MG in-depth

A german Europe; an american nightmare

Europe, North America

German-American relations have always been marked by inescapable hostility. Now Washington’s plot to prevent the creation of a German sphere of influence in the heart of Europe is bound to increase such hostility even more. Why Germany possibly allying with Russia (and China) is America’s main nightmare.

I.

Americans and Germans have been at war for a hundred years, ever since 1917 when the United States landed in Europe to defeat Kaiser Wilhelm’s Reich. Two World Wars and a Cold War have not yet determined the outcome of the match between the American maritime empire with global aspirations and the Old Continent’s premier power. What is at stake for Washington was and remains the prevention of the emergence of a concentration of power in Eurasia capable of challenging America’s global primacy, conquered in the first half of the 20th century thanks to the European empires’ suicide – brilliantly assisted by the Americans. This is a threat that could materialise in the form of a German Europe – a constellation centred on Berlin consisting of kindred countries or, in any case, those attracted by its geo-economic magnet – aligned with Moscow and perhaps even with Beijing.     

The rivalry between the United States and Germany has structural characteristics. It is systemic, not regional or random. Tradition reduces all this to the two world wars, but that is not the case. Those massacres were acute phases of a transatlantic tension destined to last until America becomes a sui generis empire and Germany stops being perceived as an unreliable entity – even (or all the more so) if formally allied – whose economic and technological power could one day rise to the position of being the material base for a Eurasian superpower. By definition the enemy.

In America’s strategic workshops no one is impressed by the genetic mutation that, over the past seventy years, has transformed the warmongering Teutonic people into thrifty ants, changed their obsession with power (Machtversessenheit) into oblivion of power (Machtvergessenheit) and Germany into Greater Switzerland as the saying goes in Berlin. What instead echoes - basso continuo – is the question Margaret Thatcher posed to an august assembly of historians and Germanists gathered at Chequers on the eve of former communist Germany being admitted to join the west of the country; “Have the Germans changed?”.[1] It was a rhetorical question. The Iron Lady believed in the theory of a national temperament, insensitive to history, which nails the Germans to a sentimental-aggressive stereotype, from Arminius to Hitler and more; “By its very nature, Germany is a destabilising, rather than a stabilising force in Europe”. [2] It is a thesis that appears to be subscribed to – albeit in a less formal version – by the current occupant of the White House, the descendent of a penniless immigrant from Kallstadt, along the palatine Weinstraß, when he let slip that “The Germans are bad, really bad”. [3]

No other people have had to suffer such damnatio for centuries. Furthermore, Americans of German origin – broadly speaking, not national but ethnolinguistic – form the main stock of the American population and are well represented among the elites. They are the heirs to a glorious history, temporarily marred by the double traumas of 1917 and 1941, when Deutschamerikaner found themselves at war with their not-forgotten country of origin. German-Americans contributed with their lives to defeating Nazism, the geopolitical result of which marked the end of German sovereignty that has never been fully recovered and not even by the Bundesrepublik, reunited in 1990 on the ruins of the Soviet empire.

From the triumph over the Third Reich to today, amidst crises and discontinuity, America has been engaged in a veiled and often secret war with Germany in order to discourage any possible desire to attempt a third climb to the peak of world power, be it even using peaceful means and above all in cohabitation with others, be they called Russia or Europe. This story begins between May 8th and 9th, 1945, when the Wehrmacht surrendered unconditionally to the French-British-American and Soviet allies.

II.

Having won World War II, America invented its own Europe in order to control Germany and prevent its integration with the Soviet empire. This was a dual anti-German and anti-Russian containment. Euramerica was based on two pillars. The first was geopolitical, with the Atlantic Treaty and its military wing, NATO (1949). The second was geo-economic with the creation of the European Community and later the European Union – about which the Europeanist narrative insists on eradicating its overt American origins – a paradigm of the empire by consensus established by Washington in Eurasia’s western peninsula, for which the Marshall Plan (1947) and the German economic miracle favoured by the creation of the "Deutschmark" – a unilateral American initiative – were the insurmountable premises (1948).

The United States’ commitment was marked by a robust military presence in Europe and more specifically, as of 1949, in its West-German satellite, the Federal Republic of Germany, in contrast with the German Democratic Republic, the Reich’s historical-geographical centre (Mitteldeutschland), at the time a border area in Stalin’s empire.

It is the East-West counter-position that is usually emphasised when debating the Cold War, thereby neglecting the convergence of interests shared by Soviets and Westerners (Americans, the French and the British), that of forever eradicating the German national state, branded as intrinsically military-imperialistic. The last collective action taken by the anti-Nazi coalition was the abolition of Prussia decreed by the Four on February 25th, 1947, marking the supposed continuity between Frederick II and Hitler, is a flexible example of this. As far as Germanophobia was concerned, the anti-Hitler coalition continued to survive in karstic ways in spite of the political-ideological drum-beating that exasperated its incompatibility. Opposing one other on everything else, the Soviets and the Americans enthusiastically but silently supported by the British and the French, effectively embraced the rules of the Soviet minister plenipotentiary in East Berlin, Pëtr Abrasimov, who addressing his (former) allies in 1971 stated, “You control your Germans and we will control ours”. [4]

Until 1990, the parallel existence of two constantly supervised German states in their respective blocks, and therefore equipped with little (Bundesrepublik) or almost no sovereignty (DDR), remained inscribed  in the inter-Allied occupation regime sanctioned on June 5th, 1945, by the Berlin Declaration with which the four victorious powers gave themselves full control over occupied Germany. Only a peace treaty could return sovereignty to the Germans. In the meantime, the West and the Soviets were careful to never formally dissolve the Reich, thereby becoming its collective successors. The need to keep the Germans down came before hostility between the Soviet Union and the United States. This generated a paradox that is still current; the ghost of the Germanic empire, kept virtually alive by the winners to assure one another that it will not return as a real geopolitical subject, still wanders among us. In 1973, the German Federal Constitutional Court established that the Bundesrepublik identifies itself with the Reich, even though “it is partially identical as far as its territorial extension is concerned” – a logical-geopolitical feat of agility that at the time left the door open to a revision of the borders with Poland established by the allies on the Oder-Neiße. [5] This was potential revisionism overcome only by international treaties that, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, substituting a never-stipulated peace, reassured the enlarged Bundesrepublik’s neighbours that their borders are inviolable. On June 30th, 2015, the government in Berlin once again confirmed that the Deutsches Reich has not legally vanished, hence the Federal Republic of Germany is not its successor as it is identical to it under international law. [6]  

The birth of the Bundesrepublik had only partially softened the occupation regime, which was quite invasive throughout the Cold War. The territories of the Bonn republic were NATO’s exercise grounds par excellence. It was there that under American supreme command, atomic weapons were stored, weapons that in the event of war with the USSR would have been launched on German territory to stop the Red Army’s advance – that is what the American “nuclear umbrella” consisted of.

On the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, of the 68,000 hours of low altitude flying by military fighter jets in German skies, 45,000 had been flown by Allied aircraft. Never-again reported secret agreements allowed American intelligence to intercept at its pleasure all open and secret communications in the allied country. In 1988 the influential weekly Der Spiegel published a headline stating “We do not want to be occupied”, quoting the words of the Social Democrats’ leader Horst Ehmke, while the Christian Democrat Karl Lamers asked for the elimination of “the wrecks of occupation rights”. [7]

The Bonn republic was born and experienced as an American satellite nation – and to a far lesser extent also British and French – in every possible way and to the very end. A new chapter seemed to appear in relations between the United States and Germany when the collapse of the Soviet empire opened the Brandenburg Gate, and, in spite of French and British resistance, resulted in the integration of the five eastern Länder into the Federal Republic and therefore into NATO and the European Community (the only case of a non-negotiated enlargement). All the more new because President George H.W. Bush had worked hard for German unification which was opposed by Mitterrand and Thatcher, the expression of a primary Germanophobia that had led them to even discuss a possible agreement with the Soviet Union so as to stop Kohl’s race towards a presumed Fourth Reich. [8]

America’s choice did not remotely arise from a sudden pro-German conversion. Many shared the reservations of their European allies, albeit in a less exasperated form, but they came to the opposite conclusions. Precisely because Germany was never again to be allowed to shift towards the geopolitics of power, it was prudent to not to obstruct its reunification, which would have occurred anyway in the absence of Soviet opposition. On the contrary, by taking it upon itself the United States would have, at least over the short term, earned the German state’s gratitude for having returned it to occupy the centre of the continent as in Bismarck’s day (Mittellage), and integrating the entire Germanic area in Euramerica (NATO + EEC/EU). They mistook almost absolute control over “their” half of Germany for the whole of Germany falling under the American sphere of influence. They also anticipated an expansion to the East of their imperial organisation in the Old Continent, obliging Kohl – pushed around by the lobby representing refugees deported from central-eastern Europe in the post-war period, who would have wanted to reopen the Polish border issue – to confirm black-on-white the inviolability of the Oder-Neiße line.

III.

The media are analysing the appalling chemistry between Trump and Merkel, the opposite of the conspiratorial friendship between the Chancellor and Obama. The catalogue of Trump’s recriminations is astonishing, ranging from allegations of unfair competition by German industry, incentivised by a manipulation of the euro (almost as if it were the government in Berlin that establishes exchange rates) to demands (only rhetoric?) to obtain payment of over US$ 300 billion “owed” to the United States for almost seventy years of protection, to pressure applied on the Bundesrepublik to raise defence expenditure to 2% of the GDP, amounting to almost 70 billion euro a year. All this mentioned in an intimidating tone, particularly disliked by Angela Merkel with her soft manners and flat way of speaking that almost dazes people.

Of course leaders’ temperaments matter, especially because they have an effect on the public called upon to elect them. In this case, however, the debate is rooted in the geo-economic and geopolitical profiles of the global superpower and Europe’s leading player. The country with the highest debt in the world is facing the nation with the highest trade surplus. Furthermore, it is a clash between two different political-institutional cultures, two anthropologies. The American one is profoundly optimistic, universalist, founded on individual freedom and responsibility, on limitations to the state’s power and on the capitalist religion.  The German one, which in spite of decades of Americanisation remains pessimistic, introverted, aimed at taming the market’s wilder spirits in the name of solidarity and consensus, the expression of the country that, with Bismarck, invented the social state and fears an excess of competition that generates disorder. It is hard to get along when starting from such diverse premises.

Verification is possible on the basis of a summary of their disagreements, always managed with politeness, God forbid, between the “friends” Obama and Merkel. These disputes include Germany’s alignment with Russia and China as far as Libya was concerned (2011); interception of the chancellor’s mobile phone by the National Security Agency (2013); America’s sabotage of German mediation  - too indulgent towards Moscow – in the  Jevromajdan uprising (2014); adding the Bundesrepublik to the list of countries suspected of currency manipulation by the U.S. Treasury (2016) not to mention Dieselgate or Berlin’s accusations of intrusive data capitalism by Google and Facebook. And above all the Obama administration’s repeated criticism of German austerity, fearing that the fiscal and monetary rigour preached and practiced by Germany’s political and financial elite would end up destroying the euro, with unthinkable effects on global stability. As far as America’s recriminations were concerned addressing Germany’s inclination, and that of almost all other European members, to travel for free on the NATO train, these were constant under Obama, expressed by his Defence Secretary Robert Gates and became a Pentagon mantra. Nor have the Americans ever forgiven Germany’s (and France’s) refusal to support the expedition against Saddam in 2003, or even Kohl’s solitary stance in 1991, when he sponsored Slovenia and Croatia’s secession from Yugoslavia, standing against America and the rest of the world, but alongside the Holy See and Austria. Trump exasperates the tone with the indifference of an apprentice, but the message remains the same. Dear Germans, know your place.

IV.

But what is the position the Germans assign to themselves in the world? Even asking that question breaks a taboo. The great trading power with no geostrategic route or military power, dependent on the availability of the markets of others to absorb its products, exposes itself to reprisal threats of importers and competitors (Trump docet). This reflects on internal stability, anchored to a culture of consensus that replaces the lack of national identity. It works when the weather is good, but it is a model that risks jamming in the event of geopolitical storms and economic crises. In Germany, where apocalyptic ideas have some roots, the public spirit is affected by feelings of living on a happy but not invulnerable island, in an unfathomable era of chaos, just before the eve of World War III. Decision-makers having to decide what Germany wants to do when it grows up, thus find themselves with their backs to the wall.            

Something is changing in Berlin. German elites agree that Europe, and therefore Germany as its central subject, must be weaned from American protection. It is a reflection of the public mood, considering that only 29% of Germans consider the United States a partner worthy of their trust compared to 91% for France, 57% for the United Kingdom and 20% as far as Russia is concerned. [9]. NATO obligations seem so vague that only four out of ten Germans would be prepared to fight Russia, Washington’s strategic archenemy [10], while Trump inspires greater mistrust than Putin. [11] Seen from the White House and the Pentagon, these figures are dangerous markers of Germany’s neutralist vocation, the anti-chamber to a surreptitious understanding with Russia. Berlin is supposedly creating the foundations for a German Europe that would balance the transatlantic alliance, watered-down and indolent, with a projection towards the Eurasian East. Final destination China, which has risen to the position of top trade partner for the Bundesrepublik.

For Washington this is a horrific scenario. It is certainly excessive in its assessment of the intentions and strategic talent of Germany’s elites.

However, great strategies are not necessarily planned ex ante. They are often an ex post adjustment of an accumulation of not always conscious actions, invisible currents or accidents. Whether it likes it or not, this Germany is not only central in Europe, but also a strategic link in the US-Eurasia relations that decide the world’s destiny.

There is a key expression indicating the posture Germany wishes to achieve, “Leading from the centre”. In German “Führung aus der Mitte” may sound disturbing since in official slang the English “Leading from the centre” is more often used. It is a slogan introduced by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen at the Munich Security Conference on February 6th, 2015, speaking of how the Polish former Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski had confessed that he feared a weak Germany more than a strong one. [12] It is a slogan that has had a liberating effect on a number of German politicians, even those most pressed to expiate the past, so much so that it has been serenely adopted by technocratic apparatuses in Berlin.   

“Leading from the centre” is both a determined and an ambiguous formula. It implies assuming the responsibility and rank assigned to those who lead. As far as centrality is concerned, it can be seen it two distinct ways (or both): flat (in the musical sense), meaning not considering itself avant-garde but as the barycentre of an ensemble – but not an external balancing element in the Obamian sense of leading from behind; adding dynamics because it qualifies Berlin as the pivot of a system of spokes.

Führung aus der Mitte is the evolution of the Kerneuropa, the Euronucleus predicted in the document signed by the current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and by his Christian Democrat colleague Karl Lamers in September 1994. The reasons for that provocation, which suggested a five-country euro (Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg) as the kernel of the European Union, derived from the imperative of saving the communitarian organisation as, alongside NATO, it is imperative to the Bundesrepublik’s wellbeing and security. It was and it remains in Germany’s supreme best interest to protect its own national interests – words rehabilitated only at the beginning of this century – dressing them up as European. But the communitarian area is too vast and heterogeneous to perform this role. This contradiction can be managed by saving the European form while changing its substance, centred on the Euronucleus. In the current version, authorised by Merkel as a “Two-Speed Europe”, more than a fixed nucleus one envisages a constellation of flexible nuclei, à la carte, real and proper directorates (Direktorate) dependent on Germany following the pivot/spokes module implicit in leading from the centre, in which what matters is proximity or distance from Berlin [13].

For the Bundesrepublik the decisive nucleus is the momentary one. What keeps the euro alive is the fear of the catastrophes that would arise from its demise. Merkel will try and save the Eurozone in its current geographical configuration for as long as this is possible. Following the traumatic G7 in Taormina, when with rare pathos she solemnified the crisis with a now “unreliable” United States and proclaimed that “we Europeans must take our fate into our own hands”, the Chancellor now seems prepared to consider the hypothesis of a common balance sheet, a Eurozone finance minister and perhaps disguised quasi-eurobonds. [14] Plan B, however, that of a euro of the North (Neuro) centred on Germany and emanated in its chain of Middle-European and Scandinavian values, is ready to be launched in the event of an emergency. All this is enough to worry the establishment in Washington.

What also worries the United States is the German change of attitude on the military front. Germany at last intends to equip itself with credible armed forces, investing 130 billion euros over the next fifteen years. The Bundeswehr is now in a really deplorable condition. It will take many years to return the armed forces to a decent level, on condition that the prevailing pacifism in German society doesn’t put an end to rearmament projects. It is not so much the technical aspects that matter, but rather the operation’s geopolitical meaning. Berlin, in fact, intends to organise its military branch as an “anchor army” (Ankerarmee), following the logic of directorates led from the centre. This is a great deal more than the symbolic Franco-German brigade. In this case, the Bundeswehr is the anchor to which various minor countries tie themselves so as to form integrated units under German command. It is a Mittel and North-European nucleus with front-line participation coming from Holland, which has already placed two-thirds of its soldiers under German command, while other minor Euro-partners pertinent or aspiring to become pertinent to the German sphere of influence are queuing up to be admitted. Kerneuropa and Ankerarmee; two sides of the same coin. 

And so Germany is not only distancing itself from Atlanticism, it is also invading the European military sector presided over by France and the United Kingdom. This is a duopoly based on nuclear weapons that, until very recently, were a taboo for the Germans. This is no longer true. In order to test the waters, influential media, analysts and even politicians linked to the government have sparked a debate in the name of the urgent need to “think the unthinkable”, specifically arising from America’s perceived unreliability and hence equip Germany with atomic weapons, alone or in symbiosis with France. [15] All this of course in the name of Europe and neglecting the fact that the Bundesrepublik has by treaty renounced all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. At the same time, German experts have targeted NATO’s antimissile defence project in central-eastern Europe, so dear to the Pentagon because it is anti-Russian. It is thus that an analysis published by the authoritative Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Politik proposes direct German-Russia negotiations on this subject, without the Americans being involved. “If Germany considers that it is its duty to re-establish a dialogue with Moscow, then it must prove with words and facts that the antimissile system is not aimed at Russia. The best way to prove this would be for Berlin to renounce its participation.” Furthermore, Germany could develop in this strategic framework a “European project” together with France and Russia. [16

The United States will not tolerate Germany, a defaulting member of the Atlantic Alliance, appointing itself as the visionary champion of European strategic independence. All this because that is how Washington sees the Ankerarmee project – which Berlin considers part of the Framework Nations Concept, adopted by NATO in 2013 following a proposal tabled by Germany – and the singularly intense debate on the German Bomb, even worse if under the European flag. [17] The Pentagon and the CIA have also observed the increasing coolness in German intelligence communications – an American creation never left to its own devices – a feeling reciprocated in the Bundesrepublik’s corresponding apparatuses. In this there are some who even see America’s reach behind recent disclosures concerning the activities of neo-Nazi cells in the Bundeswehr. This is not exactly new, but was, however, reported by the Washington Post with abrupt harshness, stating that, “The German military has a Nazi problem”. [18] Nor did anyone ignore the 3rd Brigade of the United States Army’s 4th Infantry Division, based in Colorado, arriving in Bremerhaven in January with 4,200 soldiers and 400 armoured vehicles. This was certainly aimed at strengthening NATO’s eastern front, but also at flying the American flag on German soil, parading for ten days across northern Germany with 900 armoured vehicles, a convoy measuring 14 kilometres in length.

V.

The chronic clash between the United States and Germany is now in an acute phase. The power gap remains enormous in favour of Washington, but it is narrowing for at least three reasons.

Firstly there is the rising ungovernability of the planet, which since the end of the Cold War has been gripping the American ‘battleship’ between the Charybdis of geopolitical-military overexposure and the Scylla of mercantilist nationalism that is nowadays apparently prevalent. This must be added to the related delegitimisation of alliances and an inclination for permanent bilateral negotiations, while also under the illusion that the sum of two hundred bilateral agreements balanced in America’s favour – replacing a network of alliances of which it is naturally the leader – will make America great again, while instead it undermines the country’s credibility, the fundamental capital of every great power.

Then there is the fierce contest between American internal powers, exacerbated by Trump’s solipsism that might result in the psychodrama of impeachment, while it is already dimming America’s soft power and its strategic coherence.

Finally, there is the desire for emancipation experienced by Germany, which considers the United States a declining lead player and as irresponsible as its president. Berlin is outlining a geopolitical horizon that sees the creation of a German Europe guaranteed by a European Germany as a national priority – profiles that are apparently the opposite of one another but de facto complementary – and one no longer dependent on Washington. This would lead to abandoning the Westbindung, the western bond that, overturning over a century of German history from Tauroggen to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, tied Germany to the United States like a planet to its sun.

According to manuals of political science, the great anti-Western powers of Russia and China should be the ones to gain from a transatlantic crisis, as their manoeuvre margins between the stretched-apart shores of the Atlantic would be greatly increased. In the real world it is probable that Beijing and Moscow will gain some tactical advantages. The frailty of the two colossuses excludes their hegemony even in the strained image of being a couple, which they nowadays intend to flaunt.    

The disintegration of the West is not of service to America and even less to Europeans. The United States cannot renounce the empire in the name of its nation because it would lose both. Europe is at best a vague category of the spirit; it is cannot be mapped and therefore does not exist. From this scrum involving European cultures and interests, alongside various Old European mini-constellations, one may one day see the emergence of a German-styled Small European Confederation. This would be a neo-Bismarckian operation comparable to the one that, in 1871, led to the creation of a Small Germany that was, however, imperial. From Euramerica to Geuropa, a 360° Kerneuropa.

And what about Italy? Between life and death we would not choose America. This because American protectionism, if implemented, would threaten free access to markets, our sacred precept. Perhaps we would opt for Geuropa, due to its proximity and multi-century-long habit. We would probably not choose at all, because we like to be chosen.

NOTES

[1] Cfr. “The Prime Minister Seminar on Germany, March 24th, 1990”, pubblicato in P. SALMON, K. HAMILTON, S. TWIGGE curated by, Documents on British Policy Overseas, Series III, Volume VII, “German Unification 1989-1990”, London 2010, Routledge, pp. 502-9.

[2] Cfr. M. THATCHER, Gli anni di Downing Street, Milan 1993, Sperling & Kupfer, pp. 670-1.

[3] Cfr. P. MÜLLER, “Die Deutschen sind böse, sehr böse”, Spiegelonline, 25.5.2017.

[4] Cit. in P. BENDER, Deutsche Parallelen. Anmerkungen zu einer gemeinsamen Geschichte zweier getrennter Staaten, Berlin 1989, Siedler Verlag, p. 63.

[5] Cfr. “Urteil des Bundesverfassunsgericht vom 31.07.1973 zum Grundlagenvertrag zwischen der BRD und der DDR”, http://provinz-sachesen.de. Per un’analisi delle conseguenze storiche della sentenza della Corte di Karlsruhe, cfr. ad esempio R. SCHUSTER,“Verfassungspatriotismus für ein Provisorium?”, in W. BENZ ( a cura di), Sieben Fragen an die Bundesrepublik, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1989, pp. 15-16.

[6] Cfr. A. KLEIKAMP, “Hilfe, existiert das Deutsche Reich etwa noch?”, Welt N 24, 7.7.2015.

[7] “Wir wollen nicht Besetzte sein”, Der Spiegel, 19.12.1988.

[8] Cfr. “Letter from Mr Powell (No. 10) to Mr Wall, Secret and Personal, 20.1.1990”, in P. SALMON, K. HAMILTON, S. TWIGGE (by), Documents on British Policy Overseas, Series III, Volume VII, “German Unification 1989-1990”, London 2010, Routledge, pp. 215-219.

[9] S. KALBERG, Deutschland und Amerika aus der Sicht Max Webers”, Wiesbaden 2013, Springer, p. 165.

[10] Vedi il sondaggio ARD-Deutschlandtest quoted in F. BOZO et alii (note 11), p. 20.

[11] Cfr. L. HEMICKER, “Rückhalt für Nato wächst”, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 23.5.2017.

[12] Cfr. Speech by the Federal Minister of Defence, U. von der LEYEN, on the cccasion of the 51st Munich Security Conference, Munich, February 6th, 2015.

[13] On the Direktorate see the paper by C. MASALA, “Deutsche Außenpolitik im 21. Jahrhundert. Ein Diskussionsbeitrag!”, in T. MAYER, K.-H. PAQUET, A. H. APELT, Modell Deutschland, Berlin 2013, Dunker & Humblot, pp. 103-117.

[14] “Merkel: Wir Europäer müssen unser Schicksal in die eigene Hand nehmen”, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 29.5.2017.

[15] The debate was started by B. KOHLER, co-editor-in-chief of the Frankfurter Allgemine Zeitung, with his article “Das ganz un gar Undenkbare”, published by his newspaper on 27.11.2016. Those who support the need to think about a form of atomic deterrence for Germany include among others the CDU MP Roderich Kiesewetter and political analyst Maximilian Terhalle.

[16] Cfr. K. KUBIAK, “Deutschland braucht eine klare Linie in der Raketenabwehr”, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, 3.5.2017.

[17] Cfr. E. BRAW, “Germany is Quietly Building a European Army Under its Command”, Foreign Policy, 22.5.2017.

[18] C. R. WOOTSON Jr., “The German military has a Nazi problem”, Washington Post, 9.2.2017.