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 →
Mogherini: “The political decision is finalised” (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)
EU states have cleared the way for a new HQ to take charge of three military missions in a “couple of days”, as well as broader plans for joint defence.
The HQ will, in the words of 28 defence ministers adopted on Thursday (18 May), “assume responsibilities at the strategic level for the operational planning and conduct of the EU’s non-executive military missions” including “the three EU Training Missions deployed in Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia”. Continue reading →
The European Union is to create a special military command center for operating foreign missions, the German defense minister announced amid criticism from some bloc members that the initiative is financially unreasonable and merely copies NATO’s steps.
EU foreign ministers “founded, or put in motion, today a European command center for foreign missions,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, according to AP.
Meanwhile, Britain has long criticized the bloc’s aspirations to launch its own army, saying the EU should not waste money on creating structures that match those set up by NATO. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, who was also present at the meeting, called on other EU ministers “to cooperate more closely with NATO to avoid unnecessary duplication and structures.”
German led, German dominated… and it’s now about to get its first taste of real military training throughout Africa.
Here comes the European Union Army.
The EU’s Soviet sounding – the name doesn’t give away its real purpose – Military Planning and Conduct Capabailities (MPCC) unit has just been set up for training missions in Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones.
The unit was created in rapid time, having only been sanctioned at discreet EU Council meeting in December. Continue reading →
The EU is set to move closer towards military integration (Getty)
BRUSSELS bureaucrats are said to be planning to set up a new military unit in a bid to increase greater defence cooperation, according to diplomats.
The division, known as the Military Planning and Conduct Capabilities (MPCC) unit, could be responsible for the EU training missions in African countries including Somalia, Mali and Central African Republic.
There are early suggestion the MPCC is set to be based in Brussels, the same location as the EU Military Staff (EUMS), who provide military expertise to EU members. Continue reading →
Gambian President and dictator Yahya Jammeh, facing a combined military force composed of Senegalese army troops, the Nigerian air force, and troops from Mali, Ghana, and Togo, has agreed to relinquish the presidency of Gambia. On December 1, 2016, Jammeh was defeated for re-election in a surprise upset by his little-known rival Adama Barrow. Jammeh received only 45 percent of the vote.
During the election campaign Jammeh vowed in an interview with the BBC to «rule for one billion years». After initially conceding defeat to Barrow, Jammeh reneged on his promise to step down and announced he would remain as president.Continue reading →
BERLIN/N’DJAMENA/BAMAKO (Own report) – Berlin is using today’s visit of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to enhance its rapidly growing military influence in West Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Africa early this week has already revealed Germany’s growing military importance on the African continent. According to reports, a “change” can already be noted, particularly in Mali. Traditionally within France’s exclusive sphere of influence, the EU, “fundamentally under German leadership,” is now increasingly determining that country’s development. The German government is also expanding the Bundeswehr’s activities and the supply of military hardware to Niger and Chad, along with the construction of a military base in Niger’s capital Niamey. Berlin is also seeking to obtain influence in the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria. The first accords on support measures had already been reached with Nigeria last year. Germany is enhancing its network of influence in West Africa by increasing the deployment of expeditionary troops, the establishment of military bases and by supplying military aid. This could possibly reduce France’s traditional political and military predominance in its former colonies.
BERLIN (Own report) – At this years German “Unification” celebrations in Dresden – three years after his first public appeal for an extensive German global policy – German President Joachim Gauck can look back on a successfully concluded phase. October 3, 2013, Gauck first called on Germany to become more involved – also militarily – in international affairs. The campaign initiated with his speech had been carefully prepared and was aimed at incorporating members of the German elite, such as university professors and journalists from leading media organs. The Bundeswehr’s recently adopted new White Paper is somewhat the official crowning of this campaign. In this paper, Berlin explicitly announced its commitment to global leadership, and, if necessary, to its enforcement by military means. At the same time, Berlin is pushing for the Bundeswehr’s arms build-up and the militarization of the EU. Germany is increasing its military involvement in the “Arc of Crisis,” as it is often called, meaning the arc of countries ranging from Mali, to Libya, Syria and Iraq.
It is easy to be cynical about the outpouring of grief from the European Union’s leaders on behalf of the roughly 800 migrants who drowned when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean last week. Those leaders pledged “determined action to prevent the loss of lives at sea and to avoid that such human tragedies happen again”—but that pledge was made in October 2013, the last time Europe saw a crisis of this kind.
Meanwhile, Europe’s press cries out for the EU to do more—both to rescue drowning migrants and to allow more of Africa’s struggling citizens into the Continent. “We have become accomplices to one of the biggest crimes to take place in European postwar history,” scolded Germany’s Spiegel magazine last week.
But Europe will not open its doors to tens of thousands of more African immigrants, making any debate over the morality of such a policy irrelevant. Just about all of Europe’s major leaders know that in the coming months after this crisis has blown over and been forgotten, they will face serious challenges from anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim parties. Opening the doors to impoverished Muslims from North Africa will only cost them votes. Continue reading →
BERLIN (Own report) – For the first time since 1990, the Bundeswehr will be increased in size, provided new capabilities and have its budget massively expanded. This was announced by Germany’s Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen. According to her announcement, from now on, the German military’s “human resources” will be flexibly determined. For now, an additional 14,300 military personnel and 4,400 civilians will be added by 2023. The military budget, which, in 2000, was still at 23 billion Euros, will be increased to 39.2 billion by 2020. This is the materialization of Berlin’s geopolitical ambitions, which have been massively propagated since the fall of 2013, with the energetic participation of Germany’s President, who has repeatedly called for a more offensive German global policy with the inclusion of its military. In the process, Germany aims to take control of a ring of countries bordering on Europe – some, rich in natural resources – that can constitute, above all, a “cordon sanitaire” designed to shield the prosperous European empire from all sorts of problems. Because the EU’s original plans to use political-economic means to dominate this ring of states have proven unsuccessful, the German government is now turning to an open show of military force.
BERLIN (Own report) – In an article published by the leading German foreign policy journal, an influential diplomat predicts that worldwide, there will be a further increase in the number of wars and their victims, this year. “The number of conflicts, their victims, and their refugees” has been increasing worldwide, for the past five years and this development will “most likely continue this year.” The journal, “Internationale Politik,” substantiates this assumption by presenting an overview of the current wars. Today’s deadliest wars – in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and South Sudan – are indeed a direct or indirect outcome of western hegemonic policies. With its military interventions or subversive support for insurgents, this policy is aimed at provoking pro-western putsches or weakening non-compliant states. “Internationale Politik” assesses the possibility of conflicts in China’s vicinity. During the years of China’s rise, western powers were unsuccessful in knitting strong ties with the resource-rich Arab world, in view of the impending power struggle with the People’s Republic of China. This power struggle is already emerging.
If it’s not limited to ISIS, then this could also be perceived as a hedge against Iran and possibly a new bloc opposed to Israel.
“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said. Continue reading →
BERLIN (Own report) – Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, is calling for the Bundeswehr’s deployment in Syria. It is high time, to discuss “seriously” the creation of so-called safe havens and “no-fly zones in and around Syria,” according to Ischinger. This “of course” would call for the participation of the German Armed Forces and in relationship to the deployment of ground forces, “nothing can be ruled out.” Ischinger is also providing justification for going to war. Whereas Syria has been submerged in war, because of the arms supplies furnished by the West and its regional allies to insurgent militias – including Al Qaeda and the “Islamic State” (IS), this influential diplomat claims that the current “conflagration” is the consequence of Western non-intervention. These war plans are, however, a reaction to Russia’s growing influence also in the Middle East. In recent months, Moscow has been holding extensive negotiations in view of settling the Syrian war. In his speech before the UN General Assembly on September 28, President Putin is expected to propose a new anti-IS coalition, with inclusion of the Syrian government. Therefore, in the framework of the Western Alliance, Berlin would like to counter Russia’s growing role in international politics.
KABUL/BERLIN/BAMAKO (Own report) – Berlin is legitimizing German military intervention by alleging it is to combat the causes of fleeing. The Bundeswehr must undertake operations in Mali, “so that people will no longer have to flee the violence and hopelessness,” claimed Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, early this week during her visit in Mali’s capital Bamako. She is using the current refugee crisis in Germany to arouse sympathy for the Bundeswehr’s interventions. However, with its aggressive foreign policy, Germany is actively helping create the causes for people to flee. A prime example is the Federal Republic of Germany’s Afghan policy since the 1980s. Together with other western governments, Bonn had exacerbated the Afghan civil war with its support for the Mujahidin. Millions of Afghans had to flee the country and Afghanistan has never recovered from its political, economic, and social devastation. The Bundeswehr’s deployment in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 and whose main mission was ended last year, has provoked a new wave of refugees.