On the Rise

DRESDEN/SCHWERIN |

DRESDEN/SCHWERIN (Own report) - In the aftermath of the Saxonian NPD Party's local electoral victories, experts are fearing another parliamentary reinforcement of this rightwing extremist party. In the coming twelve months, there will be elections held in each of the NPD's regional strongholds. In Brandenburg, where they are sharing the candidature with their DVU rivals, local elections will be held already in September. In the meantime the NPD has been able to establish a "firm foothold" in several areas and seeks "to slowly take over other regions from these satellites" reports Andreas Speit, an expert on rightwing extremism, in a discussion with german-foreign-policy.com. The party's rise is not least of all due to its successful establishment as a rightwing extremist "collective movement", including violent "Kamaradschaften". The NPD's electoral victories are reinforcing racism and anti-Semitism in German society, as well as great-power fantasies, strengthening the view that Germany should be a world power, in rivalry with the United States. The NPD calls for "Europe" with "Germany as its focal point" becoming "an effective political and economic counter-balance to the USA". more…

BERLIN/BUENOS AIRES/SANTIAGO DE CHILE | | argentinienchile

BERLIN/BUENOS AIRES/SANTIAGO DE CHILE (Own report) - The German government is seeking to integrate South American armies more firmly into German-European military programs through the expansion of military cooperation and is particularly focusing on Argentina and Chile. Both countries are among Berlin's long-standing closest South American military allies. German arms manufacturers are furnishing weapons systems to the Chilean and Argentine armed forces. German soldiers are training military personnel at bases in both countries. At the same time, Germany is profiting from South American endeavors to intensify its own global military activities. Recently Buenos Aires and Santiago established a binational military contingent ("Cruz del Sur", "Southern Cross") patterned after the German-French battalion and planned to be developed into a South American military alliance. "Cruz del Sur" is already participating at Germany's side in several military interventions around the globe. Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, recently returned from a visit to Argentina and Chile, exploring the possibilities of further intensifying the cooperation. more…

BERLIN/TBILISI/MOSCOW | | georgien

BERLIN/TBILISI/MOSCOW (Own report) - The German government is intervening in the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia with extensive diplomatic initiatives, and is dispatching a special envoy. Germany feels a "special responsibility," is how the foreign ministry in Berlin paraphrases Germany's claim to qualify as broker in the southern Caucasus. The three southern Caucasian countries, which include Georgia, are among the regions of particular interest for Berlin's foreign policy. They form a pro-western belt of states on Russia's southern borders, providing the West with a direct access to energy resources of the Caspian Basin. The current military conflict threatens not only Germany's position in the region, it also escalates tensions between Russia and the United States, jeopardizing Berlin's efforts to strengthen its own position by its simultaneous cooperation with both Washington and Moscow - in the manner of a seesaw policy. Berlin is in a strong position for eventual negotiations on the future of the secessionist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The German government has been trying to contain the secessionist conflicts since the 1990s. more…