AGI News

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius Delivers Address at Johns Hopkins University

Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

On Thursday, May 9, the American-German Institute and the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies co-hosted German Minister of Defense Boris Pistorius at the Hopkins Bloomberg Center in Washington, DC. Minister Pistorius delivered remarks entitled “Steadfast, Capable, and Ready: Germany’s Security Renaissance and Transatlantic Defense” detailing Germany’s approach to international security and the transatlantic partnership.

SAIS Dean James B. Steinberg welcomed Minister Pistorius and highlighted his role in turning Germany’s Zeitenwende—the sea change in its defense and security policy in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—into reality.

In his address, Minister Pistorius highlighted the pressing threat that Russia poses to Ukraine, Europe, and the international security order. He underscored Germany’s efforts to support Ukraine with military systems and training, hosting 1.1 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled the war, and holding the upcoming Ukrainian Recovery Conference in Berlin.

Minister Pistorius highlighted three key components of Germany’s Zeitenwende: paying Germany’s share and committing to NATO’s 2 percent of GDP spending target; preparing the German military for today’s challenges, including restructuring the armed forces and contemplating the reintroduction of some form of conscription; and committing to the security of Germany’s allies while strengthening the European pillar of NATO. Minister Pistorius emphasized the benefits of shared transatlantic cooperation to keep Europe united, free, and at peace.

Jeff Rathke, AGI President, moderated a discussion following Minister Pistorius’ address. Their discussion covered Russian hybrid warfare, the constraints that Germany’s constitutional debt brake puts on defense spending, and threats to democracy in Europe and more broadly.

A video recording of the event is now available. You can also listen to Minister Pistorius’ address as a special episode of our podcast, The Zeitgeist.

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