BERLIN | | russische-foederation

BERLIN (Own report) - In the prelude to NATO's Jubilee Summit at the beginning of April, influential German foreign policy makers are calling for a broadening of cooperation with Moscow in military policy. A government advisor of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) demands that "Europe" consider revaluating Russia "to a second pillar of European security" alongside the USA, otherwise there is the risk of becoming "the eastern part of the United States." These statements are tied in with the growing German-Russian activities in foreign and security policies, which run contrary to aspirations of transatlantic forces seeking agreement at the coming NATO summit on a new "strategic concept," which should enhance cooperation between Berlin and Washington. Observers note that the closer German-Russian cooperation is being supported in Berlin as well as in Moscow by proponents of an independent great power policy - including nationalist strategists of the extreme right. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is backing up its claims to the deposits of Arctic raw materials with an international conference on the future of the northern polar region. Through the climatic change induced melting of the polar cap, the enormous resources hidden under the Arctic ice pack can be exploited in the coming decades. "With its enormous oil, natural gas reserves as well as its mineral resources, the Arctic can make a major contribution to the security of energy supply for Europe," according to the German Ministry of the Economy. The race for ownership titles in the Arctic Ocean has begun. NATO recently weighed into the debate. Because Germany has no borders to the area in question, the German government is seeking to have the resources declared international property. They should be "globalized" maintain government advisors in Berlin and propose that Germany use favorable criteria for the decision concerning the rights of access: "the Arctic should remain open for the participation of those states that clearly use philo-climatic policies to the benefit of all." more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The debate about NATO's future intervention strategy is gaining intensity just a few weeks before the war alliance celebrates its 60th Anniversary at its Summit in the beginning of April, where, in light of tensions developing between the principal western powers, a new "strategic concept" is to be initiated. The Secretary General of NATO insists that this concept stipulate when NATO states will intervene in alliance and when they can intervene independently. The relationship to Russia should also be more precisely defined. These demands are particularly directed at Germany, which, over the years, has been seeking to enhance its independence from the USA, to also become a world power. This is the objective behind its cooperating with Moscow. Transatlantic forces in Germany are warning that one should not base ones future on a declining power and plead for Berlin rapprochement with Washington. A northern expansion of NATO is included in their proposals. In light of the rivalry over natural resource deposits at the North Pole, the war alliance should reinforce its position in the Arctic - against Russia. more…

GELSDORF |

GELSDORF (Own report) - Having launched a new reconnaissance satellite-based system, the German Bundeswehr is celebrating its enhanced capacity for carrying out independent military operations. The SAR-Lupe system, which had achieved full operational capability at the end of 2008, has catapulted the German Armed Forces into a position of world leader in radar based reconnaissance, according to a high-ranking officer. With this "new instrument at its disposal" Berlin can "at its own political volition, gather exclusive and global data independently." This new reconnaissance capacity has drastically reduced its "dependence on other countries" in the field of security policy. Moscow played a key role in supporting the development of the satellite based system that will foster the trend toward independence from Washington. The spy satellites will not only provide information to the Bundeswehr but also to the foreign intelligence service. The images that can be retrieved by radar day or night and under any weather conditions will also be at the disposal of the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation. more…

MUNICH | | tschechische-republik

MUNICH (Own report) - In the wake of the controversy over the "Center Against Expulsions," an association of resettled Germans is pushing a parallel revisionist program in Munich. The Sudeten German territorial association wants to establish a "Sudeten-German Museum" in Munich to present the "History of the Germans in the Bohemian Territories", particularly the "expulsion" of the German speaking population from Czechoslovakia. An exhibit that could serve as the centerpiece of the museum's exposition has been shown throughout Germany for the past two years. It combines hefty anti-Prague invectives with attacks on the WW I peace treaties while proposing "reparations" for the resettled. They accuse the former Czechoslovak President, Edvard Benes, of complicity in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews. The project received state subventions. The planned Sudeten-German Museum is supposed to be an "educational venue for pupils" and "as a center of Central-European cooperation (...) contribute toward European integration." more…

NUREMBERG/MUNICH |

NUREMBERG/MUNICH (Own report) - The Diehl arms manufacturing company is seeking to have the court prohibit criticism of a controversial type of munition it is producing. The trial, opening today in Munich, revolves around the new type of ammunition with the serial name "SMArt 155," due to replace traditional cluster munition. For many years Diehl had also been manufacturing cluster munition, which, because of the large number of civilian casualties, is banned internationally. Critics explain that "SMArt 155" are technically also cluster munition, but are being exempted from this ban, following the massive intervention of the German government. But also with this type of munition, human rights organizations see the danger of duds and numerous civilian casualties. Diehl alleges the contrary and now seeks to have the court censor the term "cluster munition" as a designation for "SMArt 155." Millions are at stake. For decades, this company has been one of the main pillars of the arms industry. The basis for its success was created during WW II. more…