Threats, Protection Money, War

MUNICH |

MUNICH (gfp.com) - Chancellor Angela Merkel demands more German influence in NATO and wants to increase the force of impact of the western war alliance through worldwide cooperation with third states. The plans, which Merkel made public last Saturday at the Munich armament meeting, extend the military-financial potential of the Transatlantic Pact and supplement US plans. According to US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, the NATO member states must decisively augment their defense budgets, in order to relieve the corresponding US budgets, which has attained US Dollar 600 billion. The German-American program seeks to extend the deployment of NATO to within the China Sea and is clearly directed at Beijing. The intended entry of Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO, as announced in Munich, and which the Georgian president and the Ukrainian defense minister demanded on Saturday, is seeking confrontations with Moscow. At the same time the Islamic world is being threatened with war. The German defense minister contemplates an assault ("military strike") on Iran but "at present" excludes this option. The comprehensive German-American alliance plans, lead to a further reduction of the global political significance of France.

According to the demands made by German Chancellor Merkel in Munich, NATO should expand its war capability to all continents and decisively increase cooperation with third states. As "partners in security," these allies of NATO would have to be gathered from "other regions of the world", explained the German head of state.[1] Considering the "multiplicity of crisis centers" and the "diversity (...) of the conflicts" the western military alliance must "intensify" its cooperation notably with Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Also African states (African union, NATO-Mediterranean Dialogue) should be linked more closely to the US and Germany. German Defense Minister, Jung, pleaded for a politico-military inclusion of the Golf-Cooperation Council.[2] German plans indicate a clear enlargement of the western war potential through affiliation of hitherto independent or indirectly associated regional alliances.

Billions for the war

This expansion is necessary, in order to make up for the further sky-rocketing war costs to the US and its NATO allies. New NATO members and cooperation partners are to pay protection money out of their national budgets. The perpetuity of western wars is threatening the finances of the leading western power. Washington announced Friday, that it must increase its defense budget by five per cent to approximately US $440 billion; in addition at least US $120 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Particularly augmented are outlays for special operation forces and psychological operation units, as well as, occupation forces ("stabilization efforts units").[3] In order to prohibit further strains on the US budget, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called on NATO states to also increase their military budgets. In Brussels, the goal has been set at two per cent of the gross domestic product. If Germany were to reach this goal, it would mean an inevitable two digit billion augmentation of the defense budget. Not unlike the US, also Berlin shifts the war loans onto third parties and "in consideration of the budgetary situation" refuses to make such increases.

Against France

The German-American plans boil down to a further reduction of the global political significance of France. The French Defense Minister Michèle Alliot Marie warned that NATO, with an expansion of its worldwide cooperation, could overextend itself. Paris, which sees itself as a western antipole to the US, seeks to limit an increase in NATO power, in order to maintain and elaborate its own influence potential. The entry of Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO, as Georgian President Saakashvili and the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Grytsenko, demanded [4], also conflicts with French interests, since Paris would not like to see further inroads of US influence into Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

Against China

The intentions announced by Chancellor Merkel are aimed, above all, at the People's Republic of China. This is evidenced by the project to strengthen NATO cooperation with Japan. Tokyo, for quite some time, has been trying to shake off the politico-military restrictions imposed by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of the Second World War and attain its own warfare capability. Beijing is observing these efforts of its East Asian rival with uneasiness and warns Tokyo against reviving its traditional plans of hegemony in the China Sea.[5] The German NATO call addressed to Japan, supplements recent attempts to heave Japan into the UN Security Council and to further enhance Japan's international position. NATO's strategy against China becomes clear with the example of Australia and New Zealand. In reference to a future military ring closing in on China's southern flank, it was proposed in Munich that these US allies are to cooperate more closely with the North Atlantic Pact. Economic measures, aimed at keeping Chinese enterprises out of Southeast Asia, were the central theme of an economic conference that preceded the Munich security conference.[6]

To Act Autonomously

The aggressive program for a world-wide NATO advance, finds its current expression in the conflict around Iran's energy policy. Even though Teheran is not violating international law, Berlin is threatening with military measures, a "military strike".[7] The German Defense Minister couched this threat in provisional and purely subjective conditional considerations, which allows the belligerent character to be even more clearly accentuated ("a military strike is, for the time being from my point of view, not on the agenda").[8] As Chancellor Merkel stated, Berlin strives to build as broad of an alliance as possible against Teheran and wants particularly to pull Russia in. But it will depend also on "the stance on the issue of Iran adopted by countries which are gaining in prominence - I will cite China, India and Brazil as three examples among many", said the German head of state in Munich.[9] The People's Republic of China can block UN measures against Teheran with a veto in the UN Security Council. In Berlin this does present an obstacle to military measures. "NATO can take action within the framework of the United Nations peacekeeping system (...)", stated Defense Minister Jung in Munich, But "NATO must also be in the position to act autonomously."[10]

Militarization

The announcements confirm an inexorable crusade for subjugation and war carried into all corners of the world, that dare to oppose western economic interests. Although the military threats against Iran fundamentally run counter to the German constitution's peace imperative, they are perceived in relevant German media organs as appropriate. A basic challenging of the proliferating militarization of German foreign policy is not taking place.

[1] Angela Merkel: Rede auf der 42. Münchner Konferenz für Sicherheitspolitik am 4. Februar 2006; www.securityconference.de
[2] Franz-Josef Jung: Rede auf der 42. Münchner Konferenz für Sicherheitspolitik am 4. Februar 2006; www.securityconference.de
[3] Amerika stockt Spezialeinheiten auf; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 04.02.2006
[4] see also In neuen Grenzen
[5] see also Elite of Nations
[6] see also "Chinas Hoflieferanten"
[7] see also Under Time Pressure
[8] Militärschlag für Jung kein Thema; dpa 03.02.2006
[9] Angela Merkel: Rede auf der 42. Münchner Konferenz für Sicherheitspolitik am 4. Februar 2006; www.securityconference.de
[10] Franz-Josef Jung: Rede auf der 42. Münchner Konferenz für Sicherheitspolitik am 4. Februar 2006; www.securityconference.de