Germany And US Increasingly Diverge On Policy

A few weeks ago, American officials bluntly told the German government it was not doing enough to fight in Afghanistan and were just as bluntly told to mind their own business. James Goldgeier, who served in the Clinton administration told Der Spiegel: “I m amazed at how openly the current diffeerences between berlin and Washington are being aired. In Feburuary it was the German role in Afghanistan. Now, it’s about the issue of NATO expansion in which Germany quite openly orchestrated the resistance to Ukraine and Georgia. This is relatively unusual in advance of this sort of summit.” German opposition to the expansion stems from considering the political ramifications of such action. German leaders recognize the newly elected President Dimitry Medvedev should be accorded some breathing room and an opportunity to establish positive relations with the West before being forced to issue public opposition to the incorporation of the Ukraine and Georgia.

President Bush is enthralled with glowing speeches about the spread of democracy and lacks sensitive understanding of the need to walk lightly with a new president in Russia. Germany is also aware many Ukranians do not wish to becom part of NATO and Georgia has many internal problems. The German government prefers to watch and wait unlike th tpical Bush charge ahead without any long term policital thinking.

Ironically, George Bush is now the moderate in dealing with Russia while Senator McCain has become the headstrong radical. McCain has deliberately insulted Putin by saying things like seing only three letters in the eyes of Putin –K G B.