Weapons of Mass Debate - Germany’s Unease Around Nuclear Deterrence

1945 ushered in the nuclear era. Yet, the construction of a European project, with the ambitions to achieve economic integration and strategic cooperation, did not have an agenda on nuclear force and deterrence. French President Emmanuel Macron brought the issue back up in a speech delivered at the Ecole de Guerre in February 2020, during which he called upon European leaders to engage in a strategic dialogue on nuclear issues. This call has remained relatively unanswered, especially in Germany, which is strongly committed to pursuing European security through a NATO framework, and fears France’s proposal could threaten the transatlantic partnership. In this new episode of our Weapons of Mass Debate series, Claudia Major, Head of the International Security Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and Christian Mölling, Research Director and Head of the Security and Defense Program at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), help us understand Germany’s ambivalence towards nuclear weapons. 

Titan II missile in silo, Photo Credits: Steve Jurvetson, Wikimedia Commons



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