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A tectonic shift in German foreign policy has come when the world needs it most – by Rob Fenstermacher and Steven E Sokol in The Hill

When Olaf Scholz and his "Ampelkoalition" entered government, many observers expected some policy shifts after 16 years of Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats but most believed that the new government would not introduce ground-breaking changes. The assumption was that it would focus on the ongoing COVID pandemic and Germany’s economic recovery as well as fulfill campaign promises related to climate change, housing, and the minimum wage. But, rather than change from within, the war in Ukraine has caused a fundamental shift in German foreign and security policy. Read Full Article Here

From Helmets to Hardware: Germany’s Major Policy Pivot by Dr. Steven E. Sokol

In the weeks leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s reliability as a partner was called into question – and the pledge of 5000 helmets to support Ukraine was met with ridicule. But, after Russia’s invasion last week, there has been a tectonic shift in Germany’s foreign and defense policy in the space of just a few days. First, Chancellor Olaf Scholz halted Nord Stream 2 (probably for good). Shortly thereafter, the German government announced that it would provide weapons to Ukraine. And last Sunday Chancellor Scholz spoke before a special session of the Bundestag and committed to delivering weapons to Ukraine, increasing Germany’s defense spending to 2 percent of GDP, procuring dual-purpose aircraft and drones as part of a €100 billion investment in...

A Letter from the Dr. Steven E. Sokol – January 2022

Dear Members and Friends of the ACG, First and foremost: Let me wish you a happy and healthy new year! I hope that you were able to enjoy the holidays with family and friends – and that 2022 is off to a good start for you (despite the spread of the omicron variant). As we start a new year – the ACG’s 70th anniversary year – I want to thank you for your engagement and support during the past two years. With the development and distribution of vaccines, last January many of us had high hopes that things would get better, but 2021 did not unfold as many of us had hoped it would. Nevertheless, it was a very productive and busy year for the American...

Reflecting on Wednesday’s Capitol Siege

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to sit down and reflect on the events that unfolded last week in Washington, DC. After the annus horribilis 2020, there were high hopes that 2021 would be a better year. But, the developments during the first full week do not bode well. On Wednesday, we saw our democracy come under attack when the U.S. Capitol was stormed. This political crisis comes against the backdrop of an ongoing national public health emergency. On Thursday, the United States recorded more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths in a single day, the highest one-day death toll since the beginning of the pandemic. And, on Friday the United States surpassed 300,000 daily coronavirus cases. The number – which roughly equates the population of Pittsburgh or...
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