BERLIN (Own report) – The CDU and Green party-affiliated foundations have been holding conferences with prominent experts to continue Germany’s campaign by elite circles to promote a more aggressive German global policy. Ultimately, a “public discussion of the security policy’s soft and hard factors” must take place, insisted the head of the Policy Department of the German Defense Ministry, Monday at a conference held by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. At the Heinrich Boell Foundation, just shortly before, the audience was told that “a ‘pacifist Sonderweg'” (special path) cannot “be permitted.” Germany must finally “come out of the comfort zone.” According to the reader published by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, it must be “accepted that it may become necessary to take action outside the current international legal framework.” The reader calls for the creation of a “national security bureau” within the chancellery, patterned after the US-American “National Security Council,” and to significantly “upgrade” the “equipment of Germany’s intelligence services.” Decisions on foreign military missions should, thereby, be structurally facilitated.
Global Policy Campaign
Germany’s foreign policy establishment is persistently pursuing its campaign for a more aggressive German global policy. The campaign – which the German President has repeatedly revived with demands for an expansion of German military missions and is supported by major media organs – has not made much headway. A recent opinion poll indicates that a majority in the German population favors discretion in foreign policy, while a mere 13 percent is in favor of new German military missions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) However, the political establishment insists. Last week, two party-affiliated foundations – the Green Party-affiliated Heinrich Boell Foundation and the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation – lent their support by holding conferences with prominent guests.
Pacifist Sonderweg? No Thanks!
Just shortly prior to the Adenauer Conference, the Heinrich Boell Foundation had held its “Annual Foreign Policy Conference,” June 19/20. At this conference, German President Joachim Gauck’s initiatives for the expansion of German military missions had been thoroughly discussed, according to a conference report. There was wide-ranging consensus that Germany should “not only enhance its military capability,” but that it “should use all foreign policy tools more decisively,” and that “a ‘pacifist Sonderweg'” cannot “be permitted.” In view of the widespread popular opposition to a more aggressive global policy, the conference report explains that “conference guests pointed to the obviously growing gap between the ‘Berlin [government]’ and a sizable portion of the German population on questions of foreign policy.” That must be changed. Germany must “leave the comfort zone,” insists the foundation’s board member, Ralf Fuecks.
Violation of International Law? No Problem!
In a supplementary reader to the “Annual Foreign Policy Conference,” the Boell Foundation published papers worth noting. “German leadership,” according to Bodo Weber, a Senior Associate at the Democratization Policy Council in Berlin, is “possible and makes good sense.” However, it should be noted that “Germany’s refusal to take on its international responsibilities,” is a problem of a “lack of political will and leadership.” “Berlin’s already small circle of foreign policy makers and its foreign policy community” should, therefore, “seek to close ranks regardless of party affiliations and develop common concepts and initiatives.” In addition, Germany must “take the lead in the revival of a common European foreign and security policy.” In all this, it must be acknowledged that “the United Nations does not meet the challenges of the 21st century’s global disorder.” It must, therefore, be “accepted that it may become necessary to take action outside the current international legal framework.” Germany has demonstrated this in 1999 with the war on Yugoslavia.
To be Continued
The positions taken by Geyr, Weber and Techau, receiving a larger public resonance, through the party-affiliated foundations of the CDU and the Greens are simply more evidence that the campaign for a more aggressive global policy is broadly rooted in Germany’s foreign policy establishment and growing stronger. It is not to be expected that the elite’s campaign to impose its project on the population will subside.