Last month, German-Foreign-Policy.com reported that “government advisers in Berlin are debating war scenarios for a possible Western military intervention in Syria” (March 6). Citing reports from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (swp), an influential think tank that advises the Bundestag and the German government on foreign policy, German-Foreign-Policy.com reported on the growing discussion in Germany over the need for foreign military intervention in Syria, and the need for Berlin to play a leadership role.
The swp says Syria is descending into a full-scale civil war. This, according to some experts, would undoubtedly demand foreign military intervention. According to the swp’s director of the Security Policy Research Group, “Even though ‘all Western countries show basic signs of war fatigue,’ their ‘readiness’ to go to war could be ‘reactivated’ if the humanitarian situation deteriorates—as the West’s interventionist mood has shown during the war on Libya” (ibid).
This week, German-Foreign-Policy.com cited a German government adviser stating that in the event of military intervention in Syria, “German participation should be assured.”
Again, why does Berlin appear substantially more interested in the crisis in Syria than it was with Libya? Because overthrowing the pro-Iranian, anti-Western Assad regime meshes with Berlin’s larger geopolitical and strategic ambitions for the Middle East! As Karsten D. Voigt, the German government’s former coordinator of German-American cooperation, recently explained, the tension between the West and Syria and its international allies is not about “human rights versus dictatorship”—it’s about “geostrategic interests.”
One of Germany’s primary aims in the Middle East is to develop an axis with Middle Eastern states that oppose Iran.
As the Trumpet has long reported, this explains why Germany has for years been stepping up its political, financial and military investment in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordon. Berlin has formed solid trade relationships with virtually all these countries, covering every industry from telecommunications to the military. A recent European Commission summary report, for example, showed that the EU, led by Germany, was the world’s largest exporter of weapons to Saudi Arabia and that in 2010 EU member states delivered at least €3.3 billion (us$4.34 billion) worth of military equipment and licenses to Riyadh.
Germany’s interest in Syria’s revolution must be considered in this context. From Berlin’s perspective, the rebellion in Syria is a prime opportunity to transform the country into a pro-German, pro-Arab state. It believes Assad’s downfall would be devastating to Iran and its radical Islamist supporters.
For Germany, Syria’s revolution isn’t about a humanitarian crisis at all. It’s about geopolitics and the advancement of Germany’s strategic interests in the Middle East!