Germany as a Geo-economic Power

Hans Kundnani
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Summer 2011
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Berlin's March 2011 abstention on the UN Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya has raised questions about Germany's role in the international system. By abstaining on Security Council Resolution 1973, Germany broke with its Western allies and aligned itself with the four BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Whether or not the decision signals a weakening of what Germans call the Westbindung, it illustrates the strength of Germany's ongoing reluctance to use military force as a foreign-policy tool even in a multilateral context and to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Over the past few years, as the number of German and civilian casualties has increased in Afghanistan, the German public has become more skeptical about the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in particular and about the deployment of German troops abroad in general. Like Germany, other EU member states such as France and the United Kingdom are cutting their defense budgets, but Germany shares few of their aspirations to project power beyond Europe.
Political Geography
Afghanistan, Russia, China, India, Libya, Brazil, Germany, Berlin