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Security Through Deterrence? German-American Security Relations, 1945-1968 - The Primacy of Security Policy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2013

Detlef Junker
Affiliation:
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
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Summary

the primacy of security policy

During the four decades between 1950 and 1990, the United States maintained approximately 320,000 to 350,000 troops in Europe, more than two-thirds of them in Germany. This presence was unique in both American and European history. Although the U.S. military presence extended to numerous bases and installations in Western and Southern Europe and over large parts of the Middle East and North Atlantic regions, this transatlantic involvement of the United States affected the Federal Republic of Germany more than any other nation in Europe.

The Federal Republic occupied the central place in the hegemonic position of the United States in Europe and, therefore, in its role in shaping world politics. A special German-American relationship developed, its origins and substance based on security policy. For precisely this reason, that relationship ceased to exist following the international political revolution of 1989-91. Although the extensive military withdrawal of the United States from German soil may at first seem to have been largely a matter of troop counts and weapons systems, in reality it represented a fundamental shift in foreign policy. The foreign and security policies of unified Germany will most likely remain largely limited to the framework set by the European Union (EU). Little scope will be left for a special relationship with the United States.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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