Seemacht NATO – die 1980er Jahre und die heutige weltpolitische Lage im Vergleich

14 May 2024 | 06:15-07:45, p.m | Lecture Hall VII, Main Building, University of Bonn

The lecture categorises the maritime aspects in the overall strategy of the Alliance against the background of the overall geopolitical situation. In the 1980s, it was a bipolar static conflict in which the naval power NATO consciously deployed its maritime components within the framework of CONMAROPS and the US Maritime Strategy in such a way that they influenced the continental front by threatening the flank of the WP. And this was done from a situation of relative maritime superiority of the Alliance. At present, NATO and the Western community are being challenged on their flanks in a multipolar era. The geopolitical situation is not static, but we are increasingly being openly challenged. One can even say that there are clear indicators that there will be an open escalation for the rank of "world power" within the next decade(s). In all likelihood, this will be played out strongly in the maritime domain. What does this mean for the naval power of the maritime alliance NATO?

While the current comparison of Cold War 1.0 and 2.0 is, in my opinion, too strongly limited to Europe, this reduction provides a dangerous narrowing of the perspective on the former German centre front and currently the eastern flank of the alliance. Cold War 1.0 was "won" by NATO, but under completely different circumstances. This is precisely what suggests a continuity that is favourable to us, but this is not the case with a maritime-global perspective. In addition, this bias towards Russia promotes a stronger continental character of European-German security policy, while the maritime threat continues to grow on the extended flanks in a global world. The Cold War 2.0 is therefore of a different nature than 1.0 and should only be used with caution as a template where there are actually similar developments.



Frigate Captain Dr. Christian Jentzsch, research associate in the project area of operational history at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr (ZMSBw) in Potsdam

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