At the American think-tank “Brookings Institution” in Washington, there will be a chair named after the historian Fritz Stern. On the occasion of the inauguration of this chair, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, a member of the SPD, gave a speech. Some quotes from it show where Germany’s journey should go.
“Investing in European sovereignty means investing in the Transatlantic Partnership.”
“Some argue that this partnership had lost its purpose with the end of the Cold War because our common enemy no longer existed. This is fundamentally wrong. Our partnership was never based on fear, but on freedom and shared values. And these persist.”
“For Germany, with its history marked by terrible mistakes, reliability means that we know where we stand – and by whose side.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, how do we create a level playing field with a China that is increasingly challenging and confronting us? And how do we deal with an increasingly aggressive and repressive Russia? Finding answers to these questions will be crucial for the future of our alliance. An important step will be to strengthen the political role of NATO. But what matters more is that we commit ourselves to a common position.”
“In recent years we have invested heavily in European defence and security. Our defense spending has increased by 50 percent since 2014. We will continue to progress along this path we have taken.”
“As a trading nation, we are also committed to maintaining free sea routes. Only a few days ago, we as the German federal government decided to send a naval unit to the Indo-Pacific for the first time.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, ‘America is back’ – that was President Biden’s message in Munich two weeks ago. ‘And Germany is at your side,’ is our answer today.”
Since October 2017, the president of the think-tank “Brookings Institution” has been the US general of the “United States Marine Corps” and former commander of the International Security Assistance Force John R. Allen. Allen is also a member of the task force of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and has received 18 military awards so far.