Germany has been historically looking eastwards from the time of the Teutonic Knights to Hitler. This “Drang nach Osten” Policy was up to the Second WW a primarily Military one. Soviet drive westwards since then, kept Western Germany firmly anchored to the West and East Germany firmly anchored to the East.
In spite of the fact that Germany was flattened out after the War both Germanies prospered, grew economically and became the best Economies of their respective blocks, proving once again that Germany is indestructible by anyone except by the Germans themselves.
When the Soviet Union collapsed the two Germanies were once again united and critical mass achieved. This time Germany did not immediately develop an obviously nationalistic policy. Germany decided to stay within the European Union and managed, through negotiations, to get its own Economic model adopted by almost the whole of the EU.
More than one generation later Germany understood the political and economic cul-de-sac that the EU is becoming for the German Geopolitical and Geo-economics concept of the World and Germany’s place in it. They also understood fully, before Trump made it blatantly obvious, the cessation of the American alliance and support.
Germans perceived that the West is becoming one more time hostile towards them.
They turned once again to the East.
The situation now has common points with 1940. Britain, unwilling and unable to accept EU policies, is leaving Europe defeated, pushed out by a hostile Germany and a cowered France. Most European Union Countries are obliterated by the German Economic Might.
Italy, faithful to its tradition never to finish a war with the same side with which it has started it, is trying to see how it can get out of the Treaty of Rome. Even the obedient to Germany Spain, cannot maintain the myth of simultaneous GDP growth and deficit reduction for long.
The US have started hostilities against Germany without the Pearl Harbor excuse this time.
The US wrecked the German Economic subjugation of Poland, the Baltics and the Balkans in the geopolitical marshland of Ukraine. They proceeded by reattaching to USA, Poland, the Baltic States, Romania and the Southern Balkans. Only Croatia and to an extend Slovenia are now politically friendly with the Germans.
Under those circumstances the new German Geostrategic concept directs the shift to the East and the disengagement from the West, strongly with the USA and discreetly from the European Union.
The stepping stones for the shift are Iran, Turkey, Russia & China.
The statements of the cautious German Foreign Minister Maas were like the film of a nuclear explosion without the sound. He attacked the American Holy of Holies, the dollar first: “Europe needs to set up payment systems independent of the United States if it wants to save the nuclear deal between Iran and major powers that was abandoned by President Donald Trump”, German Foreign Minister said.
He continued by directly challenging the German-USA relationship:
“The fact that distance between the two sides of the Atlantic has become politically wider is by no means solely due to Donald Trump”, Maas wrote in an opinion piece published by German business daily Handelsblatt recently.
“The U.S. and Europe have been drifting apart for years. The overlapping of values and interests that has shaped our relationship for two generations is decreasing”.
To “renew and preserve” the historic relationship, Germany, alongside France and its European partners, should seek a “balanced partnership” with Washington in which they “form a counterweight where the U.S. crosses red lines” and advance where “America retreats”, according to Maas.
This is the modern equivalent of Maas doing to Trump as Bismarck did to establish Prussian supremacy, blowing smoke from his cigar to the Austro -Hungarian Empire Chairman Count von Thun, who did not allow anyone to smoke in front of him.
Semantics apart, Germany is openly rejecting American Policy in many fronts and establishing its own. Further to actively opposing the American position in Iran by trying to support and expand its Economic and Financial ties with Iran, Germany now is working with Turkey to bypass American sanctions. This is understandable because of the big exposure of German Banks to loans to the Turkish private and public Economy and the big commercial ties between the two Countries.
The blatant way that Germany chose to do it is less understandable, unless Germany desires to burn its bridges with the West.
The two most interesting new German Geostrategic choices are the hybrid cooperation with Russia and the increasing commercial and developing political ties with China, which is the new Eastern attraction.
Nord Stream 2 is considered by the Germans as a purely commercial venture threatened by American Sanctions. The United States has the same strong objections that Reagan had when the first land Hydrocarbon pipelines linked Russia to Germany in the Soviet Brezhnev era.
Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, told reporters that “it is necessary to take measures against possible non-competitive and illegal attacks from third parties in order to eventually complete this project” obviously exposing the Russo-German collusion to bypass American objections.
Merkel is independently discussing the fate of Syria with Putin.
Merkel also has stated that other Economic Sanctions, imposed by the West on Russia are unproductive.
However, the biggest geostrategic shift of German Policy is towards China.
When China’s President Xi Jinping met the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July 2017, Xi declared that ties between the two countries “are about to enter a new phase”.
Both Countries accepted since 2014 that they had a “global comprehensive Strategic Partnership”.
The end of the Belt & Road Initiative is ending in Germany. Germany wishes to make the Silk Road a two-way avenue.
No vital strategic interest of Germany is affected by Chinese expansionism.
Germany, in return of allowing China to enter German Technology is aiming at reaching the billions of Chinese proto-consumers through joint commercial partnerships operating in mainland China.
To encourage this, they are willing to align their Policies on many issues with the new China, that is flexing its muscles, to the frustration of the American Administration, which, in this matter, carries a considerable responsibility for this turn of events.
Germany is too BIG for Europe but too small for the World.
Having absorbed that going alone in the past led to Germany’s destruction, they try to do it now with a change of Strategic alliances in which they will be equals and not seconds as in NATO.
The future only will show if it is for them a right choice. But the reverberations are being already felt in the West.
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