German Foreign Minister Maas sees Europe setting “red lines” for US conduct


German Foreign Minister Maas sees Europe setting “red lines” for US conduct

Ulrich Rippert and Peter Schwarz

29 August 2018

In a guest contribution last week for the financial daily Handelsblatt, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (Social Democratic Party, SPD) outlined key points of the German government’s new US strategy. He wants to “recalibrate” the transatlantic alliance and build the EU as a “counterweight” to the US.

For a long time, leading representatives of the German government have been proclaiming that Germany must become more involved in foreign policy and military affairs. The coalition agreement agreed by the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and SPD in the spring, after months of secret negotiations, “reads like a blueprint for a massive expansion of German militarism,” the WSWS commented.

Maas builds on this in his guest contribution for Handelsblatt. More clearly than government officials have done so far, he describes the US as a major obstacle to a new German great power policy. Only slightly concealed with diplomatic phrases about a “balanced partnership,” Maas explains that Germany can only become a world power again at the expense of and in conflict with the USA.

Right from the beginning, the foreign minister emphasizes that the growing transatlantic tensions are “by no means just down to Donald Trump” and his “ever new jolts.” He writes, “The US and Europe have been drifting apart for years.” The “overlap of values and interests” is decreasing, and the “binding force of the East-West conflict” is no more.

Although the partnership with the United States has “brought Germany a unique phase of peace and security since the end of the Second World War,” Maas declares that looking back did not lead to the future….

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