German and Norwegian Perspectives on Euro-Atlantic Security
Edited By Robin Allers, Carlo Masala and Rolf Tamnes
Chapter 1: Germany’s Return to the Global Stage: Continuity and Change in German Security Policy
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Germany’s Return to the Global Stage:Continuity and Change in German Security Policy
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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