Accession Number:



German Foreign and Security Policy: Trends and Transatlantic Implications

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



German Chancellor Angela Merkel took office in November 2005 promising a foreign policy anchored in a revitalized transatlantic partnership. Most observers agree that since reaching a low-point just before the Iraq war in 2003, relations between the United States and Germany have improved. U.S. officials view Germany under Merkel as a key U.S. ally in Europe. Despite continuing areas of divergence, President Bush and Congress have welcomed German leadership in Europe and have voiced expectations for increased U.S.-German cooperation on the international stage. German unification in 1990 and the end of the Cold War represented monumental shifts in the geopolitical realities that had traditionally defined German foreign policy. Since the early 1990s, German leaders have been challenged to exercise a foreign policy grounded in a longstanding commitment to multilateralism and an aversion to military force while simultaneously seeking to assume a more proactive global role against emerging security threats. Until 1994, Germany was constitutionally barred from deploying its armed forces abroad. Today, over 7,000 German troops are deployed in peacekeeping, stabilization, and reconstruction missions worldwide. However, as Germanys foreign and security policy continues to evolve, some experts perceive a widening gap between the global ambitions of Germanys political class and an increasingly skeptical German public. Since the end of the Cold War, Germanys relations with the United States have been shaped by several key factors, including Germanys growing support for a stronger European Union, and its continued allegiance to NATO as the primary guarantor of European security. Merkel has enjoyed relatively strong domestic support for her transatlantic-oriented foreign policy agenda. However, as her term progresses, it may be more difficult for her to justify this agenda to a public that appears increasingly skeptical of U.S. influence in the world.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement: