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BERLIN/RIYADH | | saudi-arabien

BERLIN/RIYADH (Own report) - Germany is helping Saudi Arabia establish an independent arms industry. Via its South African subsidiary, the Rheinmetall Group has already set up an ammunition factory in Riyadh, in which Saudi Arabia can produce artillery shells and bombs for its Air Force. Next month, a Rheinmetall manager will be appointed chair of the new arms producer - SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries). Saudi Arabia, which competes with Russia for the third place of countries with the highest military budgets, is seeking to buy half its weaponry eventually from domestic companies. SAMI should thus become one of the 25 most important arms manufacturers in the world - with close contacts to US arms manufacturing giants and the EU's military industry. This project is being launched at a time when Riyadh is on an extremely aggressive course, to win a power struggle with Iran for predominance in the Middle East. more…

BERLIN/RIYADH | | saudi-arabienyemen

BERLIN/RIYADH (Own report) - Despite Saudi Arabia's sea blockade, starving Yemen, Germany continues upgrading the Saudi Coast Guard's weaponry. At the beginning of November, a cargo vessel carrying two patrol boats for Saudi Arabia left the Baltic Sea headed for the Red Sea. The Saudi Coast Guard is also operating in Yemeni waters, where Riyadh has been blocking the entry of food, fuel and medicine into Yemen since 2015. Saudi Arabia is also blocking container ships with humanitarian aid supplies, which had been inspected for possible arms smuggling and given United Nations clearance. Even vessels transporting medicine under UN control were delayed for months permitting a significant portion to expire. The number of suspected cholera infections is climbing toward a million. The famine caused by Riyadh - also possibly using German patrol boats - could cost "millions" of lives, the United Nations estimates. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - According to Germany's Ministry of Defense "notification" for the expansion of THE EU's military cooperation will be given at the beginning of next week. As the ministry announced, "more than 20 EU member countries" are expected to sign up to "PESCO" at next Monday's EU defense ministers meeting. Within the PESCO framework, an EU Army - still opposed by some EU member countries - is to be initiated "from below." First plans include the establishment of a logistics hub and a core element of a military headquarters in Brussels. "We Europeans must finally take our defense into our own hands," says the CDU parliamentarian and foreign policy expert Elmar Brok. These measures taken by the EU are designed to supplement a merger of European armed forces, which Berlin is also promoting within NATO, for example with the subordination of foreign military units to German command. The defense ministry declares that this is "a grassroots issue." more…

KIEL/KALKAR/INGOLSTADT/BERLIN |

KIEL/KALKAR/INGOLSTADT/BERLIN (Own report) - In view of the power struggle with Russia, German military officials are strongly emphasizing the importance of the "Center of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters" for NATO's naval activities. The Center, based in Kiel, was founded ten years ago and is becoming a "magnet" for states bordering the Baltic Sea, which in growing numbers are joining the center out of fear of armed conflict with Russia, according to experts. Like NATO's other 23 Centers of Excellence, the center in Kiel elaborates strategies, analyzes military developments and conducts advanced training courses for senior staff members from NATO states. All but one of NATO's Centers of Excellence are located in Europe and are coordinated by a French NATO commander - a sign that NATO's "European pillar" is seeking to play a key role in the war alliance's further development. more…

BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO | | maliburkinaniger

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. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is promoting its military policy by focusing on combat activities in Mali. On its YouTube channel, the Bundeswehr recently launched a series on German soldiers stationed in Mali. Almost at the same time, the German Foreign Ministry inaugurated on its premises an exhibition on German relations with this West African country. Whereas, the YouTube series is aimed at recruiting the next generation of soldiers, the exhibition is presenting Germany as a "reliable partner" in the "capacity building of Mali's security forces." The German Defense Ministry is also publishing propaganda reports on the operations of German troops in Mali, almost on a daily basis. The YouTube series is presenting these soldiers as combatants in the service of "peacekeeping," who unselfishly defy "dust, dirt and extreme heat." Inversely, the "background information" offered in this context reveal numerous parallels to the YouTube series' propaganda lines. more…

BRUSSELS/BERLIN/LONDON | | grossbritannien

BRUSSELS/BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) - A defamatory German newspaper article and its alleged source - an insider of the EU's bureaucracy - are increasingly impeding the Brexit negotiations. Martin Selmayr, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's Chief of Staff is being blamed for leaking alleged details of a private conversation between Juncker and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May to a German daily. The content - untrue, according to Juncker - could be very damaging for Great Britain in the Brexit negotiations. Selmayr, who, already months ago, declared that the Brexit would "never be a success," is considered the most powerful bureaucrat in Brussels. He is not only known as Juncker's gatekeeper, but also known for his "very authoritarian rule." Other Germans in key EU positions are also involved in the Brexit negotiations. more…

BERLIN/LONDON | | grossbritannien

BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) - Following last week's EU summit, the Anglo-Saxon media has been debating the uncertainty of Berlin's attitude toward Brexit. The hitherto widely held opinion that, in view of the massive German business interests in the country, Chancellor Angela Merkel would offer the United Kingdom a good deal, is giving way to a new skepticism. Commentators no longer rule out that Berlin would prefer a "hard" Brexit to lure significant segments of the export and finance industries, now located in Great Britain, to the European mainland. German media is fueling this fear. British fears of a mass exodus, particularly of the London financial branch, are the "biggest point of leverage" Germany has to be able to impose its demands during the negotiations. German demands include the payment of up to 90 billion euros for the Brexit. more…