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Monday, August 25, 2014

Leadership means doing what's right - Merkel may be a political genius or a brilliant world leader or both

I'm a reticent Angela Merkel fan, because her leadership style has been mysterious to me. Nevertheless, this response, reported in the Christian Science Monitor, to the ISIS terror, is certainly setting her apart from less courageous colleagues.

Germany to arm Kurds against Islamic State in test of stronger global role.  Nearly two-thirds of Germans disagree with Chancellor Merkel's decision. Merkel counters that Germany cannot afford to ignore the threat that IS poses.

BILBAO, SPAIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a backlash at home as Germany flexes a more muscular foreign policy, most recently with a controversial decision to arm Kurdish forces in Iraq.

The decision to bolster Kurds fighting the self-declared Islamic State (IS) is opposed by nearly two-thirds of Germans. And while Ms. Merkel has been a master at tapping the public mood, even when that has meant U-turns on issues from energy to the minimum wage, she is now pushing Germany to be more assertive, both because of its growing world clout and because international crises have erupted so close to home.

“Germany is basically being forced to take on a new role in Europe,” says Toby Matthiesen, an associate fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “The European Union cannot have a foreign policy if Germany does not have a foreign policy, or if its foreign policy tries to keep involvement in international affairs as limited as possible.”

In my opinion, Ms. Merkel is privileged to high level security information from her own and NATO sources.

Therefore, if Ms. Merkel is sending arms to the Iraqi Kurds, in spite of public opinion to refrain from involvement, this response by the German Chancellor is an important indication of her access to information, which she likely cannot publicly share  In other words, ISIS, the Black Islamic State, is far more dangerous to Western security than what American intelligence is telling us.

I believe Ms. Merkel knows what she's doing.

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