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


There was nothing he wouldn’t sell and very little he couldn’t buy. Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski was communist East Germany’s foremost capitalist. Having outlived the state he served by a quarter century, he died on June 21 at the age of 82.


Don’t fall for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear grandstanding: economically, he has his back to the wall. The deployment of US troops and heavy weapons in Eastern Europe would only play into his hands.


No, the West has not (yet) lost Ukraine, and the fragile Minsk truce and Western sanctions on Moscow have not (yet) failed. But Vladimir Putin’s 19th-century fixation on national military greatness may yet spoil attempts to stabilize the situation.


This week’s G7 meeting at Schloss Elmau may not have produced many tangible results, but it did offer yet another display of the power German Chancellor Angela Merkel currently wields in Europe.


Seen from the other end of the Atlantic, the solution to the euro crisis always seemed obvious to some – not least NYT columnist Paul Krugman. Yet the Nobel Prize-winning economist has been wrong on virtually everything he has said about European fiscal policy.


The US Department of Justice’s indictment of leading FIFA officials is likely the result of successful cooperation with between US and European authorities, and relied on robust data collection. This example of successful surveillance could do with a bit more fanfare.


Fyodor Lukyanov says that the EU is living a fantasy, while Russia practices the kind of realism that has always guided international policy. Ulrich Speck disagrees – countries have always looked out for themselves, but they have also respected norms.


There are four Western scenarios on the Ukraine crisis competing to explain where we stand: the McCain, Mearsheimer, Motyl, and Merkel theses. Which is right? (Part 2 of 2)


Berlin’s scandal-starved opposition senses blood in the water. Has Germany’s foreign intelligence service broken the law in assisting America’s ever data- and information-hungry National Security Agency?


As the sober National Interest warns that America and Russia are “stumbling to war,” roughly four Western scenarios compete to explain where we stand in the year-old Ukraine crisis. Let’s call them the McCain, Mearsheimer, Motyl, and Merkel theses of, respectively, Russian aggression, Russian hegemonic privilege, Russian decline, and Russian paranoia. (Part 1 of 2)


Today Russia fights not against real fascists in Germany, but against imaginary ones in Ukraine. Given this, it might make sense to radically shift the focus of the holiday.


China’s proposals to facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process – and signals from Kabul and Islamabad that peace talks may soon be underway – pose the question of what a more serious Chinese diplomatic role in Afghanistan can be expected to achieve.


On April 2, 2015 in Lausanne EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif presented parameters for an agreement about Iran’s nuclear program. What kind of deal is in the making? (2 of 2)


On April 2, 2015 in Lausanne EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif presented parameters for an agreement about Iran’s nuclear program. What kind of deal is in the making? (1 of 2)


German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to attend the huge military parade planned for the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory over Germany. Instead, she will travel to Moscow one day later to take part in a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – an unexpected hopeful sign.


Even as the future of the European Union’s neighborhood remains under threat, a few developments on the EU periphery – in Ukraine, Romania, and Serbia – show that civil society and rule of law are making inroads in post-Communist kleptocracies.


An impending June decision by the EU’s Court of Justice will likely tip the balance between free trade and fundamental rights. Arguments were heard last week in Luxembourg in a privacy rights case lodged by Max Schrems, an Austrian law student, against five international tech giants.


A new incentives initiative seeks to complete Germany’s transition to renewables with an appeal to business and a focus on a long-neglected area: the heating and cooling sector. Government support for solar and biogas heat may give the Energiewende a further push in the right direction.


Deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel argued this week that it was time to turn the page on austerity policies. But there is little chance of him bringing about a change of course. Rather, the return of the Greek crisis has underlined how little influence Germany’s Social Democrats have shaping euro-saving policies.


“Nuclear disarmament” has always sounded better in theory than in practice. With more countries flexing their nuclear muscle – especially Russia – a more realistic strategy to manage nuclear arms is necessary. The West must fundamentally re-think means and ends.