Tensions With U.S. Fuel Debate Over Germany’s Future Defense Strategy
The coronavirus crisis has intensified the financial strain on national budgets and defense expenditures globally. Germany, whose armed forces already face significant equipment gaps, is no exception. Now, an internal debate over a major defense acquisition has revived public arguments over Germany’s nuclear-weapons cooperation with the United States and NATO, a longstanding issue that led to widespread protests in the 1970s and 80s.
The dispute is aggravated by the political tensions with the Trump administration – most recently over its unilateral announcement that it would withdraw a third of the 34,000 U.S. troops in Germany. The turmoil threatens to distract the German public and political class from the reality of the country’s defense posture, and highlights their uncertainty about Germany’s future role in the global order.