BERLIN (Own report) – The program of the Berlin Security Conference, which ended yesterday, included discussions on new steps toward creating an “army of the Europeans,” concerns over the possible erosion of the West’s “margin in defense capabilities” vis à vis Russia and China, as well as the role of artificial intelligence in future wars. Unlike the Munich Security Conference, this conference is not oriented on foreign policy but specifically on military policy and the arms industry, with more than a thousand military and business representatives, state officials, and politicians participating. Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen used the platform to launch a debate on steps toward limiting parliamentary reservations concerning an “army of the Europeans.” In the future, “Europe may have to provide for its own security, perhaps even completely independently” from US support, according to experts. This calls for rapidly enhancement of the use of artificial intelligence in warfare and a “European narrative” to legitimize EU wars.
A ‘Big Step Forward’ for Europe’s Vision of a Combined Military
Defense ministers and foreign ministers from 25 European Union member nations took a “big step forward” on November 19 in the direction of a European military, initiating 17 new European defense projects, including a shared school for spies.
The projects on the official list are from the latest November 19 agreement and the previous March 6 agreement, all facilitated under Europe’s Permanent Structured Cooperation pact, which is a framework for increased military cooperation and development among EU member states. Continue reading
EU defence and foreign ministers have agreed to create a joint intelligence training school and to develop new hardware, including drones and electronic warfare technology, as part of plans for what could one day be an “EU army”.
The “Joint EU Intelligence School” will “provide education and training in intelligence disciplines and other specific fields to EU member states intelligence personnel”, the EU Council said in a press release after ministers met in Brussels on Monday (19 November).
The project is to be led by Cyprus and Greece – two traditionally Russia-friendly states – at a time of heightened tension over Russian espionage operations in Europe and the Western Balkans, including assassination attempts in the UK and in Montenegro.
The EU foreign service already has a joint intelligence capability called IntCen. Continue reading
PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – The European Intervention Initiative (Initiative européenne d’intervention, IEI) initiated by Paris and supported by Berlin, will begin work this week. Representatives of the ten participating states took this decision in the French capital, yesterday. France’s President Emmanuel Macron promoted the IEI, aimed at rapid deployment capability, in search of gaining support for his country’s over-stretched armed forces. So far, Berlin has been applying the brakes. The German government is focused on systematically merging European troops, for example, within the framework of the EU’s “PESCO” projects and integrating European arms industries with the help of subsidies from the EU Defense Fund. In the future EU budget, the EU Defense Fund is to be increased thirty-fold, to more than €17 billion. Despite all the dissention, Berlin (with PESCO) and Paris (with IEI) are both seeking to establish a European armed forces, which can be deployed on a global scale, independent of the USA.
‘The UK is just as committed to Europe’s security in the future as it has been in the past.’
Germany and Britain signed a military pact on October 5 that ensures Britain will retain a military relationship with the European Union after Brexit. The agreement, signed in Germany by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, is intended to strengthen military cooperation between the two parties.
Von der Leyen called the agreement a “symbolically important sign” that the strategic partnership between Germany and Britain will continue after Brexit. The pact will reinforce British-European military cooperation “in the navy, the air force, and in cyber capabilities.” The agreement states that Germany and Britain are “determined to deepen and strengthen” their relationship by working together on their “common defense and security goals.” Continue reading
BERLIN/BAGHDAD/AL AZRAQ (Own report) – Berlin is considering the establishment of a permanent Bundeswehr base in the Middle East, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said during her recent visits to Jordan and Iraq. German Armed Forces could be stationed at Jordan’s Al Azraq Airbase for an extended period in relative proximity to Iraq – similar to the US Persian Gulf bases. Despite the military victory already achieved over the IS, the Bundeswehr’s deployment will, for the time being, be continued within the framework of the Anti-IS Coalition, to help rebuild Iraq, the German minister announced in Baghdad. Berlin has been seeking new influence in Iraq, for quite some time, also because Iran has been able to enhance massively its position in the country over the past few years. German Tornados taking off from Al Azraq Airbase, have already furnished reconnaissance data leading to the bombing of a school. Their flights over Syria are possibly in violation of international law. Continue reading
BERLIN: Germany on Wednesday announced a new agency to fund cutting-edge research on cyber security and to end its reliance on digital technologies from the United States, China and other countries.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told reporters that Germany needed new tools to become a key player in the field of cybersecurity and shore up European security and independence. Continue reading
German chancellor voices approval for French president’s military integration proposal.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared on Sunday, June 3, that she held a “positive view” of French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for further European military integration.
Macron outlined his plan for a reformed eurozone in a September 2017 speech. He called for a European Union military intervention force with a budget agreed upon by the year 2020. He has been pushing for Germany to come on board with such a plan for a European military unity, stating, “Our ambitions cannot be realized alone. I have said it already several times, they need to be accompanied by Germany’s ambitions.” Continue reading
The editor in chief of Europe’s largest newsmagazine has written America’s obituary—quite literally. The title of Klaus Brinkbäumer’s new book is An Obituary for America: The End of a Friendship and the Future of the West.
In it, the Der Spiegel editor in chief reaches two surprising conclusions: America is dead, and Germany should be happy about it.
Spiegel Online published an article adapted from Brinkbäumer’s book under the title “Thank You, Donald! What Trump Means for Germany’s Future.”
The U.S., writes Brinkbäumer, is no longer a reliable partner. Therefore “we must emancipate ourselves.” Continue reading
BERLIN (Own report) – Germany’s defense minister reaffirmed that Berlin is basically ready to participate in military aggressions, such as the recent western attack on Syria. “We could also fulfill the contribution from the air that Great Britain had made in this case,” said Ursula von der Leyen, but “we weren’t asked this time.” She made this declaration in full knowledge of the fact that the Reference and Research Service of the German Bundestag – like numerous other legal experts – had classified that attack a clear violation of international law. According to the expert assessment of the parliamentary jurists, it was a “retaliation” patterned after military interventions preceding the First World War. Legality was not the justification for those attacks, but rather a subjective political moral legitimation. Claiming “legitimacy,” other countries may also decide to engage in military aggressions, warn experts. Admitting such a change of paradigm would cause “more, rather than less human suffering.”
Germany’s Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, has said that the EU should move to a system of majority vote for foreign policy decisions, a clear push to stop any government from blocking deeper EU military integration. Continue reading
The German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was being touted as a possible successor to Merkel. She has spoken at the Munich Security Conference stating that there must be “the common will to actually use the military weight when circumstances require it.” Leyen has come out saying that Germany should no longer hide behind its history, but must accept that soldiers must fight for the security of the nation and the freedom of the people. Leyen’s French colleague, Florence Parly, has also called for closer European military cooperation. Continue reading
To many, Europe today is a military weakling. It has looked this way before—only to shock the world with its strength.
One nation is working “behind the scenes” to bring European armies together. It is swallowing entire armies, and bringing foreign soldiers under its control, without firing a shot.
And this is rarely reported in Western media.
This nation is quietly building a massive new military power in Europe. Continue reading
BERLIN/BRUSSELS(Own report) – The German government has announced that the EU Military Union will be officially launched this Monday, with the European Council formally adopting 17 projects aimed at creating joint EU military structures. Germany is in charge of the establishment of a European Medical Command, considered an indispensable element of future EU military operations, alongside the European Air Transport Command, which has existed since 2010. Berlin is also establishing logistical structures that would facilitate rapid interventions. The German Bundeswehr is also active in both fields within the NATO framework. The operational preparation for future military missions is influenced by a fierce power struggle between Germany and France. According to the German ministry of defense, the military union is not only aimed at reaching more “independence” from the United States, but also at advancing EU “integration,” which is difficult to achieve with civilian means. Continue reading
BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO(Own report) – Nearly five years after the European military mission was launched in Mali, experts are describing the country’s situation as a disaster and warning against Berlin and Paris’ further militarization of the Sahel. Mali “has never” seen “such a level of violence” as “currently,” says a former French diplomat. The regional conflicts cannot be solved militarily, explained the International Crisis Group, a pro-western think tank, using the example of a Burkinabe province at the border with Mali, where, even though it was possible to suppress jihadi unrest, for the time being, the conflict can again flare up at any time, because the reasons for the unrest have not been dealt with. Nevertheless, the German government supports the creation of an intervention force of the “G5 Sahel” group of countries, which launched its first military operation yesterday. Despite the disastrous consequences of militarization, the Bundeswehr is using the Mali mission as the focus of its PR campaign.