the United States.
    Currently, this expression is meaningless.
    1. turbris
      turbris 8 December 2017 21: 11
      I agree, and given that most Germans do not want to be de-occupied and are accustomed to living under the hegemonic umbrella, we can’t expect any drastic German movements towards Russia.
  13. captain
    captain 9 December 2017 19: 20
    Now Germany is looking at the USA from its side, but it is not clear which one.