- April 06, 2022
Russia’s President Putin has violated the principles of national sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law in his war of aggression against Ukraine. Imperial action in the competition of great powers thus seems to have returned to Europe. Putin is known to want to split NATO and the European Union and expand the Russian sphere of influence. The international community, above all the United States of America and the EU, is trying to prevent this with all its might. In addition to military aid to Ukraine and economic and financial sanctions against Russia, they are focusing on a more robust security policy. Germany is setting up a special Bundeswehr fund worth 100 billion euros and intends to spend more than two percent of GDP on defense from now on. The Federal Republic is thus investing in better equipping its military and is upgrading significantly, among other things by ordering F-35 fighter jets. NATO, for its part, is reinforcing the battle groups on the alliance’s eastern flank with additional soldiers. However, it is true that the alliance does not want to enter the war or face a Russian nuclear strike under any circumstances.
What exactly can be expected from the turnaround in German foreign and security policy announced by Olaf Scholz and the envisaged military buildup? Will greater deterrence through the readjustment of transatlantic security policy be enough to deter Putin from his expansionist course? Will Germany in particular, which for decades practiced a culture of military restraint, live up to its geopolitical responsibility within NATO and the EU as a result of the “Zeitenwende” in its foreign and security policy? What is the significance of Germany’s realignment in foreign and security policy for the transatlantic relationship? Podcast hosts David Deißner, Atlantik-Brücke, and Stormy-Annika Mildner, Aspen Institute Germany, discuss these questions with Aylin Matlé, Research Fellow in the Security and Defense Program of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, and Marco Overhaus, Senior Associate in Research Devision The Americas of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin.
“America’s Choice – Der USA-Podcast” is a German-language podcast on U.S. politics, co-produced by the Aspen Institute Germany and the Atlantik-Brücke. The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other platforms.