Germany’s new security strategy — much ado about nothing

Last week, Germany’s long-awaited National Security Strategy of Germany was released. Expectations were high, after months of delays and infighting among Berlin’s ‘traffic-light’ coalition partners.

Many observers excepted a roar, but heard only a mere whimper in the end. To put it mildly, the document is a nice compilation of already existing “strategic” documents, such as the Indo-Pacific guidelines, released in September 2020. But to make those documents of real value, the strategy should have begun with an honest reflection on what went wrong and on the distorted perceptions which have shaped German foreign relations since 1990.

Simple references to noble principles, such as rules-based multilateralism, might be good for the bedside prayers of German policymakers, but they remain far away from where real strategic discussion must begin.

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