Many think President Trump is pushing Germany to remilitarize, but he is actually giving in to what Germany demanded decades ago when NATO was founded.
At the nato headquarters in Brussels at the end of May, United States President Donald Trump once again urged European nato members to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their military. Meeting President Trump’s demands will make Germany and Europe an independent military superpower within nato. Many in Germany, such as Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, are up in arms about Mr. Trump’s demands.
But other German politicians have been calling for this for decades.
Germany is currently only spending about 1.2 percent of annual gdp on its military. Spending 2 percent would mean spending $80 billion—more than any other European state. This would make Germany a military powerhouse within Europe and nato. Continue reading
Berlin is using a bland name to obscure a dramatic shift in its approach to defense: integrating brigades from smaller countries into the Bundeswehr.
Every few years, the idea of an EU army finds its way back into the news, causing a kerfuffle. The concept is both fantasy and bogeyman: For every federalist in Brussels who thinks a common defense force is what Europe needs to boost its standing in the world, there are those in London and elsewhere who recoil at the notion of a potential NATO rival.
But this year, far from the headlines, Germany and two of its European allies, the Czech Republic and Romania, quietly took a radical step down a path toward something that looks like an EU army while avoiding the messy politics associated with it: They announced the integration of their armed forces. Continue reading
After seeing what transpired in Turkey last year, it’s definitely believable that America wants out of it. However, this story adds a twist to the plot. Not only is moving one USAF airbase into Syria odd, but five in total is a tell-tale sign of something possibly larger around the corner.
For this to happen Assad would have to be gone. Either by peaceful means or force. Syria would then be split up among three or four powers — likely American, Russian and Chinese/European forces. The Chinese have mobilized 150,000 PLA troops not only for a possible North Korean fallout.
It’s a bit of a mystery now, so this story is something to keep an eye on.
Several US engineering teams are working round the clock to build a big new air base in northern Syria after completing the expansion of another four. They are all situated in the Syrian borderland with Iraq, DEBKAfile’s military forces report.
This was going on over the weekend as senators, news correspondents and commentators were outguessing each other over whether the US missile attack on the Syrian Shayrat air base Friday, in retaliation for the Assad regime’s chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, was a one-off or the start of a new series. Continue reading
Bundeswehr officials expect a more active and a more lethal role for Germany in the Middle East.
German military leaders are preparing to take on a more active role in the fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East. This news emerges following the February 17–19 Munich Security Conference. Spiegel Online reported on February 20 that German diplomats and military officers left the conference feeling that some major challenges ahead of them go far beyond merely increasing the nation’s military budget. The feeling was that Germany must get ready to fire shots.
German generals expect future missions to include air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and possibly an increased deployment of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. Spiegel Online quoted a German military general who attended the conference as saying, “[United States President Donald] Trump doesn’t only want more money from us but he also wants us to finally fire shots” (Trumpet translation throughout). Although former President Barack Obama had previously insisted on a more active NATO involvement, the quoted general believes that the tone is sharper now and that Germany must prepare to pull the trigger. Continue reading
Even a modest boost to German defense spending means radical changes to the world order.
Germany will boost the size of its military to nearly 200,000, hiring an additional 20,000 soldiers by 2024, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on February 21.
Germany had already announced plans to increase its army to 193,000 by 2023, so this is merely an incremental increase compared to earlier plans. However, it does confirm the radical change in direction for Germany. Its army had shrunk to a low of 166,500 last June and has only just begun turning around. Now, each new announcement about the German military is an increase. Continue reading
So far from what we’ve seen over the years, a European Army is shaping up with the following countries being participants or having some level of cooperation/integration:
- the Netherlands
- Czech Republic
Czech Republic and Romania are sending major chunks of their armies to the Bundeswehr.
A Czech and Romanian brigade will be integrated into divisions of the German army. The agreement is to be signed at a meeting of NATO defense ministers tomorrow. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), which broke the story on February 2, wrote, “The Bundeswehr is developing into the leading NATO army in Europe.”
The agreement is the most dramatic of a series of arrangements Germany is negotiating to deepen its cooperation with other countries. The EU Observer summarized the FAZ’s report, noting, “The longer-term strategy would turn the Bundeswehr into the leading NATO army in Europe, with small countries integrating their military forces into the German command structures.”
Two thirds of the Dutch army’s command structure began to integrate into the German army last year. Continue reading
For additional information, you can read the following article written by Ulrich Kühn:
The Sudden German Nuke Flirtation (The Carnigie Endowment Foundation for International Peace)
For years talking about nuclear weapons was taboo in Germany. Today it’s necessary.
Germany doesn’t want America’s old nuclear weapons—it wants to build its own. In 2009, Germany’s ruling coalition stated one of its goals was to remove American-owned nuclear weapons from German soil. Now the debate has moved on, and some want Germany to build its own nukes.
While the public is skeptical, influential news outlets on both sides of the political spectrum have published editorials promoting a rethinking of Germany’s nuclear policy.
In November 2016, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a conservative-leaning newspaper with Germany’s largest foreign circulation, published an opinion piece titled “The Utterly Unimaginable.” In it, the newspaper’s co-editor Berthold Kohler said the “simple ‘same as before’” route couldn’t continue. The retreat of the United States and the advance of Russia and China meant the Continent was changing: Germany could no longer rely on building “peace without weapons.” Continue reading