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Amerikaner från Mars, europeer från Venus

Larsson läser
Angela Merkel har problem
Angela Merkel har problem Foto: Michael Sohn / TT NYHETSBYRÅN

Foreign Policy har idag ett livfullt porträtt av USAs biträdande utrikesminister Victoria Nuland som många europeiska politiker ser som de amerikanska ”hökarnas” viktigaste talesperson i diskussionen om hur relationen med Ryssland ska hanteras.

Nuland är gift med den ledande neokonservative opinionsbildaren Robert Kagan.

Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century and one of the foremost boosters for the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq, is no stranger to ruffling the feathers of Europeans. In the early aughts, he penned a widely-read essay about the growing split between the United States and Europe on foreign policy. When it comes to military force, he said, “Americans are from Mars, and Europeans are from Venus.”

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In Europe, Nuland is widely presumed to be the leading advocate for shipping weapons to Kiev — a proposal bitterly opposed by the Germans, Hungarians, Italians, and Greeks who fear setting off a wider conflict with Moscow.

The White House has also argued against providing lethal assistance to Kiev because Moscow enjoys what’s known as “escalation dominance,” or the ability to outmatch and overwhelm Ukrainian forces regardless of the type of assistance the United States would provide.

Der Spiegel har en längre analys av det tyska motståndet mot den politik som amerikanska hökar förespråkar:

Washington plans to station tanks, weapons and heavy equipment for 5,000 soldiers in Germany and the eastern NATO countries. US President Barack Obama hopes that doing so will soothe the fears of the Baltic States and countries in Eastern Europe, which, since the Ukraine crisis, are once again fearful of Russian aggression. He also hopes to quiet his critics in US Congress.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, this prospect is not a pleasant one. She shies away from publicly criticizing her American allies, but Merkel is loathe to do anything that might heat up the conflict with Moscow. Furthermore, a new debate on rearmament would hardly be winnable on a domestic front. The chancellor would potentially look like a puppet of the United States, one who not only allows herself to be spied on, but who also stands by as her carefully established link to Putin is damaged.

Moscow sees the American plans as a further proof that Washington intends to expand its military sphere of influence in Europe. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's spokesman has said that "Washington and its partners are clearly aiming for the final break-up of the NATO-Russia Founding Act."

Berlin, however, does not want to abandon the treaty. Consistent with the treaty, the German government has fundamentally ruled out the "substantial" or "permanent" stationing of NATO troops in the former Eastern Bloc. That wording was chosen to assuage Russian concerns about NATO's eastward expansion.

En ny kärnvapenupprustning i Europa beskriver Der Spiegel på detta sätt:

The German government, the prospect of nuclear rearmament would be a nightmare. In the early 1980s, millions of people in Germany, as well as in Italy and the Netherlands, took to the streets because they feared a nuclear war in Europe. As an answer to the Soviet SS-20 nuclear missiles, the Western allies had provided Moscow with a proposal: They were prepared to negotiate about the disarmament of these types of systems, but if the Soviet side wasn't prepared to compromise, the West would station about 600 nuclear missiles on its side. And that's exactly what happened.

_For the German government, even the discussion about intermediate-range missiles is touchy. A huge majority of Germans don't want new American nuclear weapons in Europe. On the contrary, they would prefer to see the last American B-61 atomic bombs stored near Büchel, in western Germany, removed.
_
The Social Democrats in particular remember the Nato Double-Track Decision with horror. It indirectly cost Chancellor Helmut Schmidt his office in 1982, and led the SPD to the precipice of division. It also contributed significantly to the rise of the Green Party. A new rearmament would test the party's ability to stay together, and also erase all chance of a new coalition with the Green Party for the foreseeable future. Rolf Mützenich, deputy floor leader of the SPD in German parliament, is watching developments with "a great deal of concern."

_At the end of the 1970s, NATO's armament plans were tied to an offer of dialogue. Today too, the West is emphasizing the need to remain in talks with Putin, but the venues that existed for such dialogue before Ukraine crisis, like the G-8 and the Nato-Russia Council, have all been put on ice. _

For this reason, Green politician Jürgen Trittin is pushing the German government to immediately begin an initiative to revive the Nato-Russia Council. "We are experiencing a dynamic that can quickly lead to a real arms race," the senior Green Party member warns. Measures need to be put into place, he believes, to interrupt the "tit-for-tat" spiral. For this, the Nato-Russia Council would once again need to become a "site of dialogue." What's needed at the moment, he argues, is "talking instead of arming."

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Angela Merkel har problem

Foto: Michael Sohn / TT NYHETSBYRÅN Bild 1 av 1
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