The Renaissance of the West (I)

BERLIN/BRUSSELS | | usarussische-foederation

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - German foreign policy experts are calling for a "renaissance" of the transatlantic alliance to defend Western global hegemony. According to the strategy paper written by two German authors, published recently by the think tank of the European People's Party (EPP), the EU must strengthen its cooperation with the United States in spite of certain controversies. The experts write that the "global liberal order," which had secured a global hegemony for Western countries since the end of the Cold War, can only be maintained if Europe and North America enhance their economic, political, and military cooperation. All efforts aimed at improving cooperation with Russia should be halted. To enhance influence, the focus should, instead, be shifted to engaging NGOs and East European religious communities in pro-western activities. A new consensus within the EU must be established and pro-Russian "disinformation" must be systematically "exposed." One of the authors even calls for the nuclear rearmament of Europe, claiming "we" must be "willing to go to war."

"Islamism, Russia, China"

In a strategy paper, published by the "Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies," German authors are calling for a "renaissance of the West." They write that, the transatlantic alliance must be enhanced if the "global liberal order" is to be permanently maintained - meaning the practically uncontested global hegemony of the West throughout the two decades following the Cold War. This "liberal world order" allowed "Europeans to live more safely, more freely and in most cases more prosperously than in any time of their history," according to the paper.[1]. However, the "liberal world order" is now facing new "challenges." The authors explicitly point to Islamist tendencies, Russia and a China, growing in strength, against which the West must become more consolidated. The paper does not conceal controversies, which have arisen over the past few years between the EU and the United States, i.e. on issues of Middle East policy (Iraq War 2003) or disenchantment over the NSA's dragnet espionage.[2] However, confronted with external threats, these controversies must be placed on the back burner. The authors make a plea for enhancing cooperation in the political, economic (TTIP), and military (NATO) fields. The confrontation with "Putin's Russia" could help accelerate the EU's much-needed cohesion.

Against Moscow

Hence, the strategy paper particularly underlines proposals for concrete measures in confrontation with Russia. All attempts to enhance cooperation with Moscow must be halted, not least in view of Germany's efforts - particularly in the first decade of 2000 - to strengthen its own position in relation to the USA by a certain degree of cooperation with Russia. ( reported.[3]) To reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies, the authors call for increasing oil and natural gas deliveries from Western sources - particularly the USA - as well as comprehensive exploitation of shale gas within the EU. The EU should also enhance cooperation with Russia's immediate neighbors, particularly Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, which are accessible to becoming an associate of the EU. The EU should not only provide economic assistance, but military aid as well, to reinforce their ties to the West.

NGOs and Churches

The authors also propose various measures aimed at Russia and its East European allies (for example Belarus). In the future, "Eastern Partnership" [4] should "focus much more on civil society." The EU must work more intensively "with NGOs, political organizations, independent media and other civil society actors" and "religious communities," in Eastern Europe.[5] New forces, "truly interested in [pro-western,] transformation," could be groomed "only through intensive ties to operatives among the elite, who are not directly involved in state activities." This would strengthen the German use of organizations, such as party-affiliated foundations, to obtain influence in certain circles of foreign populations and draw them into the service of German foreign policy.

Creating an EU Consensus

Inversely, the authors promote measures to weaken - and if possible obliterate - the opposition to the EU's anti-Russian aggression. For example, "think tanks, consultants and NGOs with financial ties to Russian institutions can be taken to task in analyses, and through public debates." At the same time, "disinformation by Russian media and their allies in EU member states" should be "exposed." Furthermore, "civil society in the EU itself has to become better organized" - for example with the support of "networks of political parties, think tanks, NGOs and individuals," which "will carry the main burden of responding" to the alleged "Russian disinformation."[6] Hence, the strategy paper explicitly proposes the creation of an EU consensus conforming to state interests and the isolation - and possibly even exclusion - of domestic opposition.

Ready to Go to War

The authors are also pleading for extensive war preparations. EU member countries' territorial defense capacities and NATO's ability to intervene beyond its borders should be enhanced. Besides creating new structures, such as the 'spearhead' rapid response force,[7] NATO should begin "permanent redeployments of units, including ground troops closer to the eastern border of the alliance."[8] This would be a complete breach of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and be considered by Moscow as a serious provocation. The risk of an uncontrolled escalation of the conflict would be significantly increased - an acceptable risk, according to co-author Roland Freudenstein. At a meeting of the European People's Party (EPP) a few days ago, Freudenstein declared, "we have to make clear that yes, we are willing to go to war, for what we consider existential principles of Europe’s future." However, the disadvantage is that "nuclear deterrence by NATO consists of 20 rusting free-fall bombs, of the B-61 type, that can be wiped out with one strike of the Russian forces," and Freudenstein added, "these are things we have to change."[9]

Strategic Decisions

Freudenstein has worked for the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the CDU affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the foreign policy planning staff of the European Commission. His co-author Ulrich Speck regularly publishes in the DGAP journal "Internationale Politik." At present, Freudenstein is Deputy Director and Head of Research of the Martens Center for European Studies, which published the strategy paper "The Renaissance of the West." Currently, the Martens Center has 29 member foundations in 22 EU and non-EU countries, including the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation and the Hanns Seidel Foundation (CSU). Former President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, represents the CDU on the Center's Executive Board. The Martens Centre, a think tank of the EPP, makes strategic decisions for the development of conservative parties throughout Europe.

Other reports and background information on the new cold war can be found here: War by Other Means, War by Other Means (II) and A Ring around Russia (III).

[1] Roland Freudenstein, Ulrich Speck: The Renaissance of the West. How Europe and America can Shape Up in Confronting Putin's Russia. Brussels 2015.
[2] See Noch nicht auf Augenhöhe and Noch nicht auf Augenhöhe (II).
[3] See Hemispheres, Keine Angst vor Moskau! and A New Grand Strategy.
[4] Im Rahmen der "Östlichen Partnerschaft" kooperiert die EU mit Belarus, der Ukraine, Moldawien, Georgien, Armenien und Aserbaidschan.
[5], [6] Roland Freudenstein, Ulrich Speck: The Renaissance of the West. How Europe and America can Shape Up in Confronting Putin's Russia. Brussels 2015.
[7] See 21st Century Warfere (I) and 21st Century Warfare (II).
[8] Roland Freudenstein, Ulrich Speck: The Renaissance of the West. How Europe and America can Shape Up in Confronting Putin's Russia. Brussels 2015.
[9] EPP: EU should tell Russia we are ready to go to war. 22.04.2015.