Longhurst, Germany and the use of force.qxd 30/06/2004 16:25 Page 25 2 Stunde Null and the ‘construction’ of West German strategic culture Interest politics alone . . . cannot account for Germany’s pacifistic military security policy, nor does it provide a satisfactory explanation of Bonn’s approach to national sovereignty or its aversion to unilateralism. One must look beyond material and political interests to the politics of national identity in post war Germany, which unfolded in searing domestic political debates over rearmament, reunification, and

in Germany and the use of force

Mobilising the concept of strategic culture, this study develops a framework for understanding developments in German security policy between 1990 and 2003. Germany's contemporary security policies are characterised by a peculiar mix of continuity and change. From abstention in the first Gulf war, to early peacekeeping missions in Bosnia in the early 1990s and a full combat role in Kosovo in 1999, the pace of change in German security policy since the end of the Cold War has been breathtaking. The extent of this change has recently, however, been questioned, as seen most vividly in Berlin's response to ‘9/11’ and its subsequent stalwart opposition to the US-led war on terrorism in Iraq in 2003. Beginning with a consideration of the notion of strategic culture, the study refines and adapts the concept to the case of Germany through a consideration of aspects of the rearmament of West Germany. It then critically evaluates the transformation of the role of the Bundeswehr up to and including the war on terrorism, together with Germany's troubled efforts to enact defence reforms, as well as the complex politics surrounding the policy of conscription. By focusing on both the ‘domestics’ of security policy decision making as well as the changing and often contradictory expectations of Germany's allies, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the role played by Germany's particular strategic culture in shaping policy choices. It concludes by pointing to the vibrancy of Germany's strategic culture.

Core historical concepts reconsidered

, the international socialist discussion on ‘plannism’ in the 1930s; and third, in the 1970s, attempts to strengthen ‘co-determination’ in West Germany and to introduce wage earners’ funds by the Swedish trade unions. The German experience Economic democracy is indeed often closely associated with the German system of co-determination. I would argue, however, that German-style co-determination can only realise a very limited democratisation of the economy. In essence, ‘co-determination’ refers to the involvement of employee representatives in company decision

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The past as prologue

Longhurst, Germany and the use of force.qxd 30/06/2004 16:25 Page 1 Introduction: the past as prologue This book is inspired by the often puzzling array of continuities and changes that has characterised German security policy since unification in 1990. Change has been manifest most profoundly in the lifting of the legal and political barriers which had formerly curtailed the use of the West German armed forces, a transformation which arguably reached its zenith in Germany’s military contribution to the war in Kosovo in 1999. Since then, German perspectives

in Germany and the use of force
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The discovery, commemoration and reinterment of eleven Alsatian victims of Nazi terror, 1947– 52

of Franco-​German reconciliation. The meaning of the German word, Wiedergutmachung, encompasses a wide range of acts that at their root express a desire to provide indemnification for loss. In the context of post-​1945 West Germany, the term is associated with the government’s reparations to the victims of National Socialism.7 Consequently, the starting point 142 142   Human remains in society of much of the existent historiography focusing on West Germans’ post-​war efforts to come to grips with the legacies of National Socialism is when Chancellor Konrad

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Germany, the use of force and the power of strategic culture

questions concerns identification: what is German strategic culture? The second is about change: to what extent and in what form did change in the external security environment after 1989–90 impact on German strategic culture? The third relates to behaviour: in what ways has strategic culture affected behaviour and shaped policy choices? Identifying Germany’s strategic culture In identifying West Germany’s strategic culture I began by characterising its formative period, during which all previous values, beliefs and practices regarding the use of force were rendered

in Germany and the use of force
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Reconstruction and reconciliation; confrontation and oppression

States into open confrontation or the abandonment of a slowly achieved, bipolar stability, which guaranteed them both a dominant influence over events in their respective ‘spheres of interest’. Major Western European countries MUP_Torbion_02_Ch2 13 22/9/03, 12:32 pm 14 Destination Europe such as West Germany, France and the United Kingdom also saw certain advantages in the situation. Europe between the superpowers By the early 1950s, post-war reconstruction in Western Europe was virtually complete. In the Soviet-controlled part it would take much longer due to

in Destination Europe
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The new Europe takes shape

engage in limited market-oriented reforms and in 1968 led Czechoslovakia toward an open break, soon suppressed, with the Soviet Union. Furthermore, West Germany, under Willy Brandt, could start a cautious Ostpolitik of contacts with the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe (especially Czechoslvakia and Poland) and – last but not least – East Germany. The 1975 Helsinki Final Act seemed to confirm the Soviet hold over Central and Eastern Europe in ‘peaceful co-existence’ with the West, although, in reality, it marked the beginning of the end of that Soviet domination and of the

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Europe’s ‘zero hour’

maintaining stability in Europe, since any confrontation would rapidly risk becoming nuclear. 5 West Germany’s orientation towards the West – Western Europe in particular, but also North America – was facilitated by the fact that it was hermetically sealed off from its former neighbouring countries and markets in the East. An ‘Iron Curtain’ had been lowered in the heart of 6 Europe, as Winston Churchill put it in May 1945. If West Germany wanted to survive economically and politically, it would therefore have to seek reconciliation with the West and particularly with France

in Destination Europe
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left his post in 1963. These years, c. 1957–1965, stand out as a comparatively distinct phase in West German post-war history, a phase that can be separated from the preceding and ensuing ones. ‘Dynamic times’ is a label given by historians to this period of just under ten years.1 In spite of the growth and spread of prosperity, there was a simmering discontent in many circles. One underlying cause was the incomplete democratisation. True, the parliamentary system had taken hold and been consolidated; but West German society was not seen as entirely democratic. More

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