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“The rebuff from Berlin may have been rough, but at least it marked a new age of clarity. Not only did the German government decline a recent American request to send ground troops to Syria to fight the remnants of ISIS, but it didn’t even consider the idea: There was no debate in the Bundestag, and not even a real one in the press.
This year, Germany’s postwar federal republic turns 70. Born from the moral and physical rubble of World War II, and reunited only 30 years ago, some of its national character traits are still being formed. Others have fully matured — including a deep and abiding anti-militarism.
Germany didn’t start out on this path alone. In 1945, having crushed the Nazi regime, the Western allies granted West Germany its own army, but only as a deterrent against the Soviet Union. It was fully integrated into NATO, with no general staff of its own. Instead, Bonn paid upkeep for the American troops stationed in West Germany. From the start, responsibility for national security was outsourced to others.
At the same time, Germans began to come to grips with the moral horror of the Nazi era. One conclusion from that reckoning was a deep aversion to military strength — for many Germans, particularly in the generation born immediately after the war, their unshakable guilt meant they could never be trusted with the power to make war.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Bangladesh is sometimes known as the “land of the rivers.” It’s got hundreds of them — and over the years, they’ve been getting more and more polluted. But as of early July, every single one of them has a remarkable new level of protection..."
"Whoever can keep his trap shut in 2020 will win the White House. You just have to look at Joe Biden's polling to see it. Biden's strategy is simple: Cut decent ads attacking Trump but not his supporters. Stay off the campaign trail as much as..."
"When climate change comes for our coffee and our wine, we’ll moan about it on Twitter, read about it on our favorite websites, and watch diverting videos on YouTube to fill the icy hole in our hearts. We’ll do all this until the websites go dark..."
"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."
"Global markets were seized by fear last week that trade wars were slowing growth in Germany, China and the United States. But the story here is bigger than President Trump and his tariffs. The postwar miracle is over. Since the financial crisis..."
"Few men in America are as popular among American men as Joe Rogan. It’s a massive group congregating in plain sight, and it’s made up of people you know from high school, guys who work three cubicles down, who are still paying off student loans..."
"For 52 years we have been blessed with a reunified Jerusalem. On paper. We tell ourselves Jerusalem has been reunited for over half a century, but a short walk through the streets paints a different picture. While the city’s west side appears..."
"On August 12, a man named Umar Baig was driving illegally in Brooklyn — speeding his Dodge Charger down Coney Island Avenue far, far above the speed limit of 25 miles per hour. At the intersection with Avenue L, he ran a red light, and smashed..."