KABUL/BERLIN | | afghanistan

KABUL/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is supplementing the deployment of additional combat troops to Afghanistan with measures to reinforce the development of paramilitary units. The number of police officers that are supposed to train Afghan repressive forces in the name of the EU is to be doubled, as demanded by the German government. Afghan police are increasingly being used in combat situations and are sustaining proportionally higher fatal casualties during counter-insurgency operations than the Afghan army. Berlin also wants to deploy technical relief units (Federal Agency for Technical Relief - THW) at the Hindu Kush to take on tasks that had previously been carried out by the military. The extension of occupation activities in North Afghanistan will include so-called development aid organizations, among them the German government's Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (Association for Technical Cooperation - GTZ). The preparation of the troops and units for the suppression of the escalating insurgency includes training programs for Afghan troops. According to its own admission, the Bundeswehr (German military) is training children soldiers. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German general Klaus Naumann and other NATO military specialists are appealing for a nuclear first strike policy, should the west's global predominance and its way of living be in jeopardy. The nuclear first strike must be in the "quiver" of every escalation strategy, writes former Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) Klaus Naumann. Naumann was temporarily Chief of the Military Policy, Nuclear Strategy and Arms Control Section of the NATO Military Committee. For the past few years, the most decorated German officer has been a member of the board of the arms company "Thales". Naumann is also chairman of the board of a German nuclear decontamination company, "Odenwaldwerke Rittersbach" (OWR AG). The nuclear first strike study was co-authored with another associate of the OWR AG. The German armed forces and the US Army are the principal clients of this allegedly private company, which also employs the Bundeswehr general Klaus Reinhardt. more…

ABU DHABI/BAGHDAD/BERLIN | | vaeirak

ABU DHABI/BAGHDAD/BERLIN (Own report) - The German military (Bundeswehr) has again begun the training of Iraqi soldiers. This time it is a logistics unit of the Iraqi armed forces that will first be trained on German territory and then in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The military equipment needed by the unit for its mission in Iraq, will also be supplied by the Bundeswehr and is already en route to the Persian Gulf. As with earlier support services for the occupation of Iraq, Berlin is closely cooperating with the United Arab Emirates currently its most important warfare partner in the Persian Gulf. Since the 1990s, Germany has been systematically extending its cooperation with this feudal country, whose methods of repression have been strongly criticized by human rights organizations. Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a "strategic partnership" was declared with the UAE. The military and police cooperation is being intensified through the use by German military planes of an UAE air force base. The UAE borders on the Straits of Hormuz, geostrategically one of the most important straits in the world. more…

PRISTINA/BELGRADE/BERLIN | | jugoslawien

PRISTINA/BELGRADE/BERLIN (Own report) - Sunday, after Berlin's years of preparations, the South-Serbian province, Kosovo, declared its secession in violation of international law. Kosovo is "independent" of Serbia, declared Hashim Thaci, the Prime Minister of the Provincial Administration in Pristina. The German government intends to recognize the secession soon. Berlin will thereby be participating in the violation of the UN Charter and other valid legal norms, just as the German police and judicial officers, who will be dispatched to Kosovo within the framework of a so-called EU mission. Their deployment will be without a valid, internationally recognized legal basis and will therefore constitute an illegal occupation. The objective is to establish an informal protectorate, while keeping its nationalist forces in check. Kosovo's secession is the preliminary finale of a policy seeking the parcelization of the Balkan states along the lines of allegiance, which began with Berlin's recognition of the Croatian secession. Each of the EU states, after brief hesitation, joined this policy and along with Washington, militarily attacked what was left of Yugoslavia in 1999. Since that time, Berlin has been fostering the Kosovo nationalists, whose representatives in Pristina are designated as the bosses of organized crime. One of them is the current Prime Minister Thaci. On the murals celebrating Thaci's proclamation of secession, one reads "Thank You Germany!" more…

LOMÉ/OUAGADOUGOU/BERLIN | | togoburkina

LOMÉ/OUAGADOUGOU/BERLIN (Own report) - The German Foreign Ministry has presented a new continental political program to aid in its struggle to obtain hegemony over Africa. Over the past 3 days the 20 million Euro program, "Action Africa," was introduced in three West African States. The program consists of proposals in the realm of education, culture and sports and will contribute to Germany's advantage over its rivals among the world powers on this continent rich in resources. One of the proposals is the establishment of new German schools abroad, to orient the nation's future elite toward Germany. In the framework of these projects, Berlin wants to send more soccer coaches to these poverty-stricken African nations - a step, political advisors see as an integrating mechanism for controlling the poverty-stricken African populations. Last Monday, during his tour in West Africa, the German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier attempted to abate tensions that, over the past 15 years, had soured relations to Germany's former colony Togo. Only 3 years ago demonstrators violently attacked the Goethe Institute in Lomé, in protest of German support of the Togolese opposition. In Togo and Burkina Faso, where the foreign minister stopped Tuesday, Germany stands in competition with its most important EU partner, France, and is therefore using its "Action Africa". more…

KABUL/BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | afghanistan

KABUL/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Threats of a split in the NATO and considerations of a withdrawal of occupation troops from Afghanistan are aspects of the escalation in the German-US-American controversy during the current NATO Summit in Vilnius. Behind the conflict - that will also play an important role at this year's annual Munich Security Conference, taking place this weekend - is the German demand to have more influence over the war-related decisions. The German Defense Minister announced that the Bundeswehr's "Quick Reaction Force," due to be stationed in North Afghanistan, can participate in the war in the south of the country - but only with his approval. Recent reports on the developments in Afghanistan confirm that the western military is losing control of the situation. According to these reports, the Afghan presidential elections, scheduled for next year, in which Hamid Karzai is supposed to be reconfirmed as head of the puppet regime, may have to be called off, due to the growing intensity of rebellions since the elections in 2004. Whereas one study, made with government participation, alleges that the "engagement" in Afghanistan is "more successful than expected," the debate about a withdrawal is more than merely a tactical threat. It is a realistic perspective. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - New theories to legitimize counterinsurgency and war are being discussed in leading foreign and military policy circles in the German capital. Explanatory models are being used, deducing rebellions against poverty and insurrections against foreign occupation from demographic factors. Thus tensions and unrest in the Islamic world and in Africa are attributed to these populations' age structures having a relatively high percentage of young men between the ages of 15 and 25. Conflicts are seen as inevitable in those countries and can best be regionally confined through military interventions. Theoretical models such as "youth bulge" are being discussed in conferences organized by the Federal College for Security Studies (BAKS), the most influential institution for German foreign and military policy decision making, and are increasingly appearing in analyses of other political institutions. These models, first introduced into the debate in Washington in 1995, can, in their most explicit form, lead to conclude that wars are both useful and necessary. more…

BERLIN/KIGALI | | ruanda

BERLIN/KIGALI (Own report) - German President Horst Koehler will arrive on a state visit in Kigali on February 6 in spite of serious accusations raised against the Rwandan government. According to human rights organizations, "torture, extra-judicial executions and long imprisonment without trial" are commonplace in this Central African country. The government "denounces and persecutes mercilessly every form of opposition," church aid organizations wrote in a letter to the German President. Attempts to found organizations independent of the government are obstructed until the efforts end in "self-abandonment," writes the Institute of African Affairs (IAA), Hamburg, classifying Rwanda an "autocracy". In 2001, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development upgraded Rwanda to make it its "focal partner" and is providing a particularly high per capita support from its budget. Germany is also furnishing direct aid to Rwanda's police and judiciary. Kigali, which is principally responsible for the grueling war in East Congo, has a large contingent of soldiers standing ready for interventions against the Islamist government in Sudan. Rwanda is serving Berlin's strategic interests. more…