Zubair K Khan
During current NATO summit in Warsaw, Germany showed willingness to pledge to station rotating military battalions in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 2017 as a collective deterrent against Russian adventurism which clearly indicates Europe’s most populous country wants to assume a bigger defence role, within the frameworks of NATO and the European Union. According to German Defence Ministry White Paper, likely to be made public in couple of days, this is message leading towards Germanys new military roadmap. The new thinking marks a shift for Germany which, overshadowed by Nazi cruelties and the Holocaust, for decades refrained from sending troops abroad and to play a pivotal global military role. Current shift in thinking of Germany to become a key military player comes at a time when Europe is nervously eyeing Russia and digesting the shock of the Brexit vote.
In 1994 Germany’s highest court allowed the country to participate in multinational peacekeeping missions. Germany has since provided military troops to conflict zones, from the Balkans to Afghanistan and Mali but stayed out for 2011 NATO intervention in Libya. Until today Germany’s dark past has always nurtured a strong pacifist tradition, its leaders have also often been stung by allies’ criticism that they are not pulling their weight in tackling crisis hotspots, lack the stomach for full-fledged military engagement and prefer ,provide money, diplomacy. Surprisingly over the past two years, President Joachim Gauck and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen have repeatedly argued that Germany must engage militarily more forcefully in global matters. According to both of them Germany, a globally highly connected country… has a responsibility to actively help shape the world order. They also say the country should assume responsibility and meet current and future security and humanitarian challenges. According to new thinking Paris and Berlin to pool their resources in foreign and security policy, and that their armed forces work together as closely as possible. Same time France, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, would commit to presenting a common position with Germany. It is far from certain, however, that such an idea could gain traction now in France, a nuclear-armed military power whose politicians have been traditionally wary of German pacifism and still resent its abstention in the UN vote on the Libya intervention.
Brexit is likely to materialise soon. Germany along with its economic might is once again stretching its military muscles to become the hedge man of Europe. Nation has extra ordinary qualities which if pipelined in right direction can benefit this planet tremendously. Hopefully German leaders had lessons from history and will never repeat the same mistakes.
Note. Help taken for facts and figures printed in German print media.