Take Off Into the Summer

LEIPZIG/BERLIN/WASHINGTON |

LEIPZIG/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - On Thursday, March 23, NATO will take over the Leipzig Airport, as a staging area for strategic air transports to future theaters of war. Because of the German "lead nation" role, Berlin is sending the Defense Minister to Leipzig, who is accompanied by several of his NATO counterparts, the deputy NATO General Secretary, as well as, generals from at least five NATO states. The military takeoff and landing rights are to facilitate the NATO Response Force (NRF), a unit of 25.000, in the rapid transfer of its heavy multi-tonnage equipment, in special transport aircraft. In order to make the intended combat operations possible without time lapse, Leipzig takes over the loading of bulky weapons (tanks, helicopters, rockets) in a round-the-clock operation. German-foreign-policy.com has learned from military circles, that the German Defense Ministry is reckoning with the highest number flying hours for the freight contingent. In the opinion of various international law experts, these NATO activities in Leipzig is in violation of the 4-plus-2-Accord. The obvious breach of the agreements reached in 1990, meant to prevent NATO presence on the territory of the former GDR, is being met with protests from neighborhood and peace initiatives. The upcoming transfer of the staging area is preparing the German population for a permanent state of war on a world scale.

Last Monday (March 20), opponents of the militarization of the airport, wanted to draw attention to the NATO takeover with a prayer for peace in the Nikolai Church, in Leipzig. For Thursday (March 23), the initiators are calling for an inspection of the airport's Terminal B, which is where the NATO representatives will be congregating. In view of the expected protests, the military counter-intelligence service (MAD) speaks of a situation of increased danger in the Leipzig area. The Defense Ministry has announced "extensive security precautions".[1]

Combat helicopter

With the unusually prominent commissioning into service of several wide-body transport planes,[2] Berlin has demonstrated the military fulfillment of its role as "lead nation" in the establishment of a NATO air fleet for world-wide combat operations. The project had been decided upon in Prague, at the NATO summit in 2002. It was there, that Germany announced it would organize the "Strategic airlift Interim Solution" (SALIS), for making possible the relocation of over-tonnage weaponry within five days, to any point of the earth. As the German Defense Ministry admits in the meantime, it sought an airport with permanent night operations and undertook capacity studies. According to these studies, weapons of up to 120 tons must be transported per deployment. According to a military source available to german-foreign-policy.com, the material to be airlifted for "rapid deployment" to the Arab resource states (with stopover on Cyprus) will be at least "23 combat and support helicopters", numerous "armored C 2 (command and Control) facilities", "two combat squadrons" and approximately "198 track and 1495 wheeled vehicles, 1198 cannons" as well as "2177 tons of ammunition".

War costs

The wide-body, AN-124-100 transport aircraft promises to move these and even more extensive masses of material into the target area. The German military rents these machines from the Russian-Ukrainian Ruslan Salis GmbH.[3] Berlin has fulfilled the preparations before the deployment target date (set for October 1, 2006) - March 23 - and thereby complies to pressure exerted by the Pentagon, where, just a few days ago, the NATO Supreme Commander urged to hurry the preparations. According to Gen. James L Jones, the NATO Response Force is "not yet entirely secured",[4] since several of the NATO members involved, are behind in their finances. Therefore Washington fears that the intended rotation of the immense war costs onto its European partners ("transformation") could be a failure and endanger the planned supply of urgently needed material for the current combat operations in both the Middle East and Asia.

Ambush

According to Gen. Jones, the deployment objectives of the NATO Response Force (NRF), with Leipzig serving as an air turret, are clearly defined. Of highest priority, are combat operations for forcing the invasion of foreign territory ("forcible entry operations"), with a greater radius of operations than ever before.[5] This means a "paradigm shift" and differs from the "reactive, static, defensive" procedures of the cold war period, explains Gen. Jones concerning the coming projects, to which Leipzig functions as a German contribution to NATO's mob plans - in violation of international law, ambush, à la Jones, explicitly included.

Exceptions

Because of its military, legal nihilism, the Defense Ministry seems not to have reckoned with the fact that the stationing of its NATO fleet at the Leipzig Airport, could raise questions. Already last September, public misgivings were expressed concerning the decision.[6] In December, statements by the Saxonian Ministry, that ruled out that this project was in violation of the 4-plus-2 Accords, were contradicted.[7] At the beginning of March, the sociologist of law, Professor Dr. Martin Bennhold, from Osnabruck, explained in an interview with german-foreign-policy.com, that the NATO project violates Article 5 of the international accord ("neither foreign armed forces and nuclear weapons nor their vectors are to be stationed in this part of Germany" - meaning the territory of the former GDR - "nor relocated there").[8] Now Berlin sees itself compelled to support, its transfer of the takeoff and landing rights for the NATO Response Force (NRF) on the territory of the former GDR, with remarkable supplements. According to the new formulations the "use of the Leipzig-Halle Airport as a staging area for loading and unloading (...) will rather represent the exception," because foreign armed forces "as a rule" will use their own staging areas for loading.[9]

Protection statement

In background discussions, the Defense Ministry wants to have people believe that there is only one exceptional breach of the 4-plus-2 Accord. The machines stationed in Leipzig would be there only under "civilian" status, to then fly if necessary to Madrid or Copenhagen, where the actual military deployment begins, through taking on a foreign payload, is how it was expressed by the press staff of the German military. Even if this protection statement would apply, it does not change the legal implications of the Leipzig Airport being commissioned into service. The stationing of the wide-body AN-124-100 transport planes takes place, as the fulfillment of military planning, under relevant participation of foreign armed forces, that rent their flight contingents from Ruslan Salis GmbH, flying out of Leipzig Airport - whether empty or loaded. The fact that neither Madrid nor Copenhagen is the starting point of the prospective relocation of the foreign armed forces is documented by the ceremony to take place on Thursday. It brings military representatives, of 15 NATO states, to the central site of NRF operations, that they chose: Leipzig Airport, Terminal B.

Take Off Into the Wars

The Defense Ministry has prepared well for the future combat deployments flying out of Leipzig. Even without concrete plans of deployment and objectives, that would first have to win parliamentary approval, German generals already know now, how many flying hours are necessary for the weapons transports: annually, at least 750 times 60 minutes in continuous operations between Leipzig and the battlefields around the world. Residents and passengers are not being informed of this background to the current construction of the south runways. In the latest official airport operating company's [10] "Newsletter," the enterprise congratulates itself "to the take off into the summer" and offers "40 destinations in Southern Europe and Northern Africa."[11] Of the opening of the military wing of the airport on Thursday, for the take off into the wars, there was not a syllable.

Please read also Drehkreuz Leipzig.

[1] Pressemitteilung des Bundesministeriums der Verteidigung 16.03.2006
[2], [3] see also Drehkreuz Leipzig
[4] US Department of Defense. News Briefing with Gen. James L. Jones, 06.03.2006
[5] "(T)he new NATO is going to be more proactive, more involved at greater strategic distances than it was in the past"; US Department of Defense. News Briefing with Gen. James L. Jones, 06.03.2006
[6] see also Windiges...
[7] see also Including Nuclear Arms
[8] see also Interview mit Prof. Dr. Martin Bennhold
[9] Pressemitteilung des Bundesministeriums der Verteidigung 16.03.2006
[10] Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG
[11] Airmail Nr.3, 16.03.2006