DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - German government advisors are calling for German Bundeswehr participation in an eventual UN mission in Syria. Such a mission could become necessary in the framework of the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons to provide, for example, protection for UN inspectors carrying out their on-the-spot activities, explain foreign policy specialists. The Bundeswehr should be available for such a mission, according to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Current reports depict the military environment of an eventual mission: approx. 40 percent of the insurgent militias in Syria are Salafists, some of whom (al Qaeda) have won global notoriety through their attacks on Western targets. Most recent indications point to the implication of German companies having possibly participated in the establishment of Syrian facilities for the production of chemical weapons. Last week, the German government admitted to the delivery of chemicals that would be necessary for the production of chemical weapons. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - It will be easier for the Bundeswehr to be able to rely on the support from aid and development organizations in future interventions. This conclusion can be drawn from statements made by the director of the first German aid association, which - as the first of its kind - began official cooperation with German armed forces in their theaters of operations, quite a few years ago. According to the director, resistance to "civilian - military" cooperation has noticeably been receding. This can be seen, for example, in the "recommendations" made last April by the Association of German Development NGOs (VENRO), pointing to an obvious reorientation in favor of cooperation with the Bundeswehr. According to the paper, an interchange between the Bundeswehr and aid and development organizations is important, even though particular security precautions must be taken, to not endanger the aid assistants. Under no circumstances should aid assistants be referred to "in communications" as "Bundeswehr partners." This intensification of "civilian-military" cooperation is in line with demands currently being made by high-ranking German military policy-makers. more…

KABUL/BERLIN | | afghanistan

KABUL/BERLIN (Own report) - German foreign policy specialists are evaluating and learning the "lessons" of the war in Afghanistan, for application in future interventions. While the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr is still in full swing and debates of a continued Western military presence in Afghanistan are ongoing, the outgoing security policy speaker of the FDP parliamentary group, Elke Hoff, enumerates glaring mistakes made by NATO and its allies in the implementation of their occupation policy. She explains that various measures were failures because the West had simply not found it necessary to take the needed "time and patience," or because sufficient "knowledge and respect for the cultural specifics of the country" have been considered superfluous - in the context of a war with innumerable casualties and the most devastating disruption of the lives of the people in the war zone. Hoff makes improvement suggestions for future wars, which include obtaining a better understanding of the "organization, the density and structures" of local populations - if possible by conducting a "census." Above all, however, cooperation between the military and aid as well as development organizations should be greatly intensified - even before entering into the next war. more…

NAYPYIDAW/BERLIN |

NAYPYIDAW/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is reinforcing its efforts to have an influence on the People's Republic of China's overland transit route. A top-notch investment forum will open Tuesday September 10, in Myanmar also with German sponsorship. The forum, where around 900 "political decision-makers," "business leaders," investors, and economists are expected to attend, is aimed at consolidating and intensifying the new offensive on Myanmar's economy, since it has become more accessible to the West. Germany is also interested in that country, not only because it offers profit opportunities, but also because of its high geostrategic importance. Its territory is deemed to serve as an overland transit route for Chinese imports of natural resources, which is what has caught the attention of anti-China political strategists. Voices in the US media have begun to call on Myanmar to "free itself of China." Whereas major companies are independently active, small and medium size German enterprises are being aided comprehensively by the government, through the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. more…

BERLIN | | syrien

BERLIN (Own report) - German government advisors consider measures supporting the Syrian insurgents to be serious violations of international law. This is the conclusion drawn in a newly published analysis of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). As the Chancellery-financed think tank explained, the foreign states' "financial and logistic support" of parties to a civil war, violate "the intervention prohibition." Berlin supports the insurgents in Syria in various ways, ranging from medical treatment of wounded insurgents at hospitals of the Bundeswehr or the supply of "protective vests" or even reconstruction work in insurgent-controlled areas of the country. Military training of militiamen and deliveries of weapons, by various allies of Germany, also violate the UN Charter's prohibition of the use of force. Punitive military operations are in contravention of international law. However, Berlin's think tank does not expect this will have a major impact on war plans currently being forged by the West. "The question of international legality (...) will not be decisive in determining whether the operation will be carried out." more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syriengrossbritannien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin has reacted to the UK parliament's decision not to participate in an attack on Syria with an about-face in its own foreign policy. Up until Thursday, the German government and the opposition had been unanimously proclaiming that the use chemical weapons near Damascus must have "consequences" and emphasizing their approval of the British prime minster's belligerency. Now the German government is declaring that it is not considering "a military strike," while the opposition is professing that "a military intervention would be a mistake." This about-face must be seen in the context of the strategic leeway in Europe, resulting from the new situation, which only concerns Syria at a secondary level. As the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) notes, the British parliament's decision has not only "damaged the special relationship with the United States," it also provides Germany new political advantages. Moreover, "the British-French security and defense policy alliance has been weakened," thereby strengthening Germany's position. In spite of its about-face in foreign policy, bellicose positions are still remnant in Berlin. For example, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, declared that the West should not "from the outset" exclude any option - including participation in a war. more…