MUNICH/BERLIN(Own report) – The organizers of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), one of the world’s most important military policy conferences, are urging that the EU’s transformation into a war alliance be accelerated. The European Union of states should be able to take on “missions,” similar to the 2011 military operation against Libya, at any time, according to a recent report by the Munich Security Conference, the McKinsey management consulting firm and the elite Hertie School of Governance. Not only drastic increases in the military budgets are being demanded of the EU members, but, above all, investments in modern military equipment. The authors of the report not only emphasize the harmonization of European weapon system standards but are also demanding that EU-states invest more in research, and to a growing extent, involve universities, branches of civilian industries and so-called start-up enterprises. According to the MSC Chairman, the German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, these are “essential” decisions, because it is “unsustainable” for the EU to continue to rely on US “protection.”
United States President Donald Trump was correct in his assessment that the North Atlantic Alliance is outdated, Associate Professor in International Politics at the Universiteit Antwerpen Tom Sauer asserted, saying that the bloc should be replaced by a new security organization that will encompass countries in Europe and Asia.
“NATO should be transformed or even be replaced by a new Eurasian-Atlantic collective security organization that includes Russia. That will also be in the interest of Ukraine and the Baltic states,” the analyst wrote for the National Interest. 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
Europe doing more means Germany doing more.
United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave European nations a blunt ultimatum a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday: Spend more, or lose U.S. support.
“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” he said. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”
“America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense,” he warned. 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
The Fourth Reich rising:
A LEADING German diplomat has called for the creation of a Europe-wide law enforcement agency similar to the American FBI with powers to arrest and detain terror suspects.
Wolfgang Ischinger warned the current security arrangement on the continent amounted to a “fair-weather” police force that is ill-equipped for the threat from Islamic State.
Mr Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, said the attacks in Paris and Brussels had laid bare the flaws in national security agencies and their ability to share intelligence.