Where does West Germany stand in the Great Debate about the future shape of the Atlantic Alliance? Are the "Atlanticists," represented by Chancellor Erhard and his Foreign Minister Schröder, really on the wane? Is the "Euro- Gaullist" school of thought, led by former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, former Defense Minister Franz-Josef Strauss and Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg, in the ascendancy?
It would be easy to draw wrong conclusions from this controversy within the governing party in Bonn. The salient fact is not that it has occurred at all but that Dr. Erhard, as soon as he took a firm and determined stand, had no trouble putting the Euro-Gaullists in place and re-asserting the Atlanticist point of view which has been underlying his policy ever since he took over from Dr. Adenauer a year ago. Certainly the controversy will go on smoldering; the Euro-Gaullist spokesmen, egged on by personal preference or ambition, will continue to proclaim their views; and this fronde may well become a permanent feature of the German scene, just as Gaullism is likely to remain a feature of the world scene. But one would do well to remember that the malcontents, although prominent and vociferous, constitute only a minority, are regularly outvoted in the party caucus, and can act only from the periphery of power-Adenauer from the C.D.U. chairmanship, Strauss from his parochial home base in Munich. Nor do they have widespread popular support.
Most Germans discount the idea of a Gaullist Europe. They need only look to Berlin to realize the value of the link with the United States. Small wonder, then, that they distrust all those doctrines which, if practiced as well as preached, can have no other effect but to break that link. They know such doctrines are primarily designed to increase the weight and influence of those who advocate them; purporting to secure the independence of Europe from America, they conjure up the spectre of an America trying to secure her independence from
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