ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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German Strategic Autonomy Is Antithetical to American Primacy

Germany’s core strategic interests are at variance with that of the United States. The alliance between the two major transatlantic powers is under severe stress. The war in Ukraine has added an undue burden on the German economy, which is likely to lead to inflation, recession and social unrest. Germany, an emerging hard power, does not intend to let inflation, recession and social unrest derail it from the path of pursuing its foreign policy objectives. In the coming decades, Germany is not likely to sacrifice its economic interests at the altar of liberal international order and this is likely to pose a bigger challenge to German–American ties in the long run.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is experiencing energy as well as a strategic crises. The skyrocketing gas prices resulting from the massive disruption of energy supply lines emanating from Russia is damaging German industry, causing hardship for its citizens, and testing its predominance in the European Union (EU). The Nord Stream pipelines that Russia and European partners spent billions of dollars building have been subjected to sabotage attacks. These pipelines were the main source of Russian gas for Germany and much of Europe. Nord Stream 1 used to carry almost 60 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year to Germany. Although the deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is under investigation, the Russians have alleged that the Royal Navy caused the explosions in the Baltic Sea. While, the Anglo-Americans are pointing fingers at Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, those suffering the harsh winter are the population in Germany and Europe.

Lack of strategic autonomy is Germany’s Achilles’ heel. The intensification of global power struggle has made it im­­per­ative for Germany to seek greater room to manoeuvre in international poli­tics. It can no longer remain a passive spectator to the world events driven by the fallen Russia, ascending China and the declining United States (US). Despite facing massive energy challenges, the fragile three-party coalition government in Berlin cannot openly side with Russia, its main supplier. Nor can it enter the war and provoke reactions from Russia. The escalation of war in Ukraine will eventually hurt the German economy making it more dependent on external sources. The compulsions of the transatlantic network and its involvement in the North Atlantic Treaty Orga­nization (NATO) prevents it from defying the US. It cannot afford to polarise the EU on the issue of Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is largely for these reasons that Chancellor Olaf Scholz believes that Berlin must have its own strength and secure its freedom, democracy, and prosperity.

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Updated On : 5th Dec, 2022
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