BEIJING/WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | usachina

BEIJING/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - German government advisors are warning against an arms race and possible military confrontations in East Asia. As a recent study by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) explains, China's attempts to take control over its coastal waters and its maritime trade routes collide with the USA's attempts to uphold Washington's claims to maintain its "international leadership role." The arms buildup of the Chinese Navy and the initial shift of US armed forces to the Pacific are colliding head-on and could - in the worst case - result in armed conflict. In effect, as a NATO partner of the United States, Germany would also be implicated in cases of conflict. German naval vessels are already being incorporated with growing frequency into the US Navy's combat units. Berlin is also contributing to the expansion of NATO military cooperation with the pro-western countries of east and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific regions through military policy measures and arms exports. German naval circles are also demanding that the German Navy soon be given an arms upgrade and an offensive posture. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - A well-known German historian declared Germans "perhaps the most important people of Europe," and predicted a return to singing the official first stanza of the German national anthem ("Germany, Germany above everything"). According to allegations made by historian Arnulf Baring in his keynote address at this year's "Homeland Day" ceremonies of the German League of Expellees (BdV), last Saturday, "the Germans" are suffering at the moment from a collective "psychological impairment," residing in a lack of perception of a grievous loss inflicted upon the "German soul," by the relinquishment of former German eastern regions of the German empire. BdV President Erika Steinbach praised Bavaria and Hesse for recently declaring a day of commemoration for German "expellees" and reiterated her demand for a national commemoration day. She also dwelled on the progress made in the struggle for compensating resettled Germans, with the example of Romania and Serbia, which have included German "expellees" in their restitution legislations. In view to Poland and the Czech Republic, the BdV President explained that only "an absolute minority of countries is still seeking to evade their historical responsibility for having expelled the Germans." more…

Arctic Oil

HANNOVER |

HANNOVER (Own report) - The German government's Agency for Geological Studies and Natural Resources (BGR) is intensifying its exploration for Arctic oil and gas deposits with a new exploration trip to the Arctic Ocean. "Deliveries of natural resources from countries in the Arctic" - i.e. Russia and Norway - are "of great importance" to Germany, the BGR declared. It is very inconvenient that the prediction of the volume of Arctic resources is based only on unreliable estimates. This research institute is, therefore, consolidating its exploration of the mineral resources of the Arctic Ocean, into a new research program. The melting of the polar cap could soon allow these resources to be profitably exploited. Within the framework of the natural resources policy offensive launched by the German government around eight years ago, the BGR has been intensifying its activities for German industry. The BGR, which has long since been closely linked to the German business community, founded, in 2010, the Agency for German Resources (DERA) which now serves German industry directly. The BGR sees itself in the undaunted continuation of the institutions in German Empire and the Nazi period. more…

ERBIL/BERLIN | | iraktuerkei

ERBIL/BERLIN (Own report) - In light of the extensive transformations taking place in the Middle East, the German government is seeking to strengthen its influence in Northern Iraq. On the occasion of German Development Minister, Dirk Niebel's visit to Iraqi Kurdistan a few days ago, it was reported that the "strategic partnership" with "the Kurds" must be carefully cultivated. They are important "partners" even beyond the Iraqi context. Berlin has been intensifying its contacts to the Kurdish autonomous government in Erbil since 2005 and more intensively since 2008. At that time, the focus was primarily on obtaining access to Northern Iraqi natural gas, to supply the planned "Nabucco" pipeline. However following that project's collapse, German influence has focused on the regional reorganization of the nations. Foreign policy experts are currently discussing a tighter affiliation of the Kurdish-speaking regions in Northern Iraq, Syria and Turkey, with the possible perspective of forming a sort of "Kurdistan Province" integrated in a federally restructured Turkey. A "Kurdish National Conference" - due to be convened soon in Erbil to unite Kurdish associations from Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran - will probably also focus on these plans. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Germany's foreign espionage Federal Intelligence Service (BND) communicated mobile radio data on terror suspects, collected in Afghanistan to the USA's NSA military espionage service. This has been reported in the media. According to these reports, this data permits the establishment of a movement profile, which according to experts can serve to locate individuals and can possibly lead to the summary execution of suspects using combat drones. Whereas jurists are strongly criticizing the practice of so-called targeted killing, the German government is explicitly supporting this practice. It was based on this official standpoint that recently a court case to shed light on the summary execution of a German citizen in Pakistan was discontinued. It has been known for years that German troops have been involved in the preparation of summary executions, therefore, recent articles on the communication of mobile radio data are implicating involvement also of the BND, at least indirectly. more…

BERLIN/DOHA/ABU DHABI/RIYADH | | saudi-arabienvae

BERLIN/DOHA/ABU DHABI/RIYADH (Own report) - The Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) railroad company is expanding its business activities with the dictatorships of the Arabian Peninsular. As the company has announced, in October, it will begin organizing the operation of one of the rail lines in the United Arab Emirates. This is done on the basis of a "Strategic Partnership," concluded by the DB with the Emirates' "Etihad Rail." The DB will help establish a railroad academy in Qatar, for training personnel needed for rail operations. The DB is also in business in Saudi Arabia, where it is participating in the construction of a high-speed rail line from Mecca to Medina, and was also involved in the construction of an elevated railway line for the Women's University in Riyadh. The latter must be driven automatically, because of Saudi gender segregation policy. Business with these dictatorships at the Gulf helps the DB to reach its announced objective of becoming "the world's leading mobility and logistics company." The DB's domestic business, plagued for years by the aggravating consequences of its massive cutbacks, is also subordinated to reaching this objective. Currently, the fact that the DB is incapable of providing service after 8 pm to one of the important regional public transportation junctions - the main train station of the Rhineland-Palatinate's regional capital, Mainz - due to a lack of personnel, has provoked protests. Last year, the DB Corporation achieved an operative income of 2.7 billion Euros. more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - Reinhard Merkel, a professor of law in Hamburg is raising strong accusations of western policies in the Syrian war. The West has "incurred a heavy degree of guilt" by supporting the Syrian insurgents - not because this aid has been "too cautious," but rather because "the transformation" of the civic resistance to Assad's regime has been "permitted, promoted, and managed to become a murderous civil war." Prof. Merkel criticizes the fact that hegemonic strategic motives have played a significant role. It is also being ignored that Syria is a "prime example" for a country devoid of all prerequisites for a successful putsch. Consequently more than 100,000 people, have paid "with their lives for this alleged moralist advocacy." While continuing to claim that the Assad regime should be overthrown for humanitarian reasons, Berlin persists in refusing to grant asylum to Syrian war refugees. At the end of July, humanitarian aid organizations complained that in the competent German embassy in Beirut, applications for reuniting families from the combat zones can hardly be made. Acts of despair have begun to result from Berlin's unremitting rejections. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | usa

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) admits having forwarded so-called metadata to the US military's NSA secret service. According to the BND, this data which, as shown by US whistleblower Edward Snowden's documents, was forwarded from Germany to the United States, may also contain material resulting from espionage in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the BND, at the instigation of the German Chancellery, is particularly engaged in spying on that country's government. In any case, not only the domestic spying service (the "Office of the Protection of the Constitution"), but also the BND has been trained by the NSA in how to operate the XKeyscore surveillance program, which, according to the German weekly "Der Spiegel," opens the possibility of a nearly "total surveillance." German government attempts to play down the importance of German-US espionage cooperation have proven unsuccessful. As German historian, Josef Foschepoth, who uncovered the legal basis for this cooperation, explains, the legal basis for this cooperation has essentially remained intact, in spite of the abrogation of a notorious 1968 administrative agreement. This cooperation is based on the 1959 Supplementary Agreement to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. It is still in the dark, what role is played by a top secret NATO agreement dated October 4, 2001, which is presumed to establish the framework for the CIA's program of abduction of suspects and probably contains other components regulating cooperation between the intelligence services. more…

BERLIN/BEIJING | | china

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - Berlin's foreign policy establishment has intensified its debate on China's military buildup, on the territorial conflicts in the seas of Eastern Asia and on what Germany's reactions should be. After 30 years of a double-digit economic growth average, China now "has arrived at the point," where it translates its "economic strength into political influence and military power," according to last year's colloquium held in the German capital by the Federal College for Security Studies (BAKS). Various experts have now drawn the conclusion that the Peoples Republic of China's primary objective is to ward off from the China Seas, extraneous powers' offensive operations running counter to China's interests, as well as to protect its own maritime trade routes westward. Currently, these are under the control of western nations, who, at any time could decide to put Beijing under strong pressure. In fact, Berlin is expanding its military policy activities along China's maritime trade routes. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU must enhance its influence in East and Southeast Asia. more…