The Elite Wants More


BERLIN (Own report) - The CDU and Green party-affiliated foundations have been holding conferences with prominent experts to continue Germany's campaign by elite circles to promote a more aggressive German global policy. Ultimately, a "public discussion of the security policy's soft and hard factors" must take place, insisted the head of the Policy Department of the German Defense Ministry, Monday at a conference held by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. At the Heinrich Boell Foundation, just shortly before, the audience was told that "a 'pacifist Sonderweg'" (special path) cannot "be permitted." Germany must finally "come out of the comfort zone." According to the reader published by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, it must be "accepted that it may become necessary to take action outside the current international legal framework." The reader calls for the creation of a "national security bureau" within the chancellery, patterned after the US-American "National Security Council," and to significantly "upgrade" the "equipment of Germany's intelligence services." Decisions on foreign military missions should, thereby, be structurally facilitated.

Global Policy Campaign

Germany's foreign policy establishment is persistently pursuing its campaign for a more aggressive German global policy. The campaign - which the German President has repeatedly revived with demands for an expansion of German military missions and is supported by major media organs - has not made much headway. A recent opinion poll indicates that a majority in the German population favors discretion in foreign policy, while a mere 13 percent is in favor of new German military missions. ( reported.[1]) However, the political establishment insists. Last week, two party-affiliated foundations - the Green Party-affiliated Heinrich Boell Foundation and the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation - lent their support by holding conferences with prominent guests.

Hard Security Policy Factors

Last Monday, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation dedicated its second "Adenauer Conference" to "Germany's Role in International Security Policy." The event, in which the Chancellor's foreign policy advisor, Christoph Heusgen, personally attended, bore the thematic title "lessons learned from Afghanistan," to then focus on current and future conflicts - the "arch of crisis from Libya via Syria to Ukraine." "How can Germany Contribute to Stabilization?," was the question not only Thomas Bagger, head of Policy Planning in the German Foreign Ministry, was asked. This was after Géza von Geyr, head of the Policy Section of the Defense Ministry, had proclaimed that a "stronger disposition toward security matters" is sorely "needed" and - in this context - called for a "public discussion on the soft and hard factors of security policy," something the foreign policy establishment has been pleading for, since some time. "We are receiving a growing number of responsibilities that we cannot ignore," claims Geyr.[2]

Pacifist Sonderweg? No Thanks!

Just shortly prior to the Adenauer Conference, the Heinrich Boell Foundation had held its "Annual Foreign Policy Conference," June 19/20. At this conference, German President Joachim Gauck's initiatives for the expansion of German military missions had been thoroughly discussed, according to a conference report. There was wide-ranging consensus that Germany should "not only enhance its military capability," but that it "should use all foreign policy tools more decisively," and that "a 'pacifist Sonderweg'" cannot "be permitted." In view of the widespread popular opposition to a more aggressive global policy, the conference report explains that "conference guests pointed to the obviously growing gap between the 'Berlin [government]' and a sizable portion of the German population on questions of foreign policy."[3] That must be changed. Germany must "leave the comfort zone," insists the foundation's board member, Ralf Fuecks.[4]

Violation of International Law? No Problem!

In a supplementary reader to the "Annual Foreign Policy Conference," the Boell Foundation published papers worth noting. "German leadership," according to Bodo Weber, a Senior Associate at the Democratization Policy Council in Berlin, is "possible and makes good sense." However, it should be noted that "Germany's refusal to take on its international responsibilities," is a problem of a "lack of political will and leadership." "Berlin's already small circle of foreign policy makers and its foreign policy community" should, therefore, "seek to close ranks regardless of party affiliations and develop common concepts and initiatives." In addition, Germany must "take the lead in the revival of a common European foreign and security policy." In all this, it must be acknowledged that "the United Nations does not meet the challenges of the 21st century's global disorder." It must, therefore, be "accepted that it may become necessary to take action outside the current international legal framework."[5] Germany has demonstrated this in 1999 with the war on Yugoslavia.

Parliamentary Approval? Only Gets in the Way!

Jan Techau, Director of the Carnegie Europe, in Brussels, makes concrete proposals in the reader for a more aggressive global policy. Techau goes beyond calls for a "significant reinforcement" of the EU's foreign policy and an "expansion of the civilian and military Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) missions," to demand also a "radical reformation of the so-called German parliamentary approval prerequisite." In questions of war and peace, the German Bundestag should merely be permitted a "right of revocation." The Federal College for Security Studies in Berlin (BAKS) should be transformed into a "world-famous strategy school." For "federal 'political' civil servants," there should be "service career legal stipulations introduced, requiring training" in military policy think tanks. And finally, the BAKS should be placed under the auspices of a "National Security Bureau," an institution to be formed, which - "similar to the US National Security Council" - should be established within Berlin's Chancellery. The Ministry of Development should, according to Techau, in the Green Party foundation's reader, be transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while "the German intelligence services are in need of a significant upgrade of their technical equipment."[6]

To be Continued

The positions taken by Geyr, Weber and Techau, receiving a larger public resonance, through the party-affiliated foundations of the CDU and the Greens are simply more evidence that the campaign for a more aggressive global policy is broadly rooted in Germany's foreign policy establishment and growing stronger. It is not to be expected that the elite's campaign to impose its project on the population will subside.

More reports and background information on Germany's campaign by elite circles to promote a more aggressive German global policy can be found here: Sleeping Demons, The Re-Evaluation of German Foreign Policy, Domination over Europe, The Agenda 2020, The World's Expectations, Germany's Act of Liberation and Hegemon with a Guilty Conscience.

[1] See Die Weltpolitik-Kampagne der Eliten.
[2] "Dichte an sicherheitspolitischen Herausforderungen". 30.06.2014.
[3] Deutsche Außenpolitik: Auf dem Weg zu mehr Verantwortung? 30.06.2014.
[4] Ralf Fücks: Raus aus der Komfortzone - Deutschland auf dem Weg zu mehr internationaler Verantwortung? 23.06.2014.
[5] Bodo Weber: Deutschlands außen- und sicherheitspolitische Verweigerung. Reader zur 15. Außenpolitischen Jahrestagung der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. Berlin, Juni 2014.
[6] Jan Techau: Zu Europa und Westbindung bekennen! Reader zur 15. Außenpolitischen Jahrestagung der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. Berlin, Juni 2014.