“Few aspects are more sensitive in Germany’s fraught relationship with history than the role and status of its military. Indeed, many Germans seem to think that, given its past, the country cannot have strong armed forces; such a military, they contend, is inconsistent with Germany’s postwar history and its repudiation of its militaristic legacy. They therefore cannot conceive of how Germans can responsibly commit more resources to defense spending, let alone develop a formidable military. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, for instance, suggested just this point at the 70th anniversary of NATO celebrations in Washington in April.

“But, to an outsider, this looks like a very tendentious reading of German history. Fulfilling Germany’s noblest historical legacy would actually be to meaningfully contribute to Allied collective defense…”

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