Citizen Participation (I)

BERLIN (Own report) – The Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS) is calling for a propaganda campaign to strengthen the German population’s resilience to attacks in their country by enemy combatants. In collaboration with “media partners” and “civil society,” an “understanding” must be achieved that “firmness against crisis” by each citizen towards “terrorist attacks” forms an “integral part” of society’s overall resilience,” explains the government’s military policy think tank. BAKS explicitly refers to the “White Paper on Security Policy and Future of the Bundeswehr,” presented by the German Defense Ministry in 2016, which is also pleading “to improve the ability of both state and society to withstand and adapt” to all kinds of attacks, necessitating a “whole-of-government approach to security.” The state-owned Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft had launched urban projects along the same lines, already years ago, in which “each individual citizen” is considered “part of a comprehensive concept of resilience to multiple security risks.”

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Taiwan Loses Panama to China

Panama’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands as they exchange documents after signing a joint communiqué on establishing diplomatic relations, in Beijing on June 13, 2017. GREG BAKER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

The island just got lonelier.

Taiwan has lost one of its precious few allies. Panama cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan on Tuesday. The Panamanian government said there was “only one China” and Taiwan is part of it. This is another blow to the independence of a small island nation trying to keep free from the Communist control of China.

 

China is the second biggest user of the Panama Canal. Since 1997, the Trumpet has tracked and reported how Chinese companies have gained control of the majority of the ports and loading bays of the Panama Canal, the latest of which was bought in June of last year. Chinese investment in the Central American nation is growing as Chinese companies are developing the purchased ports in Panama and developing the land around the Panama Canal.

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Giving Japan a military

Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighters fly over the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Carl Vinson during a Japan-U.S. joint training drill exercise in the Sea of Japan on June 1. | AP

 

After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated his desire to change the Constitution by 2020 to include a clause to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces. The revision, while historically controversial domestically, is long overdue. Continue reading

Germany’s European Army and an Interview With the Son of Hitler’s Lawyer and Top Nazi

 

In addition to our regular This Week in Germany feature, we want to pass on an exciting announcement: Tomorrow, German journalist and author Niklas Frank will visit our Edstone campus near Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Frank is the son of Hans Frank, the man that Adolf Hitler appointed governor general of Poland during World War ii. Continue reading

America’s Dying Aluminum Industry

And America still has no replacement for the Russian rockets it uses to send things into space with. America is hemorrhaging.

 

High purity aluminum is used to make jets such as this Boeing F-18. (ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES)

 

Cheap Chinese aluminum is undermining national security.

At the dawn of the 20th century, the United States of America emerged as a world power. At the heart of its rise was a powerful manufacturing economy. Following the rapid expansion westward of Manifest Destiny, the collective resources of the continent were combined with the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people. The steel smelters of Pittsburgh, and the automobile factories of Detroit were symbols of America’s manufacturing might.

While American manufacturing drove forward peacetime prosperity, it wasn’t long before it would be mobilized for war. The armies of freedom were fortunate that the American industrial machine was on the side of the Allies, for it proved unmatched in the world. It is doubtful that the Allies could have won World War II if America was less industrialized. Despite the vital nature of American manufacturing, it has crumbled into oblivion since 1945.

The continuous outsourcing of American manufacturing and the over production of other countries has eroded away any industry America had. The smelters around Pittsburgh have long disappeared, and Detroit has become a ghost town. While this has led to fewer jobs and domestic issues, it is also becoming a national security threat. Continue reading

Latvia Spots Three Russian Warships off Sea Border

Latvia spotted three Russian corvette ships 4 miles from its territorial waters on Sunday.

According to the military’s Twitter page it spotted the vessels Liven 551, Serpukhov 603 and Morshansk 824 near Latvian waters.

The sighting followed reports that Russia was readying vessels for the approach of a U.S. vessel. Local newspaper Fontanka said that Morshansk and a handful of other vessels were lined up around St. Petersburg’s Kronshtadt port—the location of Russia’s Leningrad naval base. Continue reading

Russia’s New Global Aims

The Cold War is back, but it is a different Cold War because it is a different Russia. It is important to know who the Russians are and what has shaped their worldview, including their sometimes justified suspicion and hostility toward the US.

Some features of Russian government go back to their beginnings as a country in the 10th century. Their geography places them very far north, which means that food, particularly grain harvests, are uncertain. The country has experienced more famine than feast. This is one reason for aggressively moving in on neighbors with better geography and better harvests (Ukraine and Belarus). Continue reading

Another 20 Million Could Come to Europe

[Shutterstock]

 

The President of the European Parliament has warned that Europe faces an inflow of up to 20 million African migrants in the coming years. Continue reading

Germany to Be a Bigger Military Power Than Russia

Caption: Bundeswehr soldiers (CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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

Who’s Contributing How Much To Financing NATO?

You will find more statistics at Statista

 

While the U.S. outspends all NATO allies when it comes to overall defence spending in relation to her GDP, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes – and President Trump is very well aware of – the U.S. is also the prime direct financer of NATO.

However, direct contribution are more evenly split between the major NATO powers. Germany for example, spends only 1.19 percent of her GDP into defence (USA = 3.61 percent) but seemingly pulls its weight when it comes to direct funding of NATO. This does not include contributions to particular military operations.

As George Friedman recently notedEuropeans must face two facts… Continue reading

America Is Pushing Germany to Become ‘the Leading Military Power in Europe’

Caption: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis hosts a joint press meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 15, 2017. (Brigitte N. Brantley/Flickr)

 

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

Germany Is Taking Back Gold from the United States

The German Central Bank’s (Bundesbank) member of the board Carl-Ludwig Thiele presents gold bars during a press conference at the headquarters of the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) in Frankfurt, Germany on February 9, 2017. (Abdulselam Durdak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

 

… and it’s ahead of schedule.


The German Central Bank announced on Jan. 16, 2013, that it would relocate the gold from New York to Frankfurt. This decision was made after the U.S. Federal Reserve refused to submit to an audit of German gold held in U.S. vaults. The Germans initially estimated it would take seven years to repatriate the gold, but in yesterday’s announcement, they revealed that they had completed the task four years ahead of schedule. Continue reading

2017: The Year Germany Is Forced to Lead

 

Since the end of World War II, Germany has generally been content in America’s shadow. The nation has been reluctant to show its power, being satisfied with economic success. But 2017 presents Germany with major international challenges. With a Russian ally in the White House, German Chancellor Angela Merkel could become Russian President Vladimir Putin’s enemy No. 1. The radical shifts in American foreign policy will force Germany to make tough decisions—and force it to try and unite Europe around whatever decision it makes. All this will force Germany to throw its weight around on the world scene in a way not often seen. Trumpet staff writer Richard Palmer examines why 2017 will be the year Germany is forced to lead. Continue reading

Murphy’s Law: The Empire Prepares For War Once More

Since the end of the Cold War in 1991 there has been growing pressure from many Japanese and Japanese allies for revisions of the Japanese constitution to allow weapons exports and more cooperation on military matters with allies that Japan depends on for much of its military defense. This is because of post-World War II reforms (and reaction to the military government that got the Japanese Empire into World War II, with disastrous results) that severely restricted Japanese defense policies. The post war constitution forbade Japan from possessing offensive military forces. Thus the Japanese armed forces are called the “Self Defense Forces.” It was decades before Japan could even bring itself to build major weapons for its self-defense forces. By the late 1980s Japanese companies found that they were quite good at building quality high tech weapons. At that point, an international marketing survey indicated that, if Japan were allowed to export weapons, they would eventually capture up to 45 percent of the world tank and self-propelled artillery market, 40 percent of military electronic sales, and 60 percent of warship construction. That seemed optimistic, but there was no doubt that the Japanese could produce world class weapons. Throughout the 1990s, Japanese manufacturers produced nearly $7 billion worth of weapons a military equipment a year, just for the self-defense force. Continue reading

The Foam of German Diplomacy

THESSALONIKI/BERLIN/FLORENCE (Own report) – When the German foreign minister appeared in the synagogue in Thessaloniki (Greece), he was met with strong protest from prominent members of the Jewish community. In his speech at the synagogue on December 4, (published by the German Foreign Ministry) Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) praised “our German hands to be used in the life of your community” – after Jewish life was eradicated under the Nazis. In his historical reflections, the German foreign minister alluded to the more than 50,000 Jewish Greeks, who, in 1943, had been forced to buy “Reichsbahn” tickets to Auschwitz, where they were murdered upon arrival. He did not utter a single word about the German receipts (89 million Euros) from those trips taking them to their death, or about Berlin’s refusal to pay its debts. Neither did Steinmeier mention the reimbursement of the several million Euros in racist “ransoms” as the Jewish community demands. Prominent Jewish Greeks were outraged because Berlin’s foreign policy is obviously undermining the legal claims of Nazi victims with moralist avowals and non-committal monetary hand-outs. Protests were also raised against Steinmeier’s being offered “honorary membership” in Thessaloniki’s synagogue. Steinmeier made similar appearances in relationship to Italian victims of Nazi mass crimes. Continue reading