The Wars of the Near Future (IV)

MUNICH/BERLIN (Own report) – The Bundeswehr University in Munich has convened a high level cyberwarfare conference. Organized by the military academy’s research center’s “Cyber Operational Defense” (CODE), representatives from the Defense, Interior and Foreign Ministries, the Bavarian Regional Office of Criminal Investigation as well as from several leading German arms companies are among the participants. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) recently announced the establishment of a new branch of the military, the “Cyber and Information Command” (KdoCIR) with a staff of 13,500. Like the Army, Navy, and Air Force, it will be commanded by its own Inspector General. The Bundeswehr has already launched an advertising campaign costing millions, which, according to the Minister, is aimed at recruiting IT specialists (“Nerds”) for military service. The Bundeswehr is explicitly preparing capabilities for cyber attacks – a project that is massively being promoted by NATO. The “neutralization” of enemy air defenses through cyber attacks is also in discussion.

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The Wars of the Near Future (II)

BERLIN (Own report) – At the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA), which opens today in Berlin, the Bundeswehr is demonstrating its ability to wage wars of aggression. The program includes various “troop proficiency demonstrations,” performing, for example, the “evacuation” of German nationals from a “crisis zone” for the audience at the Air Show. The demonstration calls for the use of elite combat units, particularly assault helicopters, considered generally by the military as the ideal weapon for anti-guerilla operations. The ILA management has installed a central area on the fair grounds for the aerospace industry to provide information on special helicopters for police and military missions. The event is again also focusing on the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – or drones. The Bundeswehr, alone, will introduce four different types of UAS, which had been used in Afghanistan to reconnoiter enemy positions in preparation of targeted attacks. At the US Air Force stand, the MQ-9 “Reaper” combat drone will be on display, which is being used around the world to illegally assassinate so-called terrorist suspects, regularly causing large numbers of civilian casualties.

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NATO’s Nuclear Debate

BERLIN (Own report) – In view of the NATO Summit scheduled this year in Warsaw, the deployment of nuclear arms against Russia is being discussed within the German military and think-tanks. The Federal College for Security Studies (BAKS), for example, accuses Moscow of “neo-imperial aggression” against Eastern Europe and calls for a revival of the “nuclear deterrence” strategy. According to BAKS, the idea of a nuclear weapons-free world should be considered as “unrealistic” – after all, “disarmament is not the primary raison d’être of a nuclear weapon.” The government-affiliated German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) sees it similarly, and opposes particularly a general ban on nuclear weapons, proposed by a United Nations working group. Such a “nuclear arms ban treaty” would be in contradiction to NATO’s role as a “nuclear alliance,” SWP claims. It would, however, be “conceivable” to strengthen the” linkage between conventional and nuclear capacities” and the “inclusion” of nuclear arms “in exercise scenarios.”

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Not Only Against Russia

BERLIN (Own report) – Bundeswehr circles are calling for German military activities to be extended in the Indian Ocean. According to an analysis by three political scientists at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, the ocean linking Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia is the most important sea for global trade. It will replace the Atlantic, to become the most important “Ocean of the 21st Century.” Germany, therefore, must become more active – militarily as well, beginning, for example, with joint maneuvers with the bordering countries. Until now, Germany only has a permanent presence in Djibouti, in the western Indian Ocean, which is seen as insufficient. This plea for opening a parallel theater of conflict alongside the power struggle with Russia, dovetails with existing German activities, for example, the reinforced arms buildup of the East and Southeast Asian rivals of the People’s Republic of China. As has now been confirmed in the new Arms Exports Report, published in the middle of this week, Germany’s arms export policies have already begun to focus on East and Southeast Asia. Four countries from these regions are among the top ten customers of German military hardware, but only two NATO member countries.

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