Berlin—At the Munich Security Conference earlier this year, the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck asked the following key questions:
“Has Germany already adequately recognized the new threats and the changing structure of the international order?
“Has Germany shown enough initiative to ensure the future viability of the networks of norms, friends, and alliances, which after all brought us peace in freedom and democracy in prosperity?”
A moment later he took it upon himself to provide the answers: “Germany should make a more substantial contribution, and it should make it earlier and more decisively if it is to be a good partner.”
His remarks prompted an intensive debate—immediately narrowed to the issue of Germany’s engagement in and contributions to current and future military operations. However, his remarks were meant as a wake-up call designed to start a much broader discussion of Germany’s...