Three Years New Global Policymaking


BERLIN (Own report) - At this years German "Unification" celebrations in Dresden - three years after his first public appeal for an extensive German global policy - German President Joachim Gauck can look back on a successfully concluded phase. October 3, 2013, Gauck first called on Germany to become more involved - also militarily - in international affairs. The campaign initiated with his speech had been carefully prepared and was aimed at incorporating members of the German elite, such as university professors and journalists from leading media organs. The Bundeswehr's recently adopted new White Paper is somewhat the official crowning of this campaign. In this paper, Berlin explicitly announced its commitment to global leadership, and, if necessary, to its enforcement by military means. At the same time, Berlin is pushing for the Bundeswehr's arms build-up and the militarization of the EU. Germany is increasing its military involvement in the "Arc of Crisis," as it is often called, meaning the arc of countries ranging from Mali, to Libya, Syria and Iraq.

New Power

German President Joachim Gauck's speech held on October 3, 2013, launching a campaign in favor of an extensive German global policymaking, including on a military level, had been carefully prepared. The chancellery-financed German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) played an important role with their "New Power - New Responsibility" strategy paper, elaborated between November 2012 and September 2013. Germany is "more powerful and influential than any democratic Germany in history," states the paper, published in October 2013. "Germany's growth in power opens new opportunities for influence," according to the strategy paper. "That is cause for a re-evaluation of its international relations."[1] In global policymaking "Germany will have to lead more often and more resolutely in the future," the authors declared, and must "use the entire spectrum of foreign policy instruments, ranging from diplomacy, development, and cultural policy all the way to military force."

Effectively Communicating

The paper expresses the current basic consensus within Berlin's establishment. Its elaboration included the head of the foreign ministry's planning staff and cadres from influential segments of the German elite. Around fifty people had participated in the intensive discussions for nearly a year - among them, ministry officials, members of the Bundestag, representatives of party affiliated foundations, university professors and journalists. Members of this elaboration team, who had shared not all, but at least the central points of the paper, are today teaching at Berlin's Free University or at the University of Trier, or writing for the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the weekly Die Zeit.[2] The strategy paper "New Power - New Responsibility" also explains why university professors and journalists were included in the discussion on foreign policy. At the domestic level, shaping global policy needs a "landscape of thinking," which "not only facilitates and enhances political creativity," but can also "develop political options in a rapid and applicable manner." Foreign policy must also learn to "communicate its aim and purpose more effectively."[3]

The President's Task

Joachim Gauck has played an important role in the "communication" of the government's foreign policy. Already on May 8, 2012, not even two months after he was elected President of Germany, Jan Techau, a former employee of the Defense Ministry's Press and Information staff, made a plea in the daily journal Süddeutsche Zeitung that the new president become "another Weizsäcker." With this Techau was alluding to former President Richard von Weizsäcker's referring to the end of the war as a "liberation" for Germany, in his famous speech on May 8, 1985 - the anniversary of 1945's ending of World War II. Weizsäcker had, thereby, facilitated absolution of "Germany's historical burden," explains Techau. A similar "liberation" was now needed in foreign policy, still suffering under historically-based inhibitions, particularly in the realm of military missions. "If not Gauck, the reconciler, the man of God, then who" can "call on Germans ... to overcome their own distrust of themselves" to forge ahead in the future with the EU's foreign and military policy as well as energetically promoting NATO's development further, asks Techau.[4] Although the nation's president can "hardly influence foreign policy," "he can be helpful in creating the domestic prerequisites for a good foreign policy."

Globally Operating - even Militarily

In fact, in his speech on October 3, 2013, Gauck issued the start signal for a global policy campaign, as Techau had suggested back in the spring of 2012. A growing number of "voices," both at home and abroad, are demanding "more German engagement in international policymaking," alleged Gauck. The Federal Republic of Germany, "populous, situated in the middle of the continent and the world's fourth greatest economic power," is "not an island," it must, in the future, be significantly more involved in the "resolution" of global conflicts - even militarily.[5] Specialists believe to have heard an echo of Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff in his speech. Earlier, Kleine-Brockhoff had been the "Senior Director for Strategy" of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS). It was in this capacity that he, until August 2013 had participated in the formulation of the SWP - GMFUS strategy paper. He then went on to serve as director of the taskforce "Planning Staff / Speeches" in Germany's Presidential Bureau. Gauck regularly campaigned for an offensive German global policy in later speeches as well. In January 2014, he became the first German president to ever address the Munich Security Conference.[6] He has continued his advocacy of the German political establishment's sustained campaign for Berlin to make a more impressive global outreach, with occasional statements of support.[7] In the spring of 2014, representatives of Christian organizations rightfully complained that Gauck was simply seeking to "undercut the popular resistance" to military interventions.[8]

The Implementation Phase

When Gauck speaks at the upcoming "Unification" festivities in Dresden - three years after his October 3, 2013 speech - he will be able to look back on a successfully concluded phase in the development. To a large extent, Berlin's global policy is supported, without question, by Germany's elite, especially the media establishment. It has now been clearly formulated in the Bundeswehr's new White Paper, which explicitly states that Germany is "prepared to actively help shape the global order" and to "assume leadership."[9] The Bundeswehr's personnel pool will again be expanded. The German government has earmarked 3-digit billions in finances for an arms buildup. Bundeswehr missions in Mali, Syria, Iraq, and in the Mediterranean have been broadened; a mission in Libya is still in discussion. A few days ago, the Bundeswehr announced it had carried out its first cyber offensive. At the same time, Berlin is persistently pursuing the militarization of the EU.[10] Even though the results of the past two decades of Germany's wars have been miserable, preparations for new wars are continuing. ( reported.[11]) And ultimately, Berlin expects - sooner or later - serious retaliation on its national territory. A new "Civil Defense Concept" was recently approved, to prepare the population for these retaliatory attacks.[12] The phase of the systematic introduction of Germany's new global policy and its promotion, is now drawing to a close. The phase of its comprehensive implementation is now beginning.

[1] Neue Macht - Neue Verantwortung. Elemente einer deutschen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik für eine Welt im Umbruch. Ein Papier der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) und des German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Berlin, Oktober 2013. S. dazu The Re-Evaluation of German Foreign Policy.
[2] An den Diskussionen zur Erstellung des Papiers beteiligt waren unter anderem Nikolas Busse (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) und Jochen Bittner (Die Zeit).
[3] Neue Macht - Neue Verantwortung. Elemente einer deutschen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik für eine Welt im Umbruch. Ein Papier der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) und des German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Berlin, Oktober 2013. S. dazu The Re-Evaluation of German Foreign Policy.
[4] Jan Techau: Wie Gauck ein zweiter Weizsäcker werden könnte. Süddeutsche Zeitung 08.05.2012.
[5] "Die Freiheit in der Freiheit gestalten". 03.10.2013. S. dazu Schlafende Dämonen.
[6] S. dazu Der Weltordnungsrahmen.
[7] S. dazu Das Bündnis der Freien und Friedfertigen.
[8] Kirchenvertreter üben Kritik an Bundespräsident Gauck. 16.06.2014. S. dazu Die Weltpolitik-Kampagne der Eliten.
[9] Weißbuch zur Sicherheitspolitik und zur Zukunft der Bundeswehr. Berlin, Juni 2016. S. dazu Deutschlands globaler Horizont (I).
[10] S. dazu Strategische Autonomie.
[11] S. dazu Germany's War Record (I), Germany's War Record (II) und Germany's War Record (III).
[12] S. dazu Zivile Kriegsvorbereitung.