With or Without You: Germany and NATO
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Ulrich Kühn November 3, 2015
“I can’t live with or without you,” crooned Bono in U2’s 1987 smash hit. The band surely did not mean to anticipate Germany’s complicated relationship with NATO nearly 30 years later, but they did. Facing a newly aggressive Russia, Germans are torn. On one hand, we have Germany’s cultural attachment to the West, alliance commitments, and a friendship with the United States. On the other, we have Germany’s traditional post-war pacifism, fear of what Vladimir Putin is capable of, and largely good (and mostly economic) relations with Moscow. And as everyone knows, Germany’s friendship with America is not what it used to be.
Germans know they need NATO — and therewith America — but they don’t always like that fact. This is obvious when dealing with Putin’s Russia, the war in Ukraine, and NATO’s nuclear weapons policy.
A Problematic Past
Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, memories of military standoff with the Warsaw Pact are fading. Most Germans today associate NATO with the failed war in Afghanistan and the flawed interventionism of the George W. Bush years rather than long-standing alliance commitments to secure German freedom and prosperity.
In Germany, pacifism, anti-Americanism, and anti-nuclear sentiments often go hand-in-hand. Leftist criticisms of NATO and the United States have a long legacy that dates back at least to the student protests of the 1960s and 1970s. Under the umbrella of the peace movement, a new generation of NATO skepticsprotested the dual-track decision of the early 1980s to station additional U.S. nuclear weapons on West German soil. That generation’s younger political figures are still influential today, particularly among the senior ranks of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party.
While the post-Cold War world saw Germans struggling to come to terms with the huge economic costs of reunification, the new millennium and America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq left many Germans wondering whether Uncle Sam was capable of anything besides deploying “boots on the ground.” In the same vein, Germans proudly recall the German “Nein” to the 2003 U.S.-led intervention in Iraq by then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the SPD and his Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer of the Green Party.
When then-presidential candidate Barack Obama referred to “the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help make it right” in his 2008 speech at the Berlin Brandenburg Gate, some 200,000 Germans applauded in approval. Hopes were high in Germany that this new president would enact changes to U.S. foreign and security policy and therewith NATO.
Yet these Germans were to be disappointed, particularly once the revelations of Edward Snowden andWikiLeaks came to light. Today, we find anti-Americanism and anti-NATO sentiments en vogue again. Two recent polls illustrate these negative trends: 70 percent of Germans view the United States as “greedy for power” and only 55 percent of Germans still hold a favorable view of NATO (down from 73 percent in 2009).
This article highlights how Germany is troubled by her current relationship with the West and NATO and Russia. This is not a surprise to Bible Students who fully expect Germany and Russia for forge a much closer working relationship even militarily as well. This means that current relationships with the West and NATO will change. This could well follow on from Britain’s withdrawal from the EU which again is a matter of Bible Prophecy.
In Ezekiel 38 “Gog” (who points to Putin) is said to be of the “land of Magog” (Germany) ie. Russia will have a very strong and close tie with Germany prior to the EU’s and Russia’s invasion of the Middle East. We see this relationship already developing even as NATO sets a different stand on Russia to the EU. We fully expect this will change and that Germany’s relationship with Russia will accelerate when Britian withdraws from the EU. Jean-Claude Juncker (along with Germany and France) wants the EU to have its own Defence Force, but this would be difficult with NATO in place. So we might yet even see NATO become the European Defence Force with Russia replacing America and Britain. This would then provide the military command structure that will allow a Russian and European Army to invade the Middle East as the Bible Prophecies will happen at the time of the end.