New Accents in Defence Strategy and Security Policy of Germany

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-11-26-34

A. Kokeev (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. In this article, important changes to Germany’s defense strategy and security policy are reviewed; key factors influencing the transatlantic and European policy of Berlin in security provision are identified; new tendencies in relations between Germany, the USA and NATO are unveiled; the problems of military integration enhancing and the EU defense capacities strengthening are analyzed. D. Trump’s well-known statements have become the reason for increasing concerns as to the extent of the U.S. obligations as an ally. Thus, Germany tries to fulfill the plans of the EU defense potential strengthening and endowing it with greater independence in terms of its own security provision. Among the elements that influenced an overall intensification of Germany’s efforts to strengthen the European component of its defense strategy were the “Trump factor” and the Ukrainian crisis alongside with Brexit and the election of E. Macron in France. The first step to the enhancement of military cooperation in Europe was the new start of the PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) project. Germany is the head of the four most important projects within PESCO. From Berlin’s point of view, the project aims to help to cut down military expenses by increasing their effectiveness. Germany’s perception of new threats as well as inclusion of corresponding amendments to its defense strategy and security policy are reflected in the “White Paper” of 2016. Bundeswehr’s conditions do not substantially comply with NATO’s demands, and overall readiness of the German army remains unsatisfactory. Consequently, the question of increasing the defense expenses arises. Starting from 2016, these expenses have been growing, but until 2025, the general expenses would not reach 2% of the GDP. Despite the fact that the USA have not been viewed by Berlin as the most reliable partner lately, the country still remains one of the most important partners of Germany in the security provision sphere. Meanwhile, a number of things indicate that this time, Berlin and the majority of other EU member states are determined to attain greater level of emancipation from “the Big Brother” in matters of ensuring the European security. However, despite a number of problems reviewed in this article, the role of Germany in NATO and the transatlantic partnership is increasing. 

Keywords: Germany, EU, US, NATO, transatlantic relations, security policy, PESCO, “White Paper”, Bundeswehr 


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For citation:
Kokeev A. New Accents in Defence Strategy and Security Policy of Germany. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 11, pp. 26-34.

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