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Germany Alone
Articles on Germany before 2018


  • (october 2018) Germany Alone.
    Germany started World War II. It aimed to conquer all of continental Europe, including Russia and maybe even Britain. It failed. It was split in two by the winning powers. Four decades later it was allowed to reunite. It has become again the dominant power of continental Europe, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, Germany's military is irrelevant compared with Russia's: Germany's GDP dwarfs Russia's GDP, but Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and Germany has zero. Initially, Germany had no real army because the world didn't want Germany to have one. Germans are way too god at fighting wars. Nobody looks forward to another war against German soldiers and weapons. Later, when the world might have accepted a rearmed Germany, it was Germany itself that took advantage of the USA's desire to defend the whole of Europe, including and especially Germany. But the times are changing and a new new new world order is being created (see The New New New World Order).

    The USA didn't become unreliable under Trump. It was already. The incompetent George W Bush (who had become president despite losing the elections) started a war in Iraq that Europeans didn't want to fight. The results speak loudly: Iraq fell into civil war, was torn apart by the radical jihadists of ISIS, and now has become an Iranian protectorate (the party of pro-Iranian cleric Al Sadr won the latest elections). Now the corrupt and immoral Donald Trump (who has become president despite losing the election by an even larger margin) is taking orders from Russia, attacking NATO, the European Union and, last but not least, Germany's chancellor. The USA is now a wildly unreliable partner. Few Germans hold any hope that the USA would counter a Russian attack against Germany. And this comes at a time when Putin's Russia, that got rich thanks to spikes in oil prices caused first by George W Bush and now by Trump's anti-Iran stance, has regressed to its old aggressive behavior.

    Germany's new strategy has been to create buffer states between itself and Russia by absorbing Eastern Europe into the European Union and into NATO. Protection against expansionist Russia ranks high in Merkel's determination to save the European Union, the euro and NATO. These are institutions that cost serious money to German taxpayers. How else could Germany intimidate Russia? Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons. The only nuclear power in the continent is France, which has a few dozens. Britain is leaving the European Union and Merkel knows that the British public would be unlikely to enter another war in continental Europe: the last time that Britain fought a war to defend the continent (World War II), it ended up losing the British Empire. Germany is surrounded by countries that don't care: Holland, Denmark and so are rich countries that don't worry about defending themselves because they assume that no country wants to invade them.

    Germany may succeed in keeping the European Union together (despite the nationalist anti-European movements of Britain, Italy, Hungary and Poland), and perhaps even in expanding it to Ukraine, but, sooner or later, it will have to face the prospect of having to defend itself against Putin's Russia. Merkel may be waiting out Putin, hoping that he falls and is replaced by someone who accepts to denuclearize Russia and bring Russia into the peaceful European sphere (or perhaps secretely hoping that Russia implodes and disintegrates like the Soviet Union did). History, however, teaches that few powers surrender weapons unless there's a pressing reason to do so: the pressing reason can be an arms race or a lost war. If Germany were stocking nuclear weapons right now and building air carriers and submarines, Russia would be sitting at the negotiating table and would be willing to reduce its own stockpile and stop building sophisticated weapons.

    Russian propaganda claims that Russia is surrounded by evil Western powers that want to dismember it. You can't blame them: the West tried twice to invade Russia (Napoleon and Hitler) and the USA is widely blamed in Russia for the collapse of the Russian economy during the 1990s when Russia adopted democracy. It is time that Germany and Russia work out a deal between themselves, without the USA, that will reassure both for the foreseeable future. The problem is that, without the USA in the picture, Putin's Russia is unlikely to feel any motivation to make concessions: Russia has the nuclear weapons, Germany doesn't; the GDP of the European Union is ten times the GDP of Russia, but Russia's military is at least ten times more powerful than France's (the only real military power in continental Europe). And Putin can count on his friend and vassal Trump to counterbalance the economic power of the European Union (the USA has roughly the same GDP as that of the EU).

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