Background Report: War for the ,,greater region"of Europe

SCHNELLRODA (Own report) |

SCHNELLRODA (Own report) Political circles between conservatism and rightwing extremism who agree with the basic direction of Berlin's foreign policy, view it as being influenced by too many internal political and diplomatic considerations. They say that one would have to revert to such notorious concepts as ,,geopolitics"and the ,,greater region"according to the ,,law of power"which governs the lives of states. This strategy is to be promoted by a new periodical which is supported by members of the German military and foreign policy advisors.

The publisher of the periodical ,,Sezession", the ,,Institut für Staatspolitik"(IfS - institute for government policy) which was established in 2000 is considered, by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, to be part of the media project ,,Junge Freiheit"and thus part of the ,,New Right"in Germany, which functions not only as an ideological forge but also as a ,,bridge to the social center."The new right institute is closely associated with the weekly, ,,Junge Freiheit", which is known to be rightwing extreme: Two of the three IfS founders have been its original authors. The prelude of a series of lectures in September 2000 was organized jointly by ,,Junge Freiheit"and IfS. The IfS acts as an ,,elite training center"for the formation of an ,,intellectual elite"which will assist Germany in regaining its position as a global power to which it is, supposedly, entitled.

Tradition...

The political direction of these circles is determined substantially by members of the ,,Deutsche Gildenschaft"(DG - German guild), to which belong the chief editor of the ,,Junge Freiheit"as well as two of the three members of the IfS-original staff. The DG founded in the 1920s, claimed ,,to provide politically nationalist-trained college graduates to serve the ethnic national community and political state as future leaders in government, policy, economy and culture."In fact a number of leading ,,ethnic researchers"and ,,racial"politicians of the National Socialist era came from the ranks of the DG.

... and continuities

When the DG was re-established in 1958, personnel and ideological continuity was unmistakable: For example after the war, Theodor Oberländer, accused of serious war crimes, rose to the position of federal minister for expellee affairs and ran, together with brothers of the guild, the re-establishment of the infamous ,,Eastern research."Politically between conservatism and neo-Fascism, the DG held positions within as well as close to the circle of the neo-Fascist NPD and the two Christian union parties (CDU and CSU). In the Hessian state government, led by the CDU, members of the DG held numerous influential positions. Similarly, the DG is well anchored in the German ,,expellee"organizations: Members of the guild hold positions of leadership in the ,,Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft"(organization of Sudeten Germans) and the rightwing extreme ,,Witikobund."The former president of the Federal Center for Political Education (until 2000) was a member of the DG.

According to the ,,Handbuch des deutschen Rechtsextremismus"(handbook of German rightwing extremism), the DG attempts to ,,keep open a German leadership role based on geopolitics and ethnic-nationalism. The DG supports these theses with the historicization and relativization of National Socialism."The DG insists in its keynote address of 1992 on the ,,retention of national identity,"proclaims its fight against the ,,dearth of national consciousness"and demands the ,,active support for German nationalism and ethnicity."These positions appeal not only to the rightwing fringe but also to German elites. Arnulf Baring, historian and prominent conservative publicist in Germany, announced in December of 2002 during an event of the IfS, that in view of the cowardice of acting politicians concerning current challenges and inevitability of drastic solutions, a revision of ,,negative nationalism"would be indispensable: Sacrifices are only reasonable and the country can only be mobilized when it is possible to positively ,,appeal to a feeling of community"and when the collective ,,we"can pass the test as an emergency organization in case of doubt.

,,Geopolitics"...

The foreign policy orientation of the IfS, the new rightwing ,,elite training center"basically conforms to current German foreign policy. The ,,military and foreign policy disagreement and lack of planning by the Europeans"is criticized in the periodical ,,Sezession" 1)followed by the conclusion that ,,there would be no alternative to Germany's dependence on the USA in short or medium terms." 2)Germany's ,,central position"(the ,,geopolitical constellation of the heartland"), necessitates looking west and east and, for this reason, approaching Russia would be of mutual benefit: ,,Only by joining Russia can Europe gain new self-confidence and become a global power which has the courage to be such. (...) For the Europeans (...) Russia re-opens regions from which they had been temporarily cut off and which, together with Europe, establish a greater region (...). Together with Europe the most important nuclear power after the USA will, once again, justify its function as a global power, especially to Europe's advantage during conflicts in the Eurasian region." 3)

... and war...

The new rightwing publication shares the basic orientation of Berlin's foreign policy, but views it as too much under the influence of internal politics and diplomatic considerations. Foreign Minister Fischer recognizes that everything depends on ,,interests"in international relations, but is not sufficiently consequent. In contrast the IfS orients itself toward war, an ,,anthropological constant"with a ,,tougher and colder, but more honest theory of politics"(the concept of the ,,law of power"governs the lives of states). For this position, the new rightwing ,,elite training center"obviously finds adherents among the German military. Two former leading officers of the federal army publish in the first edition of its periodical which appears under the motto of ,,war."

Retired Colonel, Klaus Hammel, former chief of staff of a military district, quotes the Israeli military theoretician, van Creveld, as chief witness for the concept that war is supposed to be a cultural asset: ,,It is the perfect adventure, the highest form of testing and discovering oneself and, for that reason, also the highest form of freedom."The current federal armed forces, however (a ,,bureaucratic machine with neither purpose nor spirit"), is not sufficiently armed for this adventure. Besides, he continues, it is prohibited from being a ,,German army"; and not permitted to enjoy a tradition. For that reason it is isolated from an important role model - the German military: ,,The German army was an excellent fighting organization. Evidently, with regard to morale, drive, troop cohesion and elasticity among the armies of the 20th century none were its equal."

... for the ,,greater European region"

The second author of the new rightwing periodical is First Lt. Erich Vad, former general staff officer in the defense ministry and now security policy advisor to the CDU/CSU in the Bundestag (lower house of parliament). Vad complains about the ,,inability to act"of the German ,,current post-bourgeois political class"and presents as an antidote the political philosophy of Carl Schmitt, a National Socialist ideologue, who provided the rationale for the German claim to exclusive control of the European continent ( ,,the greater region").

Vad argues that the concept of the ,,greater region"and the prohibition of interventions for ,,powers foreign to that region", which Schmitt developed toward the end of the 1930s, is not obsolete. States can, as usual, build their own spheres of influence and protect them with proper geopolitical and geo-strategic measures, as long as their political, military and economic potential enables them to do so. According to the military policy advisor, the fact that the German project of a ,,greater European region"failed again and again, is not an argument against its necessity: ,,Europe constitutes, like other geopolitical regions, a unit based on world view, living conditions, traditions, customs and religions (...) and must, in order to continue, assert an adequate claim to power and justify it ideologically."

,,Offensive war"

The ex-officer refers to a further central concept, by the NS-ideologue Schmitt, which could be considered valid today as well: ,,The determination of policy by differentiating between friend and foe."Still to be explained is the question as to who has the power and, because of it, the right to define the ,,enemy"as well as to destroy him: ,,Who has the right to define the enemy - and to take action against him by all means - in other words, with weapons of mass destruction under certain circumstances? Who may impose, and - if necessary preemptively - enforce punishment against a defined enemy?" 4)

Support for these positions of the new rightwing ,,elite training center"IfS is found even among the circles of official Berlin foreign policy which have been criticized as being too soft. Thus, Gebhard Geiger, on the staff of the research group for defense policy of Berlin's most important foreign policy think tank, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP - foundation for science and policy), writes about the ,,offensive information war"in the first edition of the IfS's periodical which is dedicated to war. During the ,,winter academy"of the IfS, the participants became convinced, along the line of Geiger's analyses and conclusions, that ,,the only defense is preemption"based on the example of the USA: ,,New US military doctrines openly speak of the necessity of preemptive war in the areas of proliferation, terrorism and, particularly, the computer-based information war."

1) See also earlier articles The will to world powerand ,,Downfall or ascent to world power"
2) See also earlier article Complementary war power
3) See also earlier article BASF: Access to the largest energy reserves of the world
4) See also earlier articles German Global Warand EU Strategy: ,,Preemptive Wars", worldwide

Sources:
Verfassungsschutz NRW: Die Kultur als Machtfrage - Die Neue Rechte in Deutschland; www.im.nrw.de/verfassungsschutz
Ein Institut zur ideologischen Aufrüstung der CDU: Die Deutsche Gildenschaft und die Gründung des ,,Instituts für Staatspolitik"; DISS-JOURNAL 8 (2001); www.uni-duisburg.de/DISS
Erich Vad: Freund oder Feind - zur Aktualität Carl Schmitts; Sezession Heft 1, April 2003, www.sezession.de
Gebhard Geiger: Offensiver Informationskrieg; Sezession Heft 1, April 2003, www.sezession.de
Klaus Hammel: Autorenportrait Martin van Creveld; Sezession Heft 1, April 2003, www.sezession.de
Moritz Schwarz: Interview mit Martin van Creveld; Sezession Heft 1, April 2003, www.sezession.de
Karlheinz Weißmann: Delikatesse gegenüber dem Hegemon; Sezession Heft 2, Juli 2003, www.sezession.de
Eberhard Straub: Kontinentalblock Eurasien; Sezession Heft 2, Juli 2003, www.sezession.de
Winterakademie: Krieg; www.staatspolitik.de