In the era of Donald Trump, Germans debate a military buildup


Caught in between Russia and the U.S., what are the Germans to do?:

A vermilion-colored locomotive slowed to a halt, its freight cars obscured in the blinding snow. A German captain ordered his troops to unload the train’s cargo. “Jawohl!” — “Yes, sir!” — a soldier said, before directing out the first of 20 tanks bearing the Iron Cross of the Bundeswehr, Germany’s army. 

Evocative of old war films, the scene is nevertheless a sign of new times. Seven and a half decades after the Nazis invaded this Baltic nation, the Germans are back in Lithuania — this time as one of the allies. 

As the Trump administration ratchets up the pressure on allied nations to shoulder more of their own defense, no country is more in the crosshairs than Germany. If it meets the goals Washington is pushing for, Germany — the region’s economic powerhouse — would be on the fast track to again become Western Europe’s biggest military power.

Any renaissance of German might has long been resisted first and foremost by the Germans — a nation that largely rejected militarism in the aftermath of the Nazi horror. Yet a rethinking of German power is quickly emerging as one of the most significant twists of President Trump’s transatlantic policy.

You can read the rest at the Washington Post.

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