Will the vacuum of American global leadership be filled in part by Germany? Read:
Voices from outside Germany and some in Merkel’s own party are urging her to adopt a more muscular foreign policy, commensurate with Germany’s status as Europe’s biggest, most powerful economy. Such a shift has been under discussion in Berlin the last few years, but advocates say the crisis in Crimea has brought the matter to a head.
“Germany has to get used to really pursuing foreign policy as a player,” said Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee and a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.
The nation’s economic might has created a growing “expectation from our friends and neighbors that we live up to our responsibility,” Roettgen said. “A leading role is upon Germany if we like it or not.”
I’m all for burden-sharing, and better today’s Germany taking a greater role than tomorrow’s Russia or China. But Germany lacks the strategic reach or energy wealth to be a real player. The same can be said about the EU in toto. That’s why American leadership is required on the continent, or the void will be filled by someone like Vladimir Putin.