Toward a "New Ostpolitik"?
Over the past two decades or so, German foreign policy has been driven into two directions: some leading actors were looking West toward America, while others were rather looking East, toward Russia.
The red-green government of 1998 to 2005 provides a good example. In his second term, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the Social Democrats (SPD) concentrated on his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, in an attempt to counterbalance George W. Bush’s America, together with French President Jacques Chirac.
But while Schröder was exploiting his rejection of the Iraq war for electoral gains, his foreign minister, Joschka Fischer of the Greens, who was equally opposed to the Iraq war, continued to articulate fundamentally positive views of America (in a reversal of the anti-American views he had propagated as a left-wing protest leader in his youth).