West Germany's Foreign Policy: The Impact of the Social Democrats and the Greens

West Germany's Foreign Policy: The Impact of the Social Democrats and the Greens

West Germany's Foreign Policy: The Impact of the Social Democrats and the Greens

West Germany's Foreign Policy: The Impact of the Social Democrats and the Greens

Synopsis

The Atlantic Alliance, Neutralism and the Parties of the Left in West Germany The Decade of Neutralism The Social Democrats as Pragmatists Domestic Factors That Influenced the SPD's Defense Policy and the Birth of the Green Party The Theory and Practice of Ostpolitik Value Change and Ideological Neutralism in the Green Party The Alternative to Alliance The New Strategies Debate in the Social Democratic Party Conclusion Selected Bibliography Index

Excerpt

The North Atlantic Alliance is a continuing source of fascination for both Americans and Europeans interested in foreign policy. the development of the Alliance's institutions, its recurrent strategy debates, and the relationships of its members both to one another and to the Alliance itself are the subjects of relentless scrutiny. This interest is understandable from both the European and American perspective. Since its founding in 1949, the Alliance known by the acronym for its organizational structure, nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), has provided the framework and the point of reference for relations between the United States and other member states.

Within the context of nato, the relationship between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States is especially interesting. the United States is the predominant member of nato as a result of the dependence of the other members of the Alliance on the American nuclear deterrent as the cornerstone of defense strategy. the Federal Republic is the strongest European member in NATO's integrated command structure, the major contributor of land forces, and NATO's first line of defense. If nato were to adopt a purely conventional defense strategy, the relative positions of the United States and the Federal Republic would change dramatically. Changes in the policies of either of these two member states are closely watched.

Since the end of the 1970s, it has been increasingly apparent that the policies of both the United States and the Federal Republic toward nato are under stress. the United States and the Federal Republic have reacted in divergent ways to the changing international climate. the United States has a renewed interest in containment in the face of what it sees as a revitalized Soviet expansion. the Federal Republic is concerned about maintaining the momentum of Ostpolitik in the face of an East-West chill. These divergences are reflected in differences over nato strategy. Criticism of American policy has focused on military options and plans that are viewed in Europe as potentially or actually inconsistent with present nato doctrine. the Defense Department's hypothetical "Air-Land Battle 2000" scenario . . .

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