The reluctant ally? Germany, NATO and the use of force

Benjamin Schreer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Germany’s behaviour in the run-up of NATO’s 2011 Operation Unified Protector (OUP) in Libya came as a surprise to many allies since Germany did not participate in a military operation which fulfilled the criteria of a right cause (a ‘responsibility to protect’) and proper authority (a UN Security Council mandate), and which was supported by its most important European allies, France and Germany. Consequently, Germany was accused by the international media of moving away from ‘European unity’ while German commentators explained this decision with the country’s pacifist preference, immaturity in foreign and security policy and a preoccupation with domestic politics (Erlanger and Dempsey, 2011). German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also pointed to his country’s ‘tradition of [military] restraint’ as an explanation for Germany’s abstention (Der Spiegel, 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNATO's European allies
Subtitle of host publicationmilitary capability and political will
EditorsMagnus Petersson, Janne Haaland Matlary
Place of PublicationBasingstoke, Hampshire
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781137035004
ISBN (Print)9781137034991, 9781349442119
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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