Germany in Transition

National Self-Confidence and International Reticence

by Ronald D. Asmus


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This Note analyzes the results of late-1991 public opinion polls conducted for RAND in Germany as a follow-on study to a 1990 survey that examined differences in East and West German views toward the United States, NATO, and the U.S. role and military presence in Europe. The survey focused on how Germans are responding to their changing foreign and security environment and how such changes are likely to reshape German definitions of national interests, strategic priorities, and alliance relationships. The study also draws on extensive interviews and survey data gathered from other institutions. The findings indicate there is considerable sympathy for the United States in Germany. Germans consider themselves to be pro-American and are satisfied with current U.S. policy toward Germany. They continue to believe that NATO is essential for German security. Sympathy for the United States and support for NATO no longer necessarily translate into support for an American presence, however. The author suggests that it is in U.S. interests to transform NATO into a new alliance framework that uses the collective experience and military assets of the member countries to deal with potential new security challenges.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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