I.As a rule, it is domestic political issues that determine the outcome of elections. Why then has the Union placed its foreign and security policy intentions at the beginning of its program?
Because the global framework for security, freedom and prosperity in Germany has changed and will continue to change. The times in which the republic could duck into the slipstream of the East-West conflict and go about its business there are long gone. But some still mourn them.
But the rise of China to a world power and Putin’s revisionism are forcing the economic power in the center of Europe to determine their position: How do we protect our values and achieve our goals in a world in which aggressive authoritarian regimes are on the advance?
The Union’s electoral program provides answers that sometimes differ significantly from those of the Greens and the SPD. The CDU and CSU are expressly committed to nuclear deterrence and German participation in it. You stand by the two percent commitment to NATO. They demand that Germany must be more ready than before to use military instruments in the defense of its values.
A weakness that rises to the point of aversion
The most important election promise in this field is: more strategy. Systematic thinking ahead and through is not one of the strengths of German foreign and security policy. This weakness, which reaches as far as aversion, stems from the times when Germany believed that it was possible to do without the clear definition and pursuit of national interests, not to say: with a view to the past.
The Union wants to counteract this deficit, which is particularly noticeable in comparison to Beijing’s calculated approach, with a national security strategy and the establishment of a Security Council. In terms of foreign policy, the CDU and CSU have arrived in the 21st century. You can’t say that about most of the other parties in the Bundestag.