Military historian Victor Davis Hanson trots out an underappreciated statistic that should give European opponents of Germany’s austerity measures a reason to reflect:
There is one general rule about the history of the modern state of Germany since its inception in 1871: Anytime Germany has been both unified and isolated, armed conflict has followed.
The Greeks can’t form a government to implement Germany’s austerity measures, and are rioting rather than reforming. Spain is teetering on the edge of a shredded social contract where more than 40% of young adults can’t find work. France just elected a Socialist president who claims that “My real enemy is the world of finance.”
And there sits Germany with the most money on the Continent, vilified for insisting on the same frugality from its debtors.
While it’s almost impossible to think that Germany would resort to military force to press its claims, it is within the realm of possibility to see it pulling back from the European Union in a way that cuts its losses and leaves the big spending countries to defaults and devaluations.
If that happens, expect to hear at least a few Europeans wishing Germany had just annexed their country. At least then they would be a part of a more stable economy.