Last weekend's post on Chancellor Merkel's Lack of Leadership on Afghanistan mentioned an op-ed by Jan Techau (German Council on Foreign Affairs) about Germany's domestic foreign policy discourse. The op-ed is now translated into English at Atlantic Community and concludes with a call for a change of mentality:
The small group of politicians, journalists and academics who deal objectively with questions of international relations have no illusions about the drastically changing world we live in. But a large proportion of the public debate, which includes most journalistic, political, and intellectual circles, willfully denies the rapidly increasing price we pay for our freedom, security and prosperity. They cannot or do not want to know about the degree of unrest, the level of threat, or the extent of insecurity that we face today. This ignorance could itself become dangerous -- in the long run, no democratic government can govern against strong public opinion.What we need, therefore, is the hardest thing to achieve: a change of mentality. Germany must grow up -- it needs to show its face and perceive the world as it is, trust itself, and employ realism in its thoughts and optimism in its actions.