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Old November 22nd, 2012, 12:59 AM   #11

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Well, having German roots myself, I have always found it a bit odd that my ascendants had the habit to fight a world war any generation.

But it was a diffused habit in Europe, to be honest.

Now, it seems that Europeans have [finally!] realized that

1. Continental Europe is little
2. Modern weaponry in a large scale war can generate tremendous destructions
3. That after a global war without external aids Europeans would go back to middle age

These points [I can make a longer list] seem to have suggested to Europeans to become more peaceful and to cooperate more among ourselves.

Today the idea of a war of conquest in Europe is simply anti historical, in the sense that in this geopolitical context it's a nonsense.

A different matter is the economical control of the continent and in this field Germany is working a lot ...
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 01:05 AM   #12

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I can't somehow see Germans marching through the street shouting "Heil Merkel!". It just doesn't work.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 02:06 AM   #13

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Anyone still remember Bill Clinton's first election campaign motto?
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Old November 25th, 2012, 03:26 AM   #14

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Originally Posted by Dreamhunter View Post
Anyone still remember Bill Clinton's first election campaign motto?
Enlighten us.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 03:32 AM   #15

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Originally Posted by Essa View Post
There has to be some opposition ofcourse, but I think the benefits for Germany in terms of its position in Europe is present....the bailout is just one manifestation of it....
That's true.

Originally Posted by Grimald View Post
I am convinced that the most attractive idea for most Germans is to be a big Switzerland. Living in peace with its neighbors, doing business, staying neutral in world conflicts. There is no wish at all for any dominance over Europe, neither political nor economical. The idea of military dominance is anyway all but obsolete after two lost world wars and the subsequent disrespect for anything military in Germany.

In comparison to the UK or France, Germany's military is weak, and most people in Germany are OK with that and are happy with the proposed additional cuts in the defense budget. According to the SIPRI yearbook 2012 (as cited in Wikipedia), the military expenditure as percentage of GDP is 4.7 for the US, 2.6 for the UK, 2.3 for France, and 1.3 for Germany. In my opinion, 1.3% is still way too much during peace time and we should aim at below 1% or even 0.5%. Germany does not have an imperial past like the two leading European powers. Military operations are extremely unpopular in Germany and in my opinion should be restricted to what is absolutely necessary.

The demographics of Germany are also very unfavorable in comparison to the UK and France. Germany is an aging society and will probably be overtaken by the UK and France in terms of population size by 2050. That is not necessarily a bad thing - most people in Germany are anyway not interested in the relative power of their country, but in maintaining peace and living standards.

The economy of Germany looks strong right now, but that could change in a matter of years if Germany does not manage to get out of the current European mess. Instead of confronting the competition with rising powers such as China or Brazil, Germany at the moment is busy in interfering with the economic problems of Southern Europe. However, that is not its business, and if the hundreds of billions of guarantees so naively given out by the Merkel government will have to be payed, it will destroy Germany's wealth and drag down its economy. In any case, the German economy is highly dependent on exports and imports, thus only strong in cooperation with other countries.

Political leadership is traditionally weak in Germany. The diplomatic service is clumsy and no comparison to the French art of diplomacy. Often, the real interests of Germany are not recognized by its government - like in the current crisis, where Merkel's stupid interference in other countries' matters by handing out money and advice promotes the hatred against Germany which is anyway present allover Europe since WWII.

In summary, Germany in no way could dominate Europe, neither politically nor militarily. The only current strength of Germany, its economy, is highly interdependent and requires the cooperation of other countries.
Germany and Japan are the defeated nations of WW2 which turn out to be the victors in the fields of industry and commerce in the most recent epoch of history, and nice post, Grimald.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 03:46 AM   #16

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Originally Posted by Stephy View Post
Enlighten us.
Since you insist, I won't resist.

He said, in the year 2000: "It's the economy, ******."
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Old November 25th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #17

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Originally Posted by Dreamhunter View Post
Since you insist, I won't resist.

He said, in the year 2000: "It's the economy, ******."
Clinton was finishing his second term in 2000.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 12:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jeroenrottgering View Post
We can all agree most likely that Germany is the number 1 economical power in Europe right now and if they weren't so modest with their army, they could also very well be the best military power. Will Germany just like in WW1 and WW2 again have the strength today to face all Europe? Or does Germany finally reached it's limit and will go down the road of decay instead of continuously reviving?
The OP is just a fallacious false dilemma.

It would be preposterous to pretend that attempting universal conquest would be the only way for any power to avoid *decay*(?!?!?)

It could not be any clearer that Germany is currently doing an amazing job by avoiding both radical extremes of the false dilemma above.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 07:06 PM   #19

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If Germany were to militarize over the course of 5 or 6 years, I'd think they'd at least be able to snatch some land from their neighbors. Germany has around 15-16 million more people than France.

Can Germany take over all of Europe? No. Can the Germans bloody their neighbor's noses if they really tried? Yup.

This is all hypothetical. The Germans aren't stupid.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #20

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I think the real speculative question is if France could take over Europe again (keeping with the scenario that the US doesn't get involved). That would be much more likely and easier achieved than a transformed Germany rising again.
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