John Kornblum, a former American ambassador who has lived for nearly four decades around Germany, responds to the many articles that question Germany's commitment to the European Union:
Germany has changed very little, but Europe and the world have changed a lot. Therein lies the dilemma.
Unfortunately, his NY Times op-ed does not elaborate this dilemma sufficiently for me to understand it. However, he reminds us that Germany pursued self-interests in the past as well. Though, I don't think Germany pushed for NATO enlargement like this:
Many important postwar accomplishments were conceived and pushed by Germany, sometimes over the opposition of others - including the United States. Ostpolitik was controversial for years, as was NATO enlargement. Germany pushed them with determination. Helmut Kohl did not consult before promulgating his 10 points on reunification. He agreed to French desires for a common currency, but only if it could be a mirror of the Deutsche mark, for decades the European monetary standard. The euro stability pact, now the object of so much controversy with Greece, was the result. After 1990, the E.U.'s eastward expansion was Germany's way of firming up its Eastern flank. Slowly and without fanfare, Germany has been remaking the European Union in its image. At each step of the way, Germany made its wishes more palatable by paying more than its share. Part of today's misunderstanding is caused by Germany's success in using its contributions to build an image of selflessness.
It's a great analysis, but it would be even better, if Kornblum would get into more detail regarding these remarks: "Most maddening for most thinking Europeans is the knowledge that the Germans are right." and "European fecklessness seems to worry Washington officials these days." Any readers with interpretations?