Erler, Fritz
April 1965
Foreign Affairs;Apr1965, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p436
This article discusses the foreign policy of Germany. The aims of German foreign policy are three and inseparable: to preserve peace, to defend the freedom of the country and to restore German unity by peaceful means. None of them should be pursued at the cost of neglecting either of the others. In the early 1950s, there was a debate about the framework in which German rearmament should take place. The Western governments and the Government of the Federal Republic advocated a German military contribution to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), hoping thereby not only to strengthen Western security but also to force the Soviet Union to permit the reunification of Germany under free conditions. The Social Democratic opposition were doubtful about the second proposition. They wanted to explore whether the Soviet Union would not be more ready to accept reunification if security arrangements in Europe did not involve the participation of two Germanys in opposing military alliances. In 1955 the Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO and the three Western powers ratified the French agreements by which Germany made a substantial military contribution to NATO in exchange for their support for German reunification under the principles of the right of self-determination and a free democratic constitution.


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