Germany ponders perceived lack of military clout

The shocks of spying american intelligence agencies and Russia's military move in Ukraine has left Germany pondering its power and potential.
By Ed Adamczyk   |  April 24, 2014 at 12:01 PM
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BERLIN , April 24 (UPI) -- A newspaper column has reinforced the thought in Germany that the nation could not defend itself without help, largely because of Russia’s recent political actions.

Writing in the newspaper Die Zeit, scholar Ulrich Speck said, “Germany needs a world order in which basic principles are respected by all key players, The attack (by Russia) on Ukraine is an attack on the very order that underpins Germany’s freedom, security and prosperity.”

Britain and France “could defend themselves. Germany could not,” Speck wrote.

In a separate report, Speck argued Russia seeks an empire, which “consists of centers and peripheries without clear delineations,” while Germany and the rest of the world prefers nation-states with clearly-defined borders and interests. A recent televised interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who regularly mentioned a “New Russia” of increased territory, seemed to confirm Speck’s thesis.

The crisis in Ukraine, coming soon after Germany learned U.S. intelligence agencies interfered with prized German concepts of freedom and privacy, has unsettled many people. A breakthrough agreement over Ukraine, negotiated through traditional means of diplomacy between Russia and Western countries, was a relief for Germany.

Behind the scenes, though, there is wariness, on Germany’s part, to be a major actor in curtailing Russia’s imperial ambitions, largely because of strong business ties to Russia.

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