Following former U.S. president Donald Trump’s victory in the first Republican primary, German politicians have urged the government to prepare for the possibility of another Trump term in office.
“The German government can no longer ignore domestic political developments in the United States.
“The U.S. is too important a partner for that,’’ Jürgen Hardt, a senior lawmaker from the conservative CDU/CSU opposition bloc, told dpa on Tuesday.
Although many Iowa Republicans did not vote for Trump, Hardt said it is nonetheless “high time to prepare for a president Trump.”
Trump’s bellicose rhetoric during his first term in office and open scepticism about U.S. foreign commitments such as the NATO alliance caused great concern in Germany and throughout much of Europe.
The prospect of another four years of Trump could have serious implications for Europe, especially if Trump were to reduce U.S. aid for Ukraine.
CDU foreign policy expert Norbert Röttgen told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that Germany and the EU must prepare for Trump.
He said they must prepare for Trump by ramping up their arms production “so that Ukraine can defend itself against a Russian attack even without U.S. help’’.
“Europe’s freedom depends on this,’’ Röttgen said.
Agnieszka Brugger, vice-chairwoman of the Green Party, said a more radical U.S. policy under Trump would have negative consequences for international security, solidarity and respect for international law.
The current debate in the U.S. Congress on further military aid for Ukraine showed how dangerous isolationism in large parts of the Republican Party was for European security.
Brugger said this in a statement.
“It is therefore more necessary these days for Germany to send even stronger and long-term substantial signals of support to Ukraine from the centre of Europe.
“As it is for the EU to quickly strengthen its ability to act and its sovereignty, especially in matters of foreign and security policy,’’ she said.
Thorsten Frei, another CDU/CSU leader, said that it would be irresponsible to go into such a situation so unprepared.
He said that Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, must be made war-ready and capable of defending itself, and that Germany’s civil defence preparations must also be strengthened.
Frei added that the CDU/CSU opposition bloc was available for talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s centre-left coalition government on how to position Germany as strong and resilient.