by Wolfgang G. Schwanitz*
At times of peace, Germany’s Middle East policy has historically taken a secondary position—one subordinate to Germany’s primary policy toward Europe and America. While of secondary importance, it was a tool that could be used to manipulate the Middle Eastern Question by playing off Western powers against each other. Berlin’s goal was a peaceful penetration of the Ottoman Empire, and it had no colonial aspirations in the region. During the world wars, however, Berlin elevated its Middle East policy to primary status by instigating jihad in the enemy’s hinterland. Yet in recent years, Berlin has sought out policies on Middle East peace and Islam fitting the European framework.