Even Closer to the Conflicts

BERLIN (Own report) – The German government has entered the new year with the announcement of new global policy ventures and a plea not to shy away from “difficult decisions” in international conflicts. Berlin must assume “responsibility” and seek “global solutions,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, sees Germany having been moved “even closer to the crises and conflicts” of the present day, by its two-year membership on the UN Security Council, which began January 1. Berlin seeks to use its seat on that body to impose a formulation of EU foreign policy and induce Paris to submit to joint activities described as “European.” In the meantime, there are appeals from within the Protestant Church for an expansion of Bundeswehr missions. Beginning January 1, the Bundeswehr, has assumed command, of NATO’s “Spearhead” intervention forces, which, within 72 hours, can be deployed anywhere on mission. Should NATO launch a mission this year, the Bundeswehr would be at the cutting edge. Continue reading

Export World Champion under Pressure

BERLIN (Own report) – With intense shuttle diplomacy, members of the German government are seeking to avert the impending US punitive tariffs on European goods and the loss of access to the important US market. Following Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz’s visit to the US capital yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Washington on Friday. Already in the run up to these visits, Berlin seems ready to envisage a revival of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This strategic decision is accompanied by a clear frontline position against China, as was resolutely demanded by the Trump administration. In addition, German-Russian business relations are increasingly under attack in Washington. At the same time, EU criticism of Germany’s unilateral trade policies is growing. Germany’s export oriented economy is particularly vulnerable to the protectionism that is gaining strength on a global scale. Berlin’s Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Policy could prove a strategic disadvantage under these new global economic conditions. Continue reading