German Foreign and Security Policy: Trends and Transatlantic Implications [May 20, 2009]   [open pdf - 363KB]

"Since the end of the Cold War, Germany's relations with the United States have been shaped by several key factors. These include Germany's growing support for a stronger, more capable European Union, and its continued allegiance to NATO as the primary guarantor of European security; Germany's ability and willingness to undertake the defense reforms many argue are necessary for it to meet its commitments within NATO and a burgeoning European Security and Defense Policy; and German popular opinion, especially the influence of strong public opposition to U.S. foreign policies during the George W. Bush Administration on German leaders. President Obama's popularity in Germany suggests that many Germans expect the new U.S. Administration to distance itself from the perceived unilateralism of the Bush Administration. However, some observers caution that public expectations of the new President could be unreasonably high and note that policy differences between the two countries remain. For example, in the face of the global economic slowdown, German leaders on both sides of the political spectrum have resisted calls from the Obama Administration to stimulate economic growth through larger domestic spending measures. In the foreign policy domain, while German officials have welcomed the Obama Administration's strategic review of Afghanistan/Pakistan policy, they have essentially ruled out sending more combat troops or relaxing constraints on those troops currently serving in Afghanistan before German federal elections scheduled for September 2009."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34199
Public Domain
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