harald mueller german and american foreign and security policy
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Harald Mueller German and American Foreign and Security Policy. January 2003. Content. Starting point: The Iraqi issue Common interests The joint fight against international terrorism The solid common basis Compatible public opinion Differences on issues Different visions of world order

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Presentation Transcript
  • Starting point: The Iraqi issue
  • Common interests
  • The joint fight against international terrorism
  • The solid common basis
  • Compatible public opinion
  • Differences on issues
  • Different visions of world order
  • The background: History and political culture
  • Domestic politics and foreign policy
  • Conclusions and outlook

© Harald Müller, PRIF

the us government and the german government differ profoundly on the iraqi situation
The US government sees a clear and present danger

The US government claims some sort of connection bet- ween Iraq and Al Qeida

The US believes that military action is necessary

The US government forces a change in regime

The US government deems the consequences of war beneficial for the region

The German government sees a long-term danger

The German government sees no such connection

The German government maintains that deterrence and containment work

The German government has legal qualms about forced regime change

The German government fears grave regional instability

The US government and the German government differ profoundly on the Iraqi situation

© Harald Müller, PRIF

despite the quarrel over iraq there are widely shared common interests between the us and germany
Despite the quarrel over Iraq, there are widely shared common interests between the US and Germany
  • The US and Germany share an interest in global stability, a liberal world economy, and an enlargement of democracy
  • They are both concerned about, and work for, stability in Europe, notably on the Balkans
  • They are allies in the Atlantic Alliance have been on the forefront of NATO enlargement
  • They both see merits in a close relationship with Russia
  • They are interested in stability in the Persian Gulf area and a settlement of the Middle East Conflict
  • They are both staunch supporters of the state of Israel even though they may disagree with Israeli policies here and there
  • And they share a existential interest in combating terrorism

© Harald Müller, PRIF

The joint fight against international terrorism is presently the pivotal issue linking Germany and the United States
  • Germans have taken to the streets in huge numbers immediately after 9/11 to express solidarity
  • The German government has expressed „unlimited solidarity“ and joined the fight in Afghanistan
  • Threats have been uttered against the US and Germany. It should be noted that the German military presence in Afghanistan has enhanced the risk that the country will become a priority target
  • Cooperation between intelligence services and police agencies has been considerably enhanced, data have been exchanged and mutual assistance has been rendered concerning ongoing investigations against terrorist suspects

© Harald Müller, PRIF

beneath political interests there is a solid joint basis in both economics and political values
Beneath political interests, there is a solid joint basis in both economics and political values
  • The economic relations between Germany and the US are close:
    • The US is the leading target of German foreign direct investment, Germany one of the prime places of US FDI
    • Either is a priority trading partner of the other
    • Increasingly, there are huge American-German companies like Daimler Chrysler and Deutsche Bank/Bankers Trust
  • Political values are widely shared:
    • Both are stable democracies
    • Both are federal systems with a strong role for the states
    • The mission of the US Supreme Court and the German Constitutional Court are very similar

© Harald Müller, PRIF

public opinion on foreign policy issues is widely compatible
Public opinion on foreign policy issues is widely compatible
  • Majorities in both countries support NATO
  • Majorities in both countries are in favour of the United Nations and multilateralism
  • Majorities in both countries think arms control is a useful instrument of security policy and, e.g., like the CTBT
  • Majorities in both countries support human rights as a subject of foreign policy
  • Majorities in both countries are favourably inclined towards development aid
  • Majorities in both countries see a huge danger in terrorism
  • Majorities in both countries hold that proliferation of wmd is dangerous and want Saddam removed from office

© Harald Müller, PRIF

The US refuses the Kyoto Pro-tocol on fighting global warming

The US fights the ICC

The US is highly sceptical about arms control (CTBT, BWC, Ottawa Convention, Small Arms Issue, CSE Treaty)

The US is calling for enhanced defense budgets

The US takes a distance to the United Nations

The US confronts an „axis of evil“

Germany supports the Kyoto procol

Germany embraces the ICC

Germany views arms control as a pivotal instrument of security policy

Germany has frozen its defense budget and sees equal value in development aid

Germany strongly supports the United Nations

Germany prefers diplomatic approaches to North Korea and Iran

There are strong conflicts on current issues of foreign and security policy between the two governments

© Harald Müller, PRIF

behind these controversies there are serious differences in worldview
The US Gov. identifies world order with implementing US national interests

The US Gov. treats inter- national law and organizations as peripherical to order

The US Gov. holds its own freedom of action and decision as a condition of order

The US Gov. handles mil-itary force as day-to-day instrument of policy

The German Gov. sees world order as a multilateral effort to reconcile interests.

The German Gov. sees int. law and org. as central to world order

The German gov. is averse to the non-mandated use of military force.

The German gov. restricts mil. force to the most extreme emergencies

Behind these controversies, there are serious differences in worldview

© Harald Müller, PRIF

these philosophical differences are rooted in different histories and political cultures
The US is the only superpower

The US has a memory without an overriding national trauma

The US has fought a series of victorious wars and none on its territory after 1865

The US has an unshattered national pride and pride

In the US, the military is highly appreciated

The US is a continental state

The US is largely solitary

Germany is a middle power

Germany had an overriding trauma with power politics in the 20th Century

For Germans, the memory of desaster and destruction

Germans have a self-critical national consciousness

In Germany, the military is rather subdued

Germany is sited amidst many neigbours

Germany is involved in a huge integration project, the EU

These „philosophical differences“ are rooted in different histories and political cultures

© Harald Müller, PRIF

domestic politics exacerbate present differences
The US is ruled by a conservative government with a strong belief in power politics, the military, and the need for supremacy

The fight against terrorism is understood as war in the US elite and public

Strong leadership in war pays off with the US public

The conservative constituency requests boldness and unilateralism from the executive

Germany is ruled by a center-leftist coalition with a strong attachment to peace and multil-ateralism and skepticism as to the overall utility of military force

For the German elite and public the fight against terrorism is a complex struggle, not war

Opposition to war pleases the German public

Coalition politics require multi-lateralism and a cooperative approach from the executive

Domestic politics exacerbate present differences

© Harald Müller, PRIF

For the foreseeable future, German-American relations will remain a mixture of agreement and divergence
  • The long-term relationship is based on solid common interests, values, and converging public opinion
  • The Iraqi controversy is no accident, but one among many issues on which the US and Germany disagree
  • On most issues, other Europeans share Germany`s position
  • The controversies are expressing more deep-rooted divergences in worldviews
  • These worldviews are connected to different national memories
  • The differences are sharp eretween governments than between broader publics. Domestic politics tend to exacerbate them.
  • A change of government on either side may narrow, but not completely eliminate, the differences

© Harald Müller, PRIF