Does German export-driven growth based on a weak euro pose a threat to the United States – and the West – similar to the threat posed by China? For Italy’s La Stampa, columnist Vittorio Emanuele Parsi writes what would have been heresy since the end of World War II: that Washington is beginning to worry about German predominance – and not only in Europe – and whether Berlin might seek greater global influence by detaching itself from what was once sacrosanct: the North American Alliance.
For years, Washington saw Germany as its most loyal ally. European unification was supported by Washington as a way of anchoring the country in the Atlantic West – particularly when Germany sat on a militarized frontier along which an enemy presence was a daily reminder of the need to keep Germany within NATO. And Germany’s division reinforced the Atlanticist point of view. It has been over twenty years since the end of that era. What the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan failed to do – namely weaken the Alliance – may occur now because Germany, lacking the courage to consciously pursue a “grand plan” to address the current crisis, may simply be “stubborn” enough to undermine the foundations of the Western Alliance.
Which is why Washington is beginning to ask whether Germany’s predominance in Europe is really compatible with an “Atlantic West.” And rather than wondering whether a new China [Germany] will follow in the footsteps of Kaiser Wilhelm (attempting to create continental hegemony by force), one shouldn’t be more concerned about Angela Merkel’s Germany attempting to follow in the footsteps of today’s China, setting itself up as the planetary export champion, spurred on by a weak euro. What if the greatest challenge to American hegemony theorized by Pentagon strategists, a “war on two fronts,” was in fact economic in nature?
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