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Common or Divided Security?

German and Norwegian Perspectives on Euro-Atlantic Security

Edited By Robin Allers, Carlo Masala and Rolf Tamnes

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, Euro-Atlantic security is under pressure. Faced with major geopolitical shifts, instability at its frontiers and financial crisis at home, the European nations and their American Allies will have to rethink how to design common security. Failure to animate the European Union (EU) and to reinvigorate the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) as efficient tools for peace and security might lead the West back to the spectre of divided security, to fragmentation and renationalisation. This book addresses the main challenges to Western security from the perspective of two European Allies: Germany and Norway.
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Chapter 1: Germany’s Return to the Global Stage: Continuity and Change in German Security Policy

← 30 | 31 → Chapter 1


Germany’s Return to the Global Stage:Continuity and Change in German Security Policy

Helga Haftendorn

This chapter deals with Germany’s coming of age1 and its evolution into one of the most powerful states in Europe; this is a development nobody had expected at the end of World War II. How was this transformation brought about? Basically, it was a result of an interaction between internal and external factors, and it had to be seen against a sea change in the international environment. It is a story full of contradictions and dilemmas.

The Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949 as a ward of the three Western powers France, Great Britain and the United States; it was unable to have either a foreign or a defence policy of its own. West Germany was “on probation”; for its protection it had to rely on the occupation powers. When the East-West conflict deepened – even before the Adenauer government could prove its accountability – the occupation powers successively transferred authority to Bonn.2 In an irony of history, the Atlantic Alliance that had been founded with the purpose – according to its first Secretary General Lord Ismay – “to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”3 only a few years later urgently sought a substantial German military contribution to Allied defence.

← 31 | 32 → Just five years after the end of WWII, West Germany’s neighbours were less than enthusiastic to see a German military re-emerge,...

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