In This Review

Autonomy or Power? The Franco-German Relationship and Europe's Strategic Choices, 1955-1995
Autonomy or Power? The Franco-German Relationship and Europe's Strategic Choices, 1955-1995
By Stephen A. Kocs
Praeger, 1995, 296 pp

This is an excellent analysis of one of the more troublesome aspects of the Franco-German partnership that both the politicians of the Fourth Republic (after 1949) and the leaders of the Fifth tried to develop, and that the statesmen of the Federal Republic embraced, as long as it did not oblige them to distance themselves from the guarantor of their country's security: the United States. Kocs reviews in detail the ups and downs, achievements, failures, and limitations of Franco-German strategic relations. Given the very different attitudes of the two countries' leaders toward nato and American protection, the preservation of a military partnership (albeit one that excludes the nuclear domain) and its consolidation in recent years are remarkable. The story of this cooperation is embedded in a careful study of the so far fruitless quest for a European defense identity and a well-researched history of the tribulations of European security during the Cold War years. Kocs' last word is skeptical about the prospects of an effective European defense policy.