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Net Assessment of Germany

Jan. 15, 2016 An in-depth look at the strategic goals of one of Europe’s most economically and politically dominant countries.

In 1905, Count Alfred von Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff, presented his plans for a two-front war against France and Russia. Germany had already fought a war against France in the 1870s and a series of pacts between European powers indicated that Germany would have to intervene if its ally, Austria-Hungary, went to war. But Schlieffen’s plan stemmed from his understanding of geography: Germany, on the North European Plain, was exposed and vulnerable to invasion from France and Russia. Germany’s tactics for managing this threat ov...

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