We Need to Talk About Germany

fotogloria / LUZ / Redux

Robert Kagan’s thought-provoking essay (“The New German Question,” May/June 2019) addresses the important issue of how a collapse of the European Union and the liberal international order might affect Germany and its role within Europe. He concludes that such a breakdown would bring back the pre–World War II “German question,” which European integration and the Atlantic alliance were in part meant to resolve. But Kagan underestimates the deep cultural change that has occurred in Germany since World War II. It is hard to imagine any circumstances in which Germany would revert to militarism; the commitment of ordinary Germans to …