Is Germany Ready to Lead?

Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

Why are observers so supportive of President Joachim Gauck, when not four years ago then-president Horst Köhler was harshly criticized and ultimately forced out of office for attempting to spur increased German participation in international security? Answering this question, Robert A. Pollard focuses on a persistent, incremental change in German elite opinion on the matter. Suggesting that public opinion may follow this trend, Pollard’s essay is an insightful survey of the issue, covering diplomatic signaling, the recent history of operations, budgetary constraints, and foreign perceptions.

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Robert Pollard is a State Department Visiting Fellow with the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. Previously, he served as Economic Minister-Counselor to the U.S. Mission to the EU in Brussels (2010-2013) and the U.S. Embassy in Berlin (2007-2010). He is writing in his personal capacity and the views expressed in this article are entirely his own.