Germany Steps Up

Since the start of his first administration, US President Barack Obama has repeated a simple mantra concerning other countries: “With power comes responsibility.” France has demonstrated repeatedly that it understands and accepts this responsibility; Germany may now be following suit.

WASHINGTON, DC – Since the start of his first administration, US President Barack Obama has repeated a simple mantra concerning other countries: “With power comes responsibility.” France has demonstrated repeatedly that it understands and accepts this responsibility; Germany may now be following suit.

Several weeks ago, German President Joachim Gauck’s opening address to the 50th annual Munich Security Conference reflected on the Federal Republic’s evolution over those five decades, a period that gave rise to “a good Germany, the best we have ever known.” And, because Germany benefits more than most countries from the current open, value-based international order, it has, Gauck said, a greater responsibility to defend and extend that order.

Gauck’s speech reflected the thinking in an important new report, entitled New Power, New Responsibility, released by the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. The report – the product of several months of debate within the German foreign-policy and security community – identifies Germany’s current values and interests as a commitment to “human dignity, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and to an international order that is based on universal norms.” As Gauck proclaimed, Germany’s “overriding strategic objective” must be the “preservation and continued adaptation” of this order.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/nYN2E5x;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.