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Germany's Choice

Courtesy Reuters

A HISTORIC MOMENT

The great foreign policy debate in Germany has only just begun. In fact, the very nature of the foreign policy actor, Germany, is still disputed. Is this a new Germany or just an enlarged Federal Republic? After the first unification of Germany in 1871 it was clear to all that Europe had to deal with a new power. For all the underlying continuity of Prussian policy, the new German empire, or second Reich, was not just Prussia writ large.

Following the second unification of Germany, the change has been much less immediately visible. Externally, this unification was achieved by telephone and checkbook rather than blood and iron. Internally, the constitutional form of unification was the straight accession of the former German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic. The larger Federal Republic continues to be integrated in the European Union (EU), NATO and other leading institutions of Western internationalism.

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