A bimonthly magazine on international affairs, edited in Germany's capital

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Berlin Policy Journal

International affairs from the heart of Europe


Yemen is headed for all-out civil war, another theater of the sadly familiar cast of proxy wars, sectarian violence, state collapse, and militia rule. The only actors who will prosper are the likes of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.


The Estonian president on austerity and difficult neighbors.


NATO’s Secretary General on expecting the unexpected and how to relax in snow-deprived Brussels.


Recent polls show: Europeans want more independence from the United States, Germans in particular. However, Washington is still by far the preferred partner.


The extent to which the United States and Europe doubt the worth of their own systems and values has become self-destructive.


Pride in past achievements is great but far from good enough. The West needs to pursue a bold, imaginative agenda, lead an effort to redesign the international system, and make it work better.


The latest “scandal” over NSA support from Germany’s foreign intelligence service reveals Berlin’s political class as ever willing to ride the tiger of German anger toward the Americans – and score cheap political points.


When “polite people” do impolite things, they can redraw the map of Europe. After facilitating the annexation of Crimea, Russia’s “gentlemen soldiers” have become a national meme.

The European Council in April missed another chance to create an effective refugee and migration policy. The new Commission agenda at least acknowledges: Rescued people need to be put somewhere.


Athen’s and Moscow’s tactical coupling of the Greece crisis and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is upping the ante for the EU. Geopolitical thinking, once passé in Germany, is experiencing a comeback.


Even three decades after joining the EU, Greece is still ruled by feudal Ottoman tendencies.

Recent conflicts have shown that European security won’t work without a hybrid security policy. Here’s what a triad of deterrence, resilience, and defense could look like.


It’s clear that Europe needs a new relationship with Moscow. But it cannot be one that sacrifices European values of democracy and self-determination for stability.

The crisis in Ukraine has forced the West to reconsider how it defends international law. As tensions in South East Asia grow, can Berlin apply the same lessons to a European Asia policy?


Greece’s new Syriza government may alarm Brussels, but there is more behind Greece’s affinity for Russia than can be explained by party alliances alone – as polls have shown, keeping Athens in line on Russia policy may be trickier than expected.


Europe needs to craft a short-term strategy to contain Moscow’s power and a long-term strategy to reengage with Russian interests. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke said, “To endure is all.”