It now appears that Germany, after long negotiations has a new and functioning government. This announcement came not a moment too soon. Germany is the richest and strongest player in Europe and the engine of the European economy.
Germany also is and has long been a stalwart ally of the U.S. and champion of democracy abroad. However, German foreign policy is prone to contradictory pressures. Throughout German history, there have been those whose first orientation was to Russia while other political forces have steadfastly believed that Germany’s destiny was primarily tied to the West and espoused its inclusion in a Western community.
Such contradictory tendencies are inherent in a country that was long divided politically, culturally, and religiously while being in the center of Europe and thus subject to competing geopolitical forces of attraction.