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It would be disastrous for Germany if its Western partners began to doubt its commitment to them.At the same time, Westerwelle is making Germany more insignificant than it really is.Central Principles of German Foreign Policy in Doubt In fact, much more is at stake than the question of a German military contribution.

Adolf Hitler tried to solve the problem by trying to dominate Europe by force. Only with Adenauer's policy of firmly aligning West Germany with the West was the republic able to find its place in Europe and the world.

That makes it so alarming when Westerwelle proclaims Germany's UN abstention as the birth of a new foreign policy doctrine.

With its abstention in the UN Security Council vote on Libya, Germany has abandoned its strict alignment with the West, a basic tenet of German foreign policy for decades.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's new doctrine is a dangerous one.

But even a diplomat as skilled as Bismarck wasn't able to maintain the precarious balance of power.

The collapse of his system resulted in World War I.

The government has now given up this basic tenet of German policy.

The official explanation is an excuse: Germany doesn't want to take part in a war against Libya, said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

It was a response to the fundamental problem of Europe's balance of power.

What was to become of this restless nation in the center of Europe that had spent its history shifting between east and west, that for so long entertained a special awareness of its historical role and that started two world wars?

He wants Germany to be a country that doesn't send any soldiers on foreign missions and instead serves as a role model for peace.

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