German Global Policy and its Minister

BERLIN (Own report) – With the appointment of a foreign minister, who is under heavy criticism for his stance on human rights, the new German government is preparing a global policy offensive. According to the CDU/SPD Coalition Agreement, the government is more determined than ever to help “shape international policy” and play “a strong autonomous role.” Counting on the EU, to couple more tightly its “civilian and military instruments” to intervene globally, the German government will promote EU foreign and military policy at the summit in Brussels later this week. Designated Foreign Minster, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD), has been actively involved in Berlin’s geopolitical climb since he became the Chancellery’s coordinator of the German intelligence services in 1998. In 2001, he became Chief of Staff of the Federal Chancellery and played a central role in the German/US-American coordination in the “War on Terror,” which had initially consisted of the abduction and torture of terror suspects. For this, Steinmeier has been repeatedly under criticism – without effect. He will once again preside over the foreign ministry.

Shaping the World Together

With the termination of the Bush era and, following years of reliable cooperation within the framework of NATO’s “Mutual Defense Clause” [7], officially declared October 4, 2001, the German Foreign Minister saw the opportunity for Germany to assume a more important role in global politics. In an “Open Letter” to US President Obama in January 2009, Steinmeier declared that “no country in the world, not even the most powerful one” can “solve the current global problems alone.” One must instead operate “together”, meaning that “the USA and Europe must closely cooperate.” Only by providing “common answers to the questions of the future,” one can be successful. “Together, we can also shape the world in the 21st century.”[8]

Germany’s Growth in Power

Following the recent federal elections, the foreign policy establishment has been focusing on the call for a more resolute German international policy. With his speech on the occasion of the national holiday, President Joachim Gauck gave the starting signal, when he called for a “strong German role” in “Europe and the world.”[9] This call was soon followed by a paper jointly published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the Foreign Ministry and German foreign policy experts, underscoring Germany’s “growth in power” and new “opportunities for influence,” demanding a “re-evaluation” of its global policy.[10] The media followed with the publication of quotes from a CDU/SPD foreign policy strategy paper, in which the two parties declared that Germany should “actively help shape the international order” and should be “at the ready” for all kinds of interventions throughout the world.[11] All foreign and military means of the EU should be used.

The EU’s Credibility

As a matter of course, Berlin will continue to use humanitarian – human rights to justify its global hegemonic claims. As the coalition agreement remarks, “in its international missions for human rights, the credibility of the European Union is largely dependent upon how consequently it lives up to its principles and punishes violations on its own territory.”[13] The appointment of a foreign minister, who is controversial because of his role in Germany’s cooperation in torture by the USA’s services, speaks volumes.

Full article: German Global Policy and its Minister (German Foreign Policy)

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