Eagle
American Diplomacy
Commentary and Analysis
June 2015

Highlight map

 

 

 

 


 

Support American Diplomacy RSS Mailing-list Subscription Email American Diplomacy Facebook

 

 

 

 

Partners in Leadership: German-American Relations in a Post- 9/11-World
by Mirco Reimer

"In the 1990s, we thought we had the magic formula for everything. We were rich and invincible, and even Germany was expected to do what we wanted"
– Stephen M. Walt, professor at Harvard University, on the German-American relationship before the events on September 11, 20011

In a speech delivered in May 1989 in Mainz, President George Herbert Walker Bush invited the German government of Helmut Kohl to join the United States as a "Partner in Leadership." With the Cold War about to end and the Soviet threat about to disappear, Germany should assist the United States in fostering global stability and prosperity, the president emphasized: "The United States and the Federal Republic have always been firm friends and allies, but today we share an added role: partners in leadership."2

To some extent, Bush was speaking directly to the German populations’ heart, who since the end of the Second World War had had a nostalgic relationship towards their American liberators. Without America's support, Hitler's inheritors might still terrorize Europe. Without Uncle Sam's help, Berlin might have fallen into Soviet hands twice—in 1948 or 1961. Without America's forceful diplomacy, German reunification might have been blocked by French and British European resentment. "We Germans know what we owe the United States of America: our freedom, our democracy, and the rule of law", the former German defense minister and as of this writing minister of the interior, Thomas de Maizière, has noted.3 Today, however, gratitude is nothing but a footnote in the annals of history, or is it?

The tectonic plates of international politics have changed considerably, both in Europe and on a global scale.4 Countries like China, India, and Brazil are on the rise, increasing their wealth, while also craving additional political influence commensurate with their new won economic might.5 Consequently, the challenge of the 21st century is to integrate the so-called 'rise of the rest' in the existing international order respectively reform the international system into a regime that all great powers can accept.

The transatlantic relationship between America and Europe has also come under scrutiny lately. The "pivot to Asia"—the Obama administration's catch-phrase for the strategic rebalancing towards the Asia Pacific region—has led many observers in Europe to fear an American abandonment of Europe. While there is a certain amount of truth to the fact—Europe will most likely matter less in global affairs in the coming decades unless economic growth and the advancement of a common European foreign and security policy is being implemented—America's shift never intended to put an end to the transatlantic partnership. Rather, the rise of China and the economic significance of Asia craved rebalancing resources and political attention to this part of the world. The pivot, however, should not only be an American pivot. Germans and Europeans too, need to adjust themselves to the increased importance of the region, as observers have noted.6

The events on September 11 were not only a human tragedy. They marked a turning point in world politics and became a symbol of the unprecedented challenges posed by international terrorism, non-state actors, and challenges that only could be defied internationally, not national or regionally. "Just as 1989 marked the end of the 20th century, September 11 may be the starting point of the world order of the 21st century," the Bavarian Minister President Edmund Stoiber observed a month after the attacks.7

The challenge for the Federal Republic since the events on September 11, 2001—indeed, since the end of the Cold War and German reunification—has been to balance the German populations reluctance to assume a greater role in international affairs with the emerging international expectations that Berlin would step up to the plate. "The concern of the new 'Berlin republic' was not the pursuit of another Sonderweg but to adapt with as little disruption as possible to the demands and requirements of the post-Cold War order," Christopher J. Bickerton has observed.8 Today, the Federal Republic has undeniably acquired more influence, and is called for more than ever before. Germany, in Timothy Garton Ash's words, is an "indispensable power".9

Not only Germany has undergone significant changes since the events on 9/11. America's relative power has been declining, while Germany's has been growing. Although the U.S. held the keys to global order for more than a half century—and remains the indispensable nation in most instances today—the parameters have changed. In the 21st century, Uncle Sam seems to be neither willing nor play the leading role everywhere at once. The Financial Crisis, ongoing political polarization, and the rise of new powers influence —and limit—America's geostrategic influence. Turning inwards, however, appears to be no viable option for the United States. "The United States can step back from international conflicts, but that won’t make them disappear," the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum noted.10 "Superpowers do not get to retire," Robert Kagan emphasized in a widely discussed essay last year.11

Consequently, under the circumstances just described, the U.S. and Germany might need to work together more than ever before in the history of the German-American relationship in order to tackle the global challenges ahead.12 Throughout the Cold War, the relationship centered around the shared traumatic experiences of World War II and the containment of the common Soviet threat. To be sure, German-American relations were never free from distrust and conflict.13 After the end of the Cold War, with Germany's power increasing and Berlin slowly becoming Europe's economic power house and the de facto leader of the European Union, the German-American relationship became even more important. Today, the relationship between Berlin and Washington arguably constitutes the world’s most important alliance.

The World's Most Important Alliance
'The world’s most important alliance'—what about the United States and China, some might wonder. Obviously, there has been a lot of talk about the Sino-American relationship in the last years. To be sure, the U.S.-China relationship will shape the decades to come, since the world's two biggest economies are mutually dependent and economically intertwined (40 percent of China's gross domestic product comes from export, thereof a quarter from exports to the United States14).15Bearing America's position and China's rise in mind, there is little doubt that the 'G2' constitute the world’s most important bilateral relationship. Bearing the tensions between the two countries on issues as trade policy, (cooperate) spying, and regional disputes in mind, however, it would be a stretch to call the relationship between Washington and Beijing for an alliance or a partnership. As Elizabeth Economy and Adam Segal of the Council on Foreign Relations have emphasized, "a heightened bilateral relationship may not be possible for China and the United States, as the two countries have mismatched interests and values."16

Others argued, and have done so vehemently, that bilateral relationships became obsolete in the age of globalization and institutions such as the European Union.17 This is a dubious claim. The European Union's most self-evident function is still to serve the interests of its member states, in particular the largest and most powerful member states, however. Hence, the EU is neither powerful enough—due to bureaucracy and squabbles between its member states resulting in inefficiency, particularly on foreign policy matters—nor has the legitimacy, both in Europe and in the U.S., to represent the transatlantic alliance.18Consequently, the EU continues to be in a position where the organization is an economic giant, a political dwarf and a military worm, as the former Belgian Foreign Minister Mark Eyskens once put it. The truth of the matter is that the Unions member states still dominate the EU's external relations in general and transatlantic relations in particular.19 This is especially true in the case of Germany both in regards to the transatlantic relationship and other emerging powers.20 As Hans Kundnani and Jonas Parello-Plesner have observed in the case of China:

"Whether or not it is accurate, the perception that Germany is now the most powerful country in the EU may also be having an impact on relations with external partners – particularly China, which is closely following the debate in Europe about German power. It may be that, as a result, the Chinese are increasingly dealing with Europe through Germany rather than through the foreign-policy institutions created by the Lisbon Treaty."21

In short, even in today's globalized world, nation states remain the principal actors in world affairs. To paraphrase a famous proclamation, the nation state is dead long live the nation state!

To be sure, German relations with America remain interwoven within a variety of institutional settings. On the other hand, Germany matters because Europe still matters. While Germany does not have the population, and the necessary economic, technological, political, and cultural capabilities of a global power, the European Union (potentially) has.

"The key question in assessing the challenge posed by the EU is whether it will develop enough political and social-cultural cohesion to act as one unit on a wide range of international issues, or whether it will remains a limited grouping of countries with strongly different nationalisms and foreign policies," Joseph Nye has observed.22

Germany is indispensable when attempting to answering Nye's question since Berlin has long been the engine behind European integration. Especially after reunification, the question has become even more interesting. Will Germany continue its postmodern track, deemphasizing its national interests in favor of European integration? Or is European integration the quintessence of Berlin's national interest? While the question cannot be answered definitely, it is safe to say that Germany's future will be crucial to Europe's future.23 Also regarding the transatlantic architecture, the U.S.-German relationship remains the most important link between Europe and America.24

This brings us back to the importance of the German-American relationship. No other country's support is more important to America's continued leadership in transatlantic and global affairs then Germany's and consequently, the relationship between the United States and Germany constitutes the world's most important alliance.25

Transatlantic Purpose in a Post-9/11 World

"Yet Germany and America need each other more than ever. Washington can't cope with the economic crises of our times on its own. The US government itself knows the importance of Berlin and would like to see Germany take on a greater global role...Economically, a strong German role in the world is necessary and Berlin certainly plays a decisive role in the euro crisis. But politically and militarily, the Germans have chosen retreat."

- The German Business daily Handelsblatt after President Obama's 2013 Berlin visit26

The relationship between the United States and Germany evolves constantly in response to both domestic and international developments on both sides of the Atlantic. Consequently, it resists simple characterizations. But what, hopefully, has become clear in the recent years is that German-American relations have changed considerably since the end of the Cold War and the events on 9/11. This trend will most likely continue, as both countries are undergoing remarkable developments in their domestic and foreign policy plus their global outlook. One thing, forever, seems clear: German-American relations are durable, reinforced by shared values and interests, and a habit of history, but will also evolve constantly and likely change into a more selective partnership.27

The younger German generations coming of age now and in the future did not experience the country's post-war trauma. Thus a new kind of German nationalism might develop, as we have already witnessed in part during the 2014 football World Cup. Today, Berlin has enough self- confidence to simultaneously both challenge and rely on the United States (especially in security terms); something Henry Kissinger thought was unthinkable a little more than a decade ago. This is, however, only possible for Berlin as long as the country remains the de facto leader of the European Union and the Federal Republics dominance continues to be viewed as tolerable. Because of its economic power and its political significance, Germany is currently destined to assume leadership within the European Union. But Berlin has an obligation and a national interest in leading cautiously and without superiority if it wants to keep leading. How much 'leadership by arrogance' can hurt a countries foreign policy became clear in the Bush administration's first years, where America's was perceived overconfidently. Therefore, Germany can only lead in Europe "in the way that porcupines mate," in Gerhard Schröder's memorable phrase, meaning carefully and without arrogance.

Today's German leadership must be understated and collaborative, building on carefully cultivated relations with smaller as well as larger European states in order to be successful.28 Henceforth, the logical conclusion for Germany would be to strengthen the European Union. A Germany in a weak EU is of little interest to America, which then would focus its attention to another powerful European country in order to influence events.29 "Without Europa we condemn ourselves to become insignificant in the world of tomorrow," a German strategy paper concluded some years back.30

European Free-riders
The paradox of German—and European— foreign policy, though, is that while the European Union is the focus point of attention, Berlin and Brussels remain weak when it comes to security policy, still looking for security across the Atlantic. During the Cold War, many American presidents where lamenting Europeans were 'free-riding' in terms of their own security. After the end of the Cold War, however, European contributions to the common defense alliance, NATO, dropped even further so that America today pays more than 70 percent of NATO's engagement. This is increasingly unacceptable from a U.S. point of view. "Although there are sincere pacifists in Germany, there are also Germans who use Germany’s guilt for its past as a shield for laziness or a desire to disengage from the world," the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, emphasized at the 2014 Munich Security Conference.31 For Berlin, the task is to focus more on Europe's strategic and military deficit and to realize and understand that defense spending not only is about money and capabilities but also a question of strategic burden sharing.32 25 years after the end of the Cold War, America's military might is still indispensable for keeping Europe safe and Europeans continue to free-ride.33"Germany, on the other hand, is increasingly a consumer rather than a provider of security," Kundnani has observed.34

Adjusting the Strategic Compass
Angela Merkel is worried for today's America. The chancellor sees a superpower racked by self- doubt, polarization at home; facing a huge democratic change, which over time will make the U.S. less European. At the same time, Merkel sees an America that is inward looking and lacks the political will to lead a world that is in upheaval and desperate need for (American) leadership. The country has failed to conclude the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq successfully. Instead, American passiveness has contributed to new conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq and Syria in the form of the Islamic State, while still searching for an adequate grand strategy to navigate in a post-9/11 world. For Merkel, a strong America is essential for reaching global equilibrium and that, if the chancellor had to choose, a strong America is always preferred over a strong China.35 Or, as Henry Kissinger put it, "A country that has to play an indispensable role in the search for world order needs to begin that task by coming to terms with that role and with itself."36

The challenge for President Obama is momentous. Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might be admirable, but only as long as the situation in both countries does not evolve into a civil war like it did in Libya once the coalition had left the country. Looking at the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan leaves doubt if Obama's signature achievement—ending his predecessors wars—is worth the praise after all. "For any president engaged in retrenchment, policy success is not measured simply by how well the United States extricates itself from old involvements… The decisive question is: How well are new challenges handled?" as Madeline Albright’s former advisor, Stephen Sestanovich, has noted.37 To be sure, Obama's situation is far from easy or desirable: The conflict with Iran over its nuclear program, the civil war in Syria, a military dictatorship in Egypt, China's more aggressive stance in Asia, and Putin's Russia are only some of the numerous major challenges the U.S. should/could confront in Obama's last years in office at a time where the limits to America's power seem more clear than ever.38

Challenges Ahead
Today, while the war in Ukraine rages on, it is fair to say that Merkel has realigned Germany with the United States while also protecting and advancing German interests boldly in a more diplomatic manner than Gerhard Schröder had done. In Europe, German power is no longer feared but (mostly) encouraged.

Both Merkel and Obama know that Germany—and Europe—will have to come to the rescue of the United States and the West, assuming greater global responsibility in a time where American power is fading and the country is still in the process of setting its strategic compass. As Merkel's predecessor, Gerhard Schröder noted the day after the 9/11 attacks, "Security is not dividable in our world. It can only be achieved if we work even closer together, stand up for our values, cooperate in enforcing them."39

The prime challenge for German-American relations continues to be the two countries diverging grand strategies and outlook. The U.S. is naturally interested in a strong German partner in order to divide labor in military interventions, the fight against terrorism, and global challenges like AIDS, Ebola, drug trade, and migration.40 The questions, however, remain:

Is Germany—and consequently the EU—capable of entering a problem-solving partnership? Moreover, is America willing to welcome the Federal Republic as an (almost) equal partner in leadership as George H. W. Bush had proposed?

It is normal for ties to evolve and occasionally loosen, especially when the balance of power in the relationship changes. Today, Germany no longer needs protection from the Warsaw Pact, and the U.S. no longer pursues strategic interests in Germany. Likewise has the wave of German immigrants who helped shape America, and the shared experiences of D-Day, the Cold War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall faded into history. In short, traditions and emotions have faded and are increasingly substituted by plans and tactics.41

Working together is better than working alone
In the past, Germany was the object rather than the subject of American foreign policy. With its expanding influence, Berlin is now confronted with challenges it did not have before and on issues that extend far beyond its (European) borders, which puts Germany in a new and uncomfortable position. "It’s O.K. not to be the problem any longer. But how can we be problem- solvers together?" as one senior German official told The New York Times.42

As Steinmeier has emphasized, Germany and the U.S. need to convince sceptics that Europe and the U.S. can make the world a better and safer place.43 At the core of the German-American relationship lies the question if the traditional transatlantic line of thinking—working together is better than working alone—continues to bind the two together. This will, undoubtedly, be the case concerning economic matters, where there is a transatlantic interdependence.44 Also on more soft issues like values, the two countries often go hand in hand. Despite their differences, American and German values align more than they differ. At the core, however, are other (hard) issues. Share values tend not to drive policies, shared interests do. Angela Merkel, then chair of the CDU, observed in the aftermath of 9/11:

"In the past few days there has been much talk of gratitude; yes, even about a debt owed particularly by us Germans to the Americans who stood by us for 50 years. This is no doubt correct. But if it were only that alone, it would not endure. True friendship is nourished by gratitude, but not by gratitude alone. True friendship is nourished by its sustainability for the future."45

So are American and German interests sustainable in the long run?

Historians tend to be bad at predicting the future, so no attempt will made here. It is, however, important to note that German-American relations also during the Cold War were never as smooth as they were sometimes portrayed in hindsight.46 To be sure, any number of disagreements between Washington and Berlin exist and will continue to exist. There will be more 'Libya’s' and it is far from certain that Germany will want the role that the United States envisions it in.

Perceptions of the German-American relations will also inevitably change in the future because, as E.H. Carr noted, history often tells us more about the time in which it was written than it does about its particular subject.47 While the United States remains the only remaining superpower for now, it will have to rely on dependable partners over the long term. It is difficult to think of a better potential partner than Germany. As Angela Merkel noted in her speech before Congress in 2009:

"It is true that America and Europe have had their share of disagreements. One may feel the other is sometimes too hesitant and fearful, or from the opposite perspective, too headstrong and pushy. And nevertheless, I am deeply convinced that there is no better partner for Europe than America and no better partner for America than Europe."48bluestar

Bibliography
Applebaum, Anne: "Anne Applebaum on Europe: The world’s new superpower" (National Post, January 28, 2013): http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/28/anne- applebaum-on-europe-the-worlds-new-superpower/
Ash, Timothy Garton: "The New German Question" (The New York Review of Books, 15. august, 2013): http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/aug/15/new-german-question/
Balis, Christina V., and Simon Serfaty (editors): "Visions of America and Europe: September 11, Iraq, and Transatlantic Relations" (Washington, D.C.: CSIS, 2004).
Baylis, John, and Jon Roper (red.): "The United States and Europe: Beyond the Neo-conservative Divide?" (London: Routledge, 2006).
Bickerton, Christopher J: "European Union Foreign Policy: From Effectiveness to Functionality" (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
Brzezinski, Zbigniew: "The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership" (New York: Basic, 2004).
Brinkbäumer, Klaus: "Loosening Up: A More Equal German-American Relationship" (Spiegel Online, June 26, 2013) http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/essay-obama-visit- showed-changing-us-german-relationship-a-907906.html
Bush, George Herbert Walker: "A Europe Whole and Free" (U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany, May 31, 1989): http://usa.usembassy.de/etexts/ga6-890531.htm
Cohen, Roger: "An Ally offended" (New York Times, 13. februar, 2014): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/opinion/cohen-an-ally-offended.html?_r=3
Economy, Elizabeth, and Adam Segal: "The G-2 Mirage - Why the United States and China Are Not Ready to Upgrade Ties" (Foreign Affairs, May/June, 2009): http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64996/elizabeth-c-economy-and-adam-segal/the-g- 2-mirage
Fischer, Sebastian: "The West and Russia: Why Obama's Legacy Hinges on Europe" (Spiegel Online, 26. marts, 2014): http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/foreign-policy-legacy- of-obama-administration-in-european-hands-a-960902.html
Gué henno, Jean-Marie: "The End of the Nation-state" (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 1995). Harnisch, Sebastian, Cornelia Frank, and Hanns Maull (editors): "Role Theory in International Relations: Approaches and Analyses" (London: Routledge, 2011).
Hawley, Charles and Mary Beth Warner: "World from Berlin: Obama Visit Highlights 'Genuine Trans-Atlantic Dissonance'" (Spiegel Online, June 20, 2013): http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/german-press-reactions-to-us-president-obama- berlin-visit-a-906894.html
Hockenos, Paul: "Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic: An Alternative History of Postwar Germany" (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008).
Ischinger, Wolfgang (editor): "Towards Mutual Security: Fifty Years of Munich Security Conference" (Mü nchen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014).
Kagan, Robert: "Superpowers Don't Get to Retire" (The New Republic, May 26, 2014): http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117859/allure-normalcy-what-america-still-owes- world
Kjærsgaard, Clement (editor): "Verdens Magter" (Copenhagen: Ræson medier, 2014). Kornelius, Stefan: "Angela Merkel: The Chancellor and Her World" (London: Alma Books, 2014).
Kundnani, Hans: "Germany as a geo-economic power" (The Washington Quarterly, sommer 2011): http://csis.org/files/publication/twq11summerkundnani.pdf
Kundnani, Hans and Jonas Parello-Plesner: "China and Germany: Why the emerging special relationship matters for Europe" (European Council on Foreign Relations, May 2012): http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR55_CHINA_GERMANY_BRIEF_AW.pdf
Larson, Christina: "China and the U.S.: The Indispensable Axis" (Time, May 11, 2010): http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1971133_1971110_19711 06,00.html
Magocsi, Paul R.: "The End of the Nation-state?: The Revolution of 1989 and the Future of Europe" (Kingston, Ont.: Kashtan, 1994).
Merkel, Angela: "Angela Merkel's Speech: 'We Have No Time to Lose'" (Transcript i Der Spiegel, 4. november, 2009): http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/angela-merkel-s-speech- we-have-no-time-to-lose-a-659196.html
Peterson, John, and Mark A. Pollack (editors): "Europe, America, Bush: Transatlantic Relations in the Twenty-first Century" (London: Routledge, 2003).
Schröder, Gerhard: "Regierungserklärung des Bundeskanzlers Gerhard Schröder zu den Anschlägen in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika" (12. september, 2001): http://www.documentarchiv.de/brd/2001/rede_schroeder_terror-usa.html
Smyser, William: "In search of a new world order" (The Atlantic Times, September/October 2014): http://www.the-atlantic-times.com/download/AT_96_Oct2014_double_page.pdf
Steinmeier, Frank-Walter: "Mein Deutschland: Wofür Ich Stehe" (Mü nchen: C. Bertelsmann, 2009).
Szabo, Stephen F.: "Parting Ways: The Crisis in German-American Relations" (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2004).
Tempel, Sylke: "Taking Stock for Germany" (IP Journal, December 18, 2014): https://ip- journal.dgap.org/en/ip-journal/topics/taking-stock-germany#.VJQ3ZpfdrRU.facebook
Weidenfeld, Werner: "Partners at Odds: The Future of Transatlantic Relations-options for a New Beginning" (Gü tersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2006).
Wroe, Andrew, and Jon Herbert (editors): "Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency: A Tale of Two Terms" (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2009).
"Europe's reluctant hegemon" (The Economist, June 15th, 2013): http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21579140-germany-now-dominant- country-europe-needs-rethink-way-it-sees-itself-and
"Partnership and Solidarity" (U.S. Embassy Berlin, 2001): http://usa.usembassy.de/gemeinsam/05e.htm

Notes
1 Quoted in Brinkbäumer, Klaus: "Loosening Up: A More Equal German-American Relationship" (Spiegel Online, June 26, 2013) http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/essay-obama-visit-showed-changing-us-german- relationship-a-907906.html (accessed 2/1/15).
2 Bush, George Herbert Walker: "A Europe Whole and Free" (U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany, May 31, 1989): http://usa.usembassy.de/etexts/ga6-890531.htm (accessed 5/1/15).
3 Thomas de Maizière in Ischinger, Wolfgang (editor): "Towards Mutual Security: Fifty Years of Munich Security Conference" (Mü nchen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014) page 221.
4 Stuermer in Balis, Christina V., and Simon Serfaty (editors): "Visions of America and Europe: September 11, Iraq, and Transatlantic Relations" (Washington, D.C.: CSIS, 2004) p. 143.
5 Guido Westerwelle in Ischinger, "Towards Mutual Security," p. 208.
6 Ruprecht Polenz in Ischinger, "Towards Mutual Security," pp. 244-245.
7 "Partnership and Solidarity" (U.S. Embassy Berlin, 2001): http://usa.usembassy.de/gemeinsam/05e.htm (accessed 15/10/14).
8 Bickerton, Christopher J: "European Union Foreign Policy: From Effectiveness to Functionality" (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) page 39.
9 Tempel, Sylke: "Taking Stock for Germany" (IP Journal, December 18, 2014): https://ip-journal.dgap.org/en/ip- journal/topics/taking-stock-germany#.VJQ3ZpfdrRU.facebook (accessed 3/1/15).
10 Applebaum, Anne: "Anne Applebaum on Europe: The world’s new superpower" (National Post, January 28, 2013): http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/28/anne-applebaum-on-europe-the-worlds-new- superpower/ (accessed 13/12/14).
11 Kagan, Robert: "Superpowers Don't Get to Retire" (The New Republic, May 26, 2014): http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117859/allure-normalcy-what-america-still-owes-world (accessed 13/12/14).
12 The term German-American relations is preferred to the term American-German relations for readable reasons.
13 Constanze Stelzenmüller in Ischinger, "Towards Mutual Security," p. 256.
14 Niels Bjerre Poulsen in Kjærsgaard, Clement (editor): "Verdens Magter" (Copenhagen: Ræson medier, 2014) page 38.
15 Larson, Christina: "China and the U.S.: The Indispensable Axis" (Time, May 11, 2010): http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1971133_1971110_1971106,00.html (accessed 3/1/15).
16 Economy, Elizabeth, and Adam Segal: "The G-2 Mirage - Why the United States and China Are Not Ready to Upgrade Ties" (Foreign Affairs, May/June, 2009): http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64996/elizabeth-c- economy-and-adam-segal/the-g-2-mirage (accessed 3/1/15).
17 Two prominent examples are Magocsi, Paul R.: "The End of the Nation-state?: The Revolution of 1989 and the Future of Europe" (Kingston, Ont.: Kashtan, 1994) and Gué henno, Jean-Marie: "The End of the Nation-state" (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 1995).
18 President Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, makes the same argument in Brzezinski, Zbigniew: "The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership" (New York: Basic, 2004) page 3.
19 Maull in Harnisch, Sebastian, Cornelia Frank, and Hanns Maull (editors): "Role Theory in International Relations: Approaches and Analyses" (London: Routledge, 2011) page 179.
20 "Europe's reluctant hegemon" (The Economist, June 15th, 2013): http://www.economist.com/news/special- report/21579140-germany-now-dominant-country-europe-needs-rethink-way-it-sees-itself-and (accessed 22/9/14).
21 Kundnani, Hans and Jonas Parello-Plesner: "China and Germany: Why the emerging special relationship matters for Europe" (European Council on Foreign Relations, May 2012): http://www.ecfr.eu/page/- /ECFR55_CHINA_GERMANY_BRIEF_AW.pdf (accessed 29/12/14).26 Quoted in Hawley, Charles and Mary Beth Warner: "World from Berlin: Obama Visit Highlights 'Genuine Trans- Atlantic Dissonance'" (Spiegel Online, June 20, 2013): http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/german- press-reactions-to-us-president-obama-berlin-visit-a-906894.html (accessed 2/1/15).
22 Quoted in Szabo, Stephen F.: "Parting Ways: The Crisis in German-American Relations" (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2004) page 2.
23 Szabo, "Parting Ways," p. 3.
24 Stuermer in Balis and Serfaty, "Visions of America and Europe," p. 139.
25 Jim Hoagland in Ischinger, Wolfgang (editor): "Towards Mutual Security: Fifty Years of Munich Security Conference" (Mü nchen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014) page 380.
26 Quoted in Hawley, Charles and Mary Beth Warner: "World from Berlin: Obama Visit Highlights 'Genuine Trans- Atlantic Dissonance'" (Spiegel Online, June 20, 2013): http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/german- press-reactions-to-us-president-obama-berlin-visit-a-906894.html (accessed 2/1/15).
27 Peterson, John, and Mark A. Pollack (editors): "Europe, America, Bush: Transatlantic Relations in the Twenty- first Century" (London: Routledge, 2003) page 128.
28 Ash, "The New German Question": http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/aug/15/new-german- question/ (accessed 3/1/15).
29 Jacoby in "The United States and Europe," p. 62.
30 Quoted in "Verdens Magter," p.118 (translation by author).
31 Quoted in "Verdens Magter," p.123 (translation by author).
32 Polenz in "Towards Mutual Security," p. 245.
33 To be fair, the European Union makes a considerable contribution to security and stability, as evident by the more than thirty operations around the globe under the auspices of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Furthermore, the defense budget of all European states combined was more than China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Australia's combined in 2010. The problem, however, remains that European defense spending is inefficient, because the resources are split between almost thirty sovereign and independent national defense budgets. See more in Guido Westerwelle in "Towards Mutual Security," p. 210.
34 Kundnani, "Germany as a geo-economic power":
http://csis.org/files/publication/twq11summerkundnani.pdf (accessed 29/12/14).
35 Kornelius, "Angela Merkel," pp. 130-132.
36 Quoted in Smyser, William: "In search of a new world order" (The Atlantic Times, September/October 2014): http://www.the-atlantic-times.com/download/AT_96_Oct2014_double_page.pdf (accessed 31/12/14).
37 Quoted in Fischer, "The West and Russia": http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/foreign-policy-legacy- of-obama-administration-in-european-hands-a-960902.html (accessed 2/1/15).
38 Ibid.
39 Schröder, "Regierungserklärung zu den Anschlägen in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika": http://www.documentarchiv.de/brd/2001/rede_schroeder_terror-usa.html
40 Weidenfeld, Werner: "Partners at Odds: The Future of Transatlantic Relations-options for a New Beginning" (Gü tersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2006) page 167.
41 Brinkbäumer, Klaus: "Loosening Up: A More Equal German-American Relationship" (Spiegel Online, June 26, 2013) http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/essay-obama-visit-showed-changing-us-german- relationship-a-907906.html (accessed 2/1/15).
42 Quoted in Cohen, "An Ally offended": http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/opinion/cohen-an-ally- offended.html?_r=3 (accessed 5/1/15).
43 Steinmeier, "Mein Deutschland," pp. 208-209.
44 In addition, Germany is heavily dependent on systemic stability in the global economy.
45 "Partnership and Solidarity" (U.S. Embassy Berlin, 2001): http://usa.usembassy.de/gemeinsam/05e.htm (accessed 15/10/14).
46 Two of many examples of transatlantic disagreement during the Cold War were German participation in the Vietnam War and the treatment of Poland's trade unionists in the 1980s. See more in Hockenos, "Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic," p. 296.
47 Ralph in "Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency," p. 77.
48 Merkel, "'We Have No Time to Lose'": http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/angela-merkel-s-speech- we-have-no-time-to-lose-a-659196.html (accessed 13/12/14).

American Diplomacy is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to American Diplomacy.


Author Mirco Reimer (b. 1986) holds an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Southern Denmark and a B.A. in history from the University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on American foreign policy, German-American relations, and transatlantic relations.

white starAmerican Diplomacy white star
Copyright © 2015 American Diplomacy Publishers Chapel Hill NC
www.americandiplomacy.org