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Germany's challenges during post-unification period - Essay Example

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Culmination of the Cold War in the year 1985, paved way for the fall of the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany, and subsequent unification of the divided country. The unification of Germany in 1990 represented significant shifts not only within the nation, but also in…
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College: Germany during Post-Unification Period Culmination of the Cold War in the year 1985, paved way for the fall of the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany, and subsequent unification of the divided country. The unification of Germany in 1990 represented significant shifts not only within the nation, but also in the Western geopolitical environment. For instance, Germany took up its prior position as the largest country in Europe, hence assuming a significant role in shaping political relations with other nations, particularly in the West (Green, Hough, and Miskimmon 196). In the early years after the unification, the country’s leaders faced the primary challenge of exercising a foreign policy founded upon long-term dedication to multilateral associations and avoidance of military force. German leaders also bore the responsibility of fostering the country’s global proclivity, in order to ensure that it cooperated with allied international affiliates in confronting emergent threats to security. Germany’s aversion to aggressive military tactics and adoption of multilateralism are the key attributes that characterize its post-unification foreign and security agenda, which continues to evolve, as the world’s political environment transforms continually.
Following the 1990 unification, German leaders sought to fulfill two of the nation’s principal interests. One of these interests was to foster reconciliation of enemies made during the Second World and Cold Wars, as well as, in the aftermath of the division. The other primary interest was to ensure that the country gained legitimate acceptance on the international economic and political platform. Strong dedication to multilateral structures and integration into the same, coupled with avoidance of active military involvement, was perceived to be the best approach towards meeting the aforementioned interests. Consequently, Germany formulated a foreign policy based entirely on civilian power and multilateralism. This implies that following unification, Germany refrained from deploying its military forces to support allied forces in various conflicts, but instead sought to uphold its role as a neutral in-between. However, this foreign policy and security approach gradually evolved, as Germany started deploying its forces to engage in various UN missions. In the year 1994, the German government issued a legal clarification that these deployments solely depended upon parliament’s approval, hence stressing the democratic process linked to such decision making (Green, Hough, and Miskimmon 197-198).
The country has increasingly pushed for a greater role of the European Union in allotting capabilities and military planning, while insisting on maintenance of intergovernmental participation in making decisions linked to security concerns. During negotiations that resulted in the Treaty of Amsterdam, German leaders emphasized the importance of strengthening political union amongst EU nations, while leaving matters of territorial security to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) entirely. Germany also stressed the fact that the EU must solely serve a secondary role in such security issues, by mainly getting involved in planning missions deemed to focus on humanitarian tasks, crisis management, and peacekeeping (Green, Hough, and Miskimmon 198).
Overall, Germany has continued to utilize a foreign policy based on multilateral associations. This is apparent from the fact that the country has made concerted efforts to restructure and reinforce organizations like the UN, EU and NATO. As a result, Germany has managed to aid in the improvement of multilateral reactions to security threats and challenges that characterize the modern global political environs. It is through such institutions that Germany continues to pursue an interlinked foreign and security agenda, which targets internal and external measures of preventing or settling conflicts, managing crises, and fostering stability. These measures have irrefutably played a crucial role in ensuring that Germany’s foreign and security policy remains feasible, in a volatile global environment with emerging threats such as terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Work Cited
Green, Simon, Hough, Dan, and Miskimmon, Alister. The Politics of the New Germany. (2nd ed.). Madison Ave, New York: Routledge. 2011. Print. Read More
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