DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - Following the public presentation of a concept for Syria's reorganization, German government advisors have announced the first steps for its implementation. The project entitled "The Day After," which was presented in Berlin yesterday, lays out the framework for Syria's future state structure. It has been elaborated essentially under the influence of western - particularly US-American - experts and institutions. In a next step, an office will be opened in Istanbul to supervise the concept's implementation of the repressive and legal system. Recently, a spokesperson of the US State Department confirmed that opposition activists, who had been trained in Istanbul by US-American and British government agencies, are already in Syria operating as a subversive "underground network" seeking to take control of Syrian villages and cities, as soon as possible. They are considered to be Syria's "next ruling class." more…

BERLIN/KABUL | | afghanistan

BERLIN/KABUL (Own report) - Experts on Afghanistan are sharply criticizing the German occupation policy at the Hindu Kush. According to a recently published analysis, in 2003, the German government had deployed the Bundeswehr in Kunduz without thorough knowledge of the highly complex region. Due to a lack of serious investigation into strategic particularities and traditional factional conflicts, the Bundeswehr was insufficiently prepared, when insurgency flared up again in 2008. The author of this analysis, with serious accusations of the German government, is a retired German Bundeswehr officer. The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) also raises criticism of the western occupation forces' continued cooperation with militias and local warlords; because this runs counter the establishment of a central government. Considering the decades of Afghan civil war, with its bloody feuding between various militias, this is an alarming warning. Politicians in Berlin are now demanding preparations for the possibility of an escalation of violence in Afghanistan. Preparations should be made for the evacuation of local auxiliary forces, whose lives will be endangered because of their collaboration with the Bundeswehr. more…

BAMAKO/OUAGADOUGOU/BERLIN | | burkinamali

BAMAKO/OUAGADOUGOU/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is pushing for a rapid resolution of Mali's national crisis - if necessary by military means. During his several-day tour in West Africa, the German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel (FDP), landed in Bamako on Thursday. His talks focused on the country's current national crisis. Since March, northern Mali has been in the hands of insurgents. Following severe battles, a militant Islamist faction has won predominance. The West African ECOWAS alliance has summoned the Malian interim government, brought to power in a putsch, to present a plan for resolving the crisis by Friday, or they threaten to intervene militarily. Niebel supports both this ultimatum and a possible military action. His West Africa tour is a result of Berlin's efforts to expand its own economic and geostrategic influence in West Africa - at the expense of Paris, which, until now, has been uncontested. more…

BERLIN/DAMASCUS | | syrien

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) - The German government has reinforced its efforts to gain influence in the anticipated post-Assad regime's Syria, with the creation of a new "task force." It has "already become necessary" to plan "for the day after the overthrow" in Syria, announced the German foreign ministry. From now on, all efforts pertaining to this objective will be pooled in a "personnel reinforced task force" in the German foreign ministry. This is an extension of the German government's previous activities - including months of secret talks with more than 40 exiled representatives of the opposition and the establishment of a post-civil war blueprint for the Syrian economy. In charge is the foreign ministry's Director of the Regional Desk for the Middle East and the Maghreb, Boris Ruge. Until 2011, Ruge had supervised the growing German cooperation with the Syrian regime and its industrialists, while the Damascene deregulation policy was driving a growing portion of the Syrian population into poverty. Ruge also supported Berlin's policy of deporting refugees back to Syria. Approximately one-fifth of these refugees were arrested upon arrival. Today, Ruge's efforts are focused on cooperation with the Syrian government's opponents, whose catastrophic situation had been made worse by Berlin's support for the government, until early 2011. more…

KABUL/BERLIN | | afghanistan

KABUL/BERLIN (Own report) - German foreign policy experts are warning that a power vacuum could emerge in 2014 in Afghanistan, and that new proxy conflicts between foreign powers could occur. According to a recently published analysis by the government-financed German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), "apprehensions" have emerged that following a withdrawal of the majority of the western occupation troops in about two years, the Taliban will take over control in Kabul and "the country will again be plunged into chaos." Other than powerful NATO members, several of Afghanistan's neighbors also harbor strategic interests in that country, including Pakistan and India, but also China, whose western region could be possibly threatened by Islamist forces at the Hindu Kush. While Washington and Berlin are negotiating the permanent stationing of military units in Afghanistan, human rights organizations are raising grave accusations of the West's influential cooperation partners in the country. They are being accused of having carried out massacres in the period of the 1978 to 2001 Afghan civil wars. Even one of Berlin's most important Afghan allies is said to have been implicated in mass murder. His militia had maintained a "human slaughterhouse" in the vicinity of Mazar-e-Sharif. Even though over the past few years, several mass graves have been found, also in the German occupation zone in northern Afghanistan, the crimes committed on those victims, have never been seriously investigated. more…