Joschka Fischer

The commercial case for EU solidarity

BERLIN – The European Union’s great eastward expansion in 2004 was a moment for hope and optimism. After 15 years, however, Eastern and Western Europe are culturally and politically divided as ever. Though the Eastern European countries have enjoyed greater prosperity since joining the...

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 12:00 AM

Will Germany permit joint European security?

BERLIN – US President Donald Trump has proved truly disruptive to the transatlantic relationship. His questioning of America’s mutual-defense commitments presents NATO with an ominous and potentially existential crisis. The US security guarantee, after all, is one of the two...

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 12:00 AM

The new fulcrum of the Middle East

BERLIN – We live in a time of geopolitical transition. China’s effort to replace the United States as the world’s leading power, or at least to become a co-partner in global leadership, deservedly receives much attention. But the macro-level dynamics that have long defined the...

Monday, December 25, 2017, 12:00 AM

The new nuclear danger

BERLIN – As someone who was born in 1948, the risk of a nuclear World War III was a very real part of my childhood. That threat – or at least the threat of East and West Germany both being completely destroyed – persisted until the end of Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 12:00 AM

Goodbye to the West

BERLIN – Now that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, the end of what was heretofore termed the “West” has become all but certain. That term described a transatlantic world that emerged from the twentieth century’s two world wars, redefined the...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 12:00 AM

The West on the brink

BERLIN – This year and next, voters in leading Western democracies will make decisions that could fundamentally change the West – and the world – as we have known it for decades. In fact, some of these decisions have already been made, the main example being the United Kingdom...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 12:00 AM

The Syrian knot

Joschka Fischer For four years, a bloody war has raged in Syria. What began as a democratic uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has developed into a cat’s cradle of conflicts, partly reflecting a brutal proxy struggle among Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia for regional domination....

Saturday, December 5, 2015, 12:00 AM

Europe's reality check

Joschka Fischer Until a few weeks ago, Europeans believed they lived in a kind of sanctuary, insulated from the world’s current conflicts. Certainly, the news and images of drowned migrants were dreadful; but the tragedy occurring south of Italy, Greece, and Malta, seemed a long way off....

Friday, October 2, 2015, 12:00 AM

The return of the ugly German

Joschka Fischer BERLIN – During the long night of negotiations over Greece on July 12-13, something fundamental to the European Union cracked. Since then, Europeans have been living in a different kind of EU. What changed that night was the Germany that Europeans have known since the end of...

Saturday, July 25, 2015, 12:00 AM

German foreign policy comes of age

BERLIN – Germany’s reunification, nearly 25 years ago, once again placed at the heart of Europe a large power whose location, economic potential, and, yes, history, raised suspicions of revived hegemonic ambitions. Major European leaders at the time – including Giulio Andreotti,...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 12:00 AM

The Middle East's new winners and losers

Joschka Fischer Berlin – “War,” said the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, is the “father of all things.” In view of the bloody – indeed barbaric – events in the Middle East (and in Iraq and Syria in particular), one might be tempted to agree, even though such ideas no longer seem to have...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 12:00 AM

Europe's Ukrainian soul

Joschka Fischer BERLIN –This November marks the first anniversary of the Euromaidan uprising in Kyiv. Large parts of Ukraine’s population – and young people in particular – rose in opposition to then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign the country’s European Union...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 12:00 AM

Europe’s blast from the past

BERLIN – If there is one historical episode that still makes most Europeans shiver, even after a century, it is the outbreak of World War I, the seminal European catastrophe, which began in the last days of July 1914. In fact, exactly one hundred years later, after two World Wars and a Cold...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 12:00 AM

Europe’s act in Ukraine’s tragedy

Grand political strategy and everyday experience often have a lot in common. Try, for example, to swallow a salami whole, and you will probably choke to death. In the world of high politics, people behave no differently: they slice their salami before consuming it. If they cannot achieve an...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12:00 AM

Egypt after Morsi

Egypt lies at the heart of the Arab revolution, even if the original spark occurred in Tunisia. But Egypt – with its strategic location, stable borders, large population, and ancient history – has been the principal power of the Arab world for centuries, defining the movement of history...

Sunday, July 28, 2013, 12:00 AM

Aglimpse into the Middle East’s lost decade

BERLIN – The United States has waged three wars since Al Qaeda’s terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001: against Al Qaeda, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. The first two were forced upon the US, but the third was the result of a willful, deliberate decision by former President George W....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:00 AM

The new Middle East’s new problems

BERLIN – When hostilities flared in Gaza last month, it seemed like the same old story was repeating itself. The world again witnessed a bloody and senseless surge of violence between Israel and Hamas, in which the main victims were innocent civilians maimed and killed on both sides.This time...

Monday, December 3, 2012, 12:00 AM

Europe’s Trial by crisis

Some 2,500 years ago, the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus concluded that war is the father of all things. He might have added that crisis is their mother.Fortunately, war between world powers is no longer a realistic option, owing to the threat of mutual nuclear destruction. But major...

Sunday, September 30, 2012, 12:00 AM

The Middle East after Assad

BERLIN – What will the Middle East look like once the Syrian civil war brings about the fall of President Bashar al-Assad, whose clan has ruled the country with an iron fist for more than 40 years? Given the recent dramatic turn of events that has pushed the battle for Syria to a new stage,...

Monday, July 30, 2012, 12:00 AM

The Threat of German Amnesia

Europe’s situation is serious – very serious. Who would have thought that British Prime Minister David Cameron would call on eurozone governments to muster the courage to create a fiscal union (with a common budget and tax policy and jointly guaranteed public debt)? And Cameron also...

Friday, May 25, 2012, 12:00 AM