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The "Merkel Doctrine", Germany's arms industry and the end of pacifist Germany


Well-known member
Jul 9, 2011
Germany Arms The World | newmatilda.com

Similarly, Angela Merkel has gained power in Europe not because of her imagination, but because of her accounting skill. As one acute Merkel watcher, sociologist Ulrich Beck, wrote back in October: "All of [Europe’s] debtor nations rely on Germany to underwrite the credit they need," due to the global financial crisis.

Guaranteeing others’ treasury bonds has given Merkel the power to decide the destiny of the continent. And — as Beck argues in an essay for Der Spiegel — knowing when to refuse to sign off for Southern Europe has been Merkel’s best tactic: "There’s only one thing that’s worse than being steamrolled by German money. And that’s not being steamrolled by German money."

But German credit is not Merkel’s only steamroller. And cars and cogs are not Germany’s only world-beating exports. The country’s weapons are also winning an increasing number of fans overseas. Top of the list here is Germany’s "internationally leading" battle tank, Leopard 2.


Those remarks have been dubbed "the Merkel Doctrine" in the German media. They signal a leader who is determined to convert Berlin into a military player; one who uses technological acumen to advance political ends. Just as German financial power has helped achieve political ends in Europe.

But the doctrine doesn’t just involve arms sales. Berlin is also ready to send troops abroad to enforce the Merkel doctrine.
Though the source is probably not well known, similar stories can be read mostly on DER SPIEGEL.

I found the article quite interesting, if a bit hyperbolic. Germany, since WWII, has for obvious reasons abstained from the active foreign policy pursued by the economically weaker France and Britain. Do recent developments such as this mark an end to the pacifist Germany we've known for the past 60 years? Or is it simply Germany promoting one of its industries?

Much of the article I will admit appears to be completely fabricated and unrealistic, such as the emboldened text above. However, a quick search reveals the phrase "Merkel Doctrine" (and even more so: Merkel Doktrin) does have some traction already.

Merkel's Risky Weapons Sales Signal Change in German Foreign Policy - SPIEGEL ONLINE

From 2001, Germany's arms exports grew 175%, from sixth place in the world to 3rd, behind only Russia and USA. By comparison, America's has grown 45%, Russia's has remained practically the same, and the UK's has shrunk 20%.

Arms industry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What do you think, is this simply a promotion of German manufacturing, or is it also an attempt to increase Germany's influence on the world stage?

Warrior of Destiny

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2010
Godwin Law in 3..2..1

On a more serious note, and addressing the arms industry side of it, Germany has been very much sidelined in foreign affairs mostly due to their own doing. A newer generation of Germans are coming into positions of influence who feel they shouldn't bear guilt for WW2 and rightly so. Germany since the 1800's (Including the years before the unification of Germany in 1871) has had a reputation fr manufacturing high quality goods. Who goes a day without their Krupp blender, Bosch washing machine, Bayer painkillers or any of the car brands owned by German companies?

Germany is expanding it's influence yes, but in a way befitting Otto von Bismarck rather than Adolf Hitler.

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