The Statecraft of Willy Brandt
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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When Willy Brandt was elected Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1969, his main goal was to improve relations with the communist countries to the east. This policy acquired the name Ostpolitik, or Eastern Policy. Brandts initiative stimulated a general relaxation of East-West tensions and contributed to the reunification of Germany some twenty years later. This paper analyzes Brandts statecraft. It addresses Brandts perception of the political environment, West Germanys national interests, and the threats and opportunities affecting those interests. It considers the resources at his disposal and the constraints he faced. We then look at his objectives and his strategy to achieve those objectives. Finally, it discusses the lessons which Brandts statecraft holds for American national strategy. THE STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT Brandt became the leader of one part of a divided nation the legacy of Germanys defeat in the Second World War and subsequent East-West tensions. The German people were split between the communist German Democratic Republic GDR and his own Federal Republic FRG. The traditional capital, Berlin, was technically governed, not by Germans, but by the four occupying powers the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History