Desert War

BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO (Own report) – The German Foreign Minister has confirmed Berlin’s readiness to become involved in the war in Mali. To his French counterpart, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Guido Westerwelle offered Germany’s “political, logistical, medical, and humanitarian” support for the intervention in France’s former colony. However, the German Minister of Defense, Thomas de Maizière, declared that there would be conditions to be met. Only when “the prerequisites are clarified and fulfilled” would Berlin be able to take part in the military mission. These statements from the German government show evidence of a dual strategy. On the one hand, Berlin is insisting on concessions to strengthen its position in French-dominated West Africa, and on the other, a German participation is supposed to thwart French-British unilateralism, as in the case of Libya. Berlin feels threatened by this sort of unilateralism, because since some time, Paris and London have been strongly enhancing their military cooperation, leading some in the German capital to suspect – not without reason – that this could be a means to escape Germany’s EU predomination, at least in the domain of military policy. In the meantime, the war in Mali has intensified after only a few days. Continue reading