Russian mind games with nuclear weapons mean that NATO has to step it up, write top German think tanks.
Europe wants to improve its use of nuclear power in response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia and Ukraine. Russia has paired its increased aggression and buildup of conventional forces with an expanded nuclear program, and Europe—especially Eastern Europe—is getting scared.
“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and Moscow’s associated nuclear threats, have triggered a new discussion in nato about enhancing its nuclear deterrent,” wrote the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (swp), a think tank responsible for advising the German Parliament, this month.
BERLIN (Own report) – In the few months leading up to the one-hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War I, a new debate, over who was responsible for starting the war, is gaining momentum in Germany. As relevant publications – such as the bestseller, “The Sleepwalkers” by the historian Christopher Clark – show, “a shift in paradigm has taken place” in scholarship, according to a recent press article: “The German Empire was not ‘responsible’ for World War I.” The debate strongly contradicts the recognition that, even though Berlin did not bear it alone, it bore the primary responsibility for the bloody escalation of the 1914 July Crisis. This insight, which was derived particularly from the analyses of the historian Fritz Fischer in the 1960s, is now being massively contested. Historians are strongly criticizing remarks, such as those by Christopher Clark, who, working closely with government-affiliated academic institutions, is denying German responsibility for the war. According to Clark, “the Serbs” are supposedly a priori “the bad guys” of the pre war era, while he openly displays his preference for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The denial of Germany’s main culpability for the war is “balm on the soul of educated social sectors, grown more self-confident” at a time when Berlin’s political power is again on the rise. Continue reading
One of the main points of discussion at last week’s high-level forum on defense and security in Berlin centered on raising the military protection of Germany’s raw materials sources.
Broadcast live via the government-financed media outlet Deutsche Welle, the forum—hosted by Berlin’s Federal College for Security Studies (baks)—had, as a top item on its agenda, ways and means of adding to the Bundeswehr’s existing presence in Africa within countries that are vital to the continuing supply of raw materials for Germany’s export-led economy. Continue reading
BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) – Berlin’s main think tank for military policy has announced “war game exercises” for military confrontations with China. This year’s “Trier China-Dialogue,” to be convened in Berlin at the beginning of June by the Federal College for Security Studies, will focus on analyzing the “combat capabilities” of the Chinese armed forces. The forum will be concluded with two “hypothetical practical tests,” to learn whether the Peoples Republic of China’s military can “take over” and “hold onto” Taiwan or islands in the South China Sea. The conflict with Taiwan, as well as that over various islands in the South China Sea, impinges upon China’s vital interests. In both cases, the USA has adopted the position of China’s adversary as its own, therefore, in the case of armed conflict, NATO – and therefore, the rest of the West – could become directly involved. A supplementary objective for the “war game exercises” is the West’s rapidly expanding military presence in east and Southeast Asia. In the wake of the stationing of US troops, Germany is also strengthening its military cooperation with China’s potential adversaries in Southeast Asia and intensifying arms exports into the region.
China’s Fighting Power
The Federal College for Security Studies (BAKS) has announced its next “Trier China-Dialogue” to be held June 6. This will be the third time – following 2009 and 2011. The name is derived from cooperation between BAKS and the former junior political science professor at the University of Trier, Martin Wagener, who, last October, has transferred to the Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences in Munich. Wagener is considered an East Asia specialist and will participate also this year in the symposium, which is co-parented by the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Trier University’s Political Science Alumni Association. The theme of the symposium is: “Fighting Power: How Capable is China’s Armed Forces?” Continue reading