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Parting Ways

The Crisis in German-American Relations

Stephen F. Szabo

Publication Year: 2004

Germany and the United States entered the post-9/11 era as allies, but they will leave it as partners of convenience —or even possibly as rivals. The first comprehensive examination of the German-American relationship written since the invasion of Iraq, Parting Ways is indispensable for those seeking to chart the future course of the transatlantic alliance. In early 2003, it became apparent that many nations, including close allies of the United States, would not participate in the U.S.-led coalition against Iraq. Despite the high-profile tension between the United States and France, some of the most bitter opposition came from Germany, marking the end not only of the German-American "special relationship," but also of the broader transatlantic relationship's preeminence in Western strategic thought.

Drawing on extensive research and personal interviews with decisionmakers and informed observers in both the United States and Germany, Stephen F. Szabo frames the clash between Gerhard Schröder and George W. Bush over U.S. policy in Iraq in the context of the larger changes shaping the relationship between the two countries. Szabo considers such longer-term factors as the decreasing strategic importance of the U.S.-German relationship for each nation in the post-cold war era, the emergence of a new German identity within Germany itself, and a U.S. foreign policy led by what is arguably the most ideological administration of the post-World War II era.

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Title Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

This book really began in 1974, during my first professional encounter with Germany, thanks to the guidance of my dissertation mentor, Karl Cerny, and a generous stipend from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. I have kept a fairly steady interest in German politics, foreign policy, ...

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Chapter 1. A "Poisoned" Relationship

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pp. 1-14

How can you use the name of Hitler and the name of the president of the United States in the same sentence?” demanded the U.S. national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Only a few days earlier, on September 18, 2002, just before voters were to go to the polls in the most closely contested election in German history, ...

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Chapter 2. From Unlimited Solidarity to Reckless Adventurism: Responding to 9-11

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pp. 15-33

The Bush-Schröder relationship got off to a rocky start. On the chancellor’s first visit to Washington after Bush’s election, on March 29, 2001, the new president embarrassed him and his Green Party coalition partners by having the U.S. national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, announce half an hour before their meeting ...

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Chapter 3. Partners in Contradiction: From the Election to War

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pp. 34-51

When it became clear that Schröder had been reelected, Bush sent no congratulatory message. This break in the normal protocol, a staffer in the chancellor’s office later recalled, “had a snowball effect that resulted in a period of noncommunication at the top.”1 The day after the election, the chancellor met with the left wing ...

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Chapter 4. Kulturkampf: A Clash of Strategic Cultures

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pp. 52-78

The dispute between Germany and the United States over Iraq was part of a deeper clash of strategic cultures. A nation’s strategic culture is that aspect of its general political culture that relates to national security policy, including beliefs about national identity, national interest, the world and the nature ...

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Chapter 5. Is It Bush or Is It America? German Images of the United States

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pp. 79-103

The dispute between Germany and the United States over the war in Iraq raised broader questions about the nature of German public sentiment toward America. Henry Kissinger worried that Schröder’s critique of the Bush administration’s approach did not represent a simple divergence over policy ...

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Chapter 6. Welcome to the Berlin Republic

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pp. 104-130

The election campaign of 2002 was conclusive proof that the Berlin republic had replaced the Bonn republic, the republic of West Germany. Centered in the Rhineland and facing west, Bonn was close geographically and culturally to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. ...

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Chapter 7. From Alliance to Alignment

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pp. 131-153

On September 24, 2003, months after the United States declared the end of military action in Iraq, Gerhard Schr

Appendix. Chronology of German-American Relations: September 22, 2001 through March 20, 2003

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pp. 154-158


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pp. 159-186


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pp. 187-195

E-ISBN-13: 9780815796664
E-ISBN-10: 0815796668

Page Count: 195
Publication Year: 2004