Hans Kundnani in Foreign Policy
On December 13, 2016, Foreign Policy published an "Argument" by Transatlantic Academy Bosch Fellow Hans Kundnani, entitled "Merkel and Whose Army?" Kundnani argues that Germany under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel cannot replace the United States as "leader of the free world" given the country's lack of hard power.
"If the leadership in question were purely a question of moral symbolism, Germany might qualify for it — though even that is questionable," Kundnani writes. "But it also describes a set of concrete military responsibilities, stretching back to the Cold War, to defend the security of other democracies. These are responsibilities that Germany — which has only minimal military power and deep-seated reluctance, both political and cultural, to deploy what power it has — is singularly unable to fulfill... Of course, it can be argued that in the 21st century economic power is more important than military power. But such arguments look a little less convincing in the context of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and territorial conflicts and an apparent arms race in Asia. In any case, Germany’s extreme reliance on exports — and thus dependence on foreign markets — means its economy is as much a source of vulnerability as a source of power."
The full article can be read here.