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.

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History and the Last Man,24 with its conceit that the liberal democracies (led by the USA) had reached the pinnacle of cultural evolution. Adherents of this thinly disguised piece of neo-​ conservative rhetoric could bask in the afterglow of the first Gulf War and the emergence of a new lone superpower: truly the final word on the emergence of the ‘American Century’ trumpeted by Henry Luce fifty years earlier. Against this changing backdrop, Talk Radio had sat comfortably within an era of film writing and production that had been celebrated for a discreet set of

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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). Their life in America promises idyllic recompense for the horrors of the war, but Butler’s memories are too immediate, and 43 Th e ci nem a of Ol iver   S to ne 44 the nightmares too overpowering. Tragedy ensues, and the film finds only crumbs of hope in a future of uncertainty for Le Ly and her family at the end. In the space between Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven and Earth, the first Gulf War had driven a wedge into the American psyche. During the period of formal hostilities, German reunification had been concluded in October 1990. The troubling lessons

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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’s attention did not waver, but arguably that of the American audience did; caressed first with the hubris that washed in after the first Gulf War and the embrace of Francis Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’ thesis;10 and later with the celebrity scandals of O. J. Simpson and Michael Jackson, together with easy political distractions such as the Monica Lewinsky story.11 Stone’s history in Born on the Fourth of July, JFK and Nixon was wholehearted and demanding, but the end of the Cold War had untethered the USA and left the past not as prologue –​as Stone’s adopted Shakespearean

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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, as he uses the murder to galvanise support for the war against Persia. In W. the first Gulf War, the failure to topple Saddam Hussein in 1991, and the defeat of his father, George Bush Sr, in the 1992 presidential election, are all seen as staging posts in the politicisation of George W. Bush and shapers in his prosecution of the ‘War on Terror’. Picking up the story, co-​written with Stanley Weiser, of Bush (Josh Brolin) in 2002, Stone used a conventional biographical structure employing a series of flashbacks to move between the Bush administration’s preparations

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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The oddity of democracy

destroyed once it was in his possession, on the orders of his wife, Clementine. The powerful can be surprisingly thin-skinned. A man who had been through the Boer War as a reporter, and two world wars as a minister, was wounded by a picture. In 1991 after the first Gulf War, northern, Kurdish, Iraq was effectively an independent region. One of the fruits of this independence was a broadcasting system free from the control of Baghdad and its ruler, Saddam Hussein. An embellishment of that freedom was a satirical film about the Iraqi dictator, written

in Cultivating political and public identity
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The state of surprise

first Gulf War and Japan’s rise. This sense that the West had ‘moved on’ from Cold War era priorities and the problems with which post-Soviet Russia is associated subsequently accelerated in the late 1990s and early 2000s for two main reasons. First, there was increasing disappointment at the highest political levels in the West about the problematic nature of Russia’s transformation. This, combined

in The new politics of Russia
Impact of structural tensions and thresholds

-fire agreement reached between Iran and Iraq after the first Gulf War. The following year, the UN introduced peacekeeping forces into the complex southern African crises. The First UN Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM I) was deployed in Angola and the UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in Namibia. The same year, the UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA) was called upon to verify

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
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commented in his review on release: ‘[In Stone’s] other films, the leading characters are just vehicles to examine an issue. In Nixon they are the issue.’46 The Watergate saga from break-​in to resignation had been played out on national television, and its effects on the country’s psyche were nothing short of cataclysmic. Stone’s portrayal of political figures fixated on power called for self-​examination from a population that already had feasted on the first Gulf War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and who, a full year before the film’s release, had signed up

in The cinema of Oliver Stone

the first Gulf War Revolutions, in bringing revisionist leaders to power and upsetting power balances, frequently lead to war which, in turn, reshapes states (Halliday 1994: 124–46). The radical transformation in Iran’s foreign policy – from a main supporter of the pro-Western Middle East status quo under the Shah to its main challenger after the revolution – seemingly demonstrates the power of domestic politics to shape international behaviour. On the other hand, the case also underlined the resilience of the state system: the limited success

in The international politics of the Middle East