On foreign and defense policy, the Social Democrats have long been the reliable second pillar of Germany’s centrist course. But the SPD’s downward spiral at the ballot box has given way to left-leaning signaling that may well do the party more harm than good.
Already attacked as someone too soft on the likes of Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping, new CDU leader Armin Laschet’s world view and foreign policy outlook is much in line with the German mainstream.
The election of Joe Biden has lifted the mood in Berlin. While Chancellor Angela Merkel seems focused on picking up where she left off with Barack Obama, one big idea as to what to offer the incoming US administration is taking shape: making common cause against China in the security realm.