Cover: Germany and America: crisis of confidence

Germany and America: crisis of confidence

Published 1991

by Ronald D. Asmus

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback8 pages $20.00

There are simple explanations for the recent sudden downturn in German-American relations: Washington views the Persian Gulf crisis as a defining moment in European-American relations and in the creation of a new world order. For the Bush Administration, it is also the first diplomatic test of a unified Germany and a new German-American relationship. It is a test that Germany is thus far regarded as having failed for three reasons: (1) From the outset, many Americans sensed that Germans did not understand what the Persian Gulf crisis meant for the United States as it struggled to make the right decisions over war and peace; (2) there was a growing sense that the Germans were not being good Europeans, as German politicians, who seemed unprepared for the outbreak of hostilities, stumbled to articulate a rationale for their policy; and (3) there was an unsettling appearance of a selective German definition of collective defense and common security, as leading German politicians suggested that an Iraqi attack against Turkey need not automatically invoke NATO's collective defense obligations. The result has been a crisis of confidence in the performance of the German political elite that goes beyond the problems in German-American relations during the early 1980s and the debate over intermediate-range nuclear forces.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.