Should we get our own nukes?
Germany can no longer count on the American nuclear shield, said Christian Hacke. The resentful isolationism of U.S. President Donald Trump isn’t some aberrant blip—it is a strong theme in much of U.S. history, most recently between the two World Wars, and it is likely to persist. Germany, once America’s close ally, is now seen as “Trump’s archenemy.” This sudden reversal couldn’t come at a worse time. Russia and China are flexing their muscles, while Germany’s own armed forces are in a catastrophic state of neglect: “Nothing flies, nothing floats, nothing runs.” Germany, then, needs a nuclear deterrent, and fast. Some have argued that we could co-finance the French and British nuclear arsenals, but that seems unworkable, given that for 70 years Europe has tried and failed to come up with a common defense policy. Instead, Germany should have a sober conversation about building our own nuclear force. We need not wallow in hysteria or alarmism, but simply ask: “Under what conditions and at what cost could Europe’s central power become a nuclear power?” Would Western security be enhanced by such a transformation? We have failed to entertain this debate out of a “lack of civil courage,” but can no longer do so. Because in a crisis, “Germany can rely only on itself.”