Modern Strategy Concept (III)

BERLIN (Own report) – The elaboration of the German Ministry of Defense’s new White Paper is oriented on Cold War era scenarios. In her programmatic speech on this basic military policy document, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) accused Russia of following a “geostrategic hegemonic policy” and of using “military force” to “achieve its interests.” Members of the panel of experts appointed by the minister, therefore, call Russia a “threat” and demand a revival of the “deterrence” policy applied against the Soviet Union by the West. The authors of the first White Paper in 1969 had already used these terms to legitimize “limited” nuclear war against the USSR, allegedly oriented toward expansion. The subsequent military policy doctrine of the mid 1980s, even included nuclear first use to “combat the enemy’s potentials” on its own territory, because, in the event of war, Soviet territory would “not be inviolable.”

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Teutonic Arrogance

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – German politicians are reacting to the Greek government’s call for a partial remission of its debts and its throwing the EU-Troika out of the country, with ultimatums. “Tsipras had better cease his attacks on Angela Merkel,” threatened the European Parliament’s President Martin Schulz (SPD). “Beating up on the Germans” is “shortsighted.” State-financed German media organs are castigating Greece’s newly elected head of state as “obstinate” and complaining that he “is jeering,” “Germany is only one country among others.” US experts warn that in the EU’s crisis countries, the German austerity dictate has resulted in “a level of misery” “that surpasses the limits of tolerance for a democratic society,” and suggest that Greece be dealt with pragmatically – a partial debt remission along the lines of the London Debt Conference 1952/1953 model. Two years ago, Greece’s new Minister of Finance Giannis Varoufakis had already called on Germany to shift from an “authoritarian” to a “hegemonic policy” that would not use its economic power to hold the EU countries down, but to allow them to participate in the hegemonic benefits, as Washington had once done for the Federal Republic of Germany with its Marshall Plan. Varoufakis wrote explicitly, “Europe” does not need an “authoritarian” but “a hegemonic Germany.”

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Report: Germany classified list of companies that helped build Syria’s CW stockpile

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The weekly Der Spiegel said Berlin received the list from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that was assigned the destruction of the CW stockpile and facilities of President Bashar Assad in 2013. About 1,400 Syrians were said to have been killed in Assad’s CW attacks.

“Berlin immediately classified the list and has since kept it under lock and key,” Der Spiegel said. “The government says that releasing the names would ‘significantly impair foreign policy interests and thus the welfare of the Federal Republic of Germany.’” Continue reading

Domino Effect

BERLIN/THESSALONIKI (Own report) – Berlin and the EU are massively violating Greece’s sovereignty to secure their political domination over Southeastern Europe. As was revealed by documents from the Athens-based Troika, with two German functionaries in the leadership, the government in Athens has received instructions on how to bypass the Greek Parliament. To counteract the foreseeable consequences of this interference – which is provoking protests and strengthening the camp of the opposition parties – Berlin is handing out money to Greek journalists, religious representatives, and artists. This interference is targeting the Greek public to neutralize the growing demands for restitution of debts stemming from Nazi crimes. It is also aimed at undermining the lawsuit against the Federal Republic of Germany, filed by Thessaloniki’s Jewish community. The German foreign ministry is in control of the payments to network the Greek “civil society” with the German elite.

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“Justice must be Done”

COLOGNE On the occasion of the anniversary of the Nazis’ November Pogroms, german-foreign-policy.com (gfp.com) spoke with the chairs of two prominent citizens’ initiatives about German commemorative culture and Germany’s responsibility for Nazi crimes. They are Hans-Rüdiger Minow spokesperson for the Board of Directors of the “Train of Commemoration” and Christoph Schwarz, spokesperson for the Board of Directors of “Stolen Children – Forgotten Victims.”

german-foreign-policy.com: ‘The 70th Anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp will be commemorated in January. Its survivors will look toward Germany. Would this be a reason for you to take stock?

Hans-Rüdiger Minow (“Train of Commemoration”): Should the survivors actually look toward Germany on January 27, 2015, they will do it with much bitterness and anger. Even in the seventieth year since these mass crimes, the Federal Republic of Germany is still refusing to live up to its inherited responsibilities.

Minow: Today they are German citizens. Even in relationship to its own citizens, Berlin does not acknowledge that the Federal Republic of Germany is heir to all the deeds and crimes committed by its predecessor government. On the other hand, Berlin does claim all the rights of this predecessor government, if it means a repudiation of this heritage.

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Conflict over Natural Resources

BERLIN/LIMA (Own report) – The Catholic relief organization Misereor is sharply criticizing the new “Raw Materials Partnership” accord, concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Peru. Misereor writes that it fears “an aggravation” of the already growing “social conflicts developing around mining projects” in this South American country. This recently signed raw materials treaty grants German companies privileged access to Peru’s resources. The German government has now “signaled the Peruvian government” that “the expansion of the raw materials sector takes priority” over social and ecological regulations affecting that sector. The “raw materials partnership” is one of the measures Berlin is implementing within the framework of its “raw materials strategy” adopted in 2010, to be able to stand its ground in the global competition for access to the most important natural resources – particularly in relationship to China. Peru is an important source of metallic raw materials for Germany. The guarantee of raw materials is more important to Berlin than Misereor’s misgivings. Continue reading

New Debate on the Responsibility for War

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

Russia breaks into top 5 world economies, displacing Germany

Russia has overtaken Germany as the fifth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, according to the latest World Bank ranking that measures 214 economies based on their 2012 GDP performance.

Russia’s oil and export driven economy is ranked fifth amongst the top ten economies in the world with $3.4 trillion in GDP. In 2011, Germany surpassed Russia in GDP with $3.227 trillion compared to Russia’s $3.203 trillion. In 2005, Russia was in eighth place.

Rank Country Purchasing Power Parity
1 United States $15.6 trillion
2 China $12.4 trillion
3 India $4.8 trillion
4 Japan $4.5 trillion
5 Russia $3.4 trillion
6 Germany $3.3 trillion
7 Brazil $2.4 trillion
8 France $2.4 trillion
9 United Kingdom $2.3 trillion
10 Mexico $2.0 trillion

The report was published last week in an annual ranking of GDP. The World Bank also updated their ranking of countries in terms of gross national product (GNP) per capita, grouping Russia in the ‘high income’ nation block, with individual yearly income of $12,616 or more. Continue reading

German Master Plans

While everyone’s focus nowadays is concentrated on mainly American “imperialism”, another nation is quitely and effectively making great strides at capturing the northern hemisphere.

PYONGYANG/BERLIN (Own report) – German foreign policy makers are reacting with great anticipation to the most recent announcement of an economic “opening” of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. According to head of state, Kim Jong Un’s declaration, the country is facing a “radical change of course,” which would not even exclude a “reunification” with the Republic of Korea. According to reports, German economic scholars and jurists are in Pyongyang helping to elaborate economic policies, which could also open up lucrative business opportunities for western companies. It has been reported that North Korea disposes of large deposits of natural resources and an extremely cheap work force. For several years, German experts, under contract of the FDP-affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation, have been working in Pyongyang to promote the “transformation from a planned to a market economy.” In addition, because of its experience in taking over the German Democratic Republic, South Korea considers the Federal Republic of Germany an important partner for advice and cooperation on the issue of “reunification.” The development taking place on the Korean peninsular is very important for the People’s Republic of China, whose national security is seriously affected. Continue reading

Afghanistan—Guess Who’s Not Leaving?

Much publicity is being given to the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. As to the strength of commitment to and the true nature of the drawdown, we shall have to wait to see what U.S. plan will emerge in the wake of the recent U.S. presidential elections.

Enter Germany. Continue reading