Germany And America: New Identities, Fateful Rift?

1st Edition

W. R. Smyser

Routledge
Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 150 Pages
ISBN 9780367009557 - CAT# K403286

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Summary

When George Bush and the Department of State supported the reunification of Germany in 1989, they fully expected that a new united Germany would support American foreign policy and help maintain the global alliance system as "partners in leadership." Since unification, however, the United States is discovering that its relationship with Germany can be complex and unpredictable. The course Germany is charting in politics, economics, and defense is steering away from close cooperation with the United States. In fact, united Germany has yet to join the United States wholeheartedly in solving any single major international problem. German chancellor Kohl offered only financial aid during the Gulf War, he has sided with the French government to promote a separate European army, and he has not expedited agreement on the Uruguay Round of trade talks. The new Germany is not simply a larger version of the old West Germany. No longer a junior partner, its power, prestige, and priorities have shifted profoundly. At the same time, the United States has turned its focus inward, beset by domestic issues that have given the American people new worries and new priorities. Many want to pull back most U.S. forces from Europe. They believe it is time for the Europeans, and especially the Germans, to take responsibility for their own problems. Furthermore, neo-Nazi riots and ethnic brutality in Germany have fueled American preoccupation with the Germany of the past. In this brisk extended essay, Smyser, a widely respected Germany-watcher, shows how Germany and America, the backbone of the Atlantic alliance and of the global system, may now split apart. He argues that such a drastic shift would have immense implications for any new world order, dividing, once again, the maritime from the continental powers.

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