The War in Ukraine Has Exposed Germany’s Strategic Quagmire

The war in Ukraine has renewed talk of Germany’s role in leading Europe — but also increased its economic and even foreign policy reliance on Washington. As bloc tensions rise, talk of an independent European superpower sounds like empty boasting.

Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock speaking at a press conference in Berlin, February 7, 2023. (Jörg Carstensen / Getty Images)

Germany’s so-called “National Security Strategy,” which Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock officially announced in March 2022, was originally supposed to be presented right before the Munich Security Conference that convened last weekend. Its goal? To hammer out a unified framework for German foreign and security policy across all government ministries — also ensuring that German state institutions speak with one voice abroad.

From the viewpoint of the Foreign Office, it would have been extremely advantageous to present the document in the run-up to the security conference, where Baerbock was guaranteed maximum international attention. But it was not to be. Reportedly, the strategy was delayed by coordination difficulties — and likely also the fact that German foreign policy finds itself in an extremely difficult situation.

Read more here: