BERLIN/BRUSSELS |

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - With Jean-Claude Juncker, Germany will have a politician as President of the EU Commission, who has always been a close ally. Juncker says that "since his earliest youth," he has "always felt particularly close" to Germany, an affinity that "grew even stronger" in later years. The former prime minister of Luxemburg is seen as former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's protégé and as the "mediator" in Germany's interests, wherein he had also won France over to accept Germany's standpoint on an economic and monetary union. The transition from the Barroso cabinet to that of Juncker will be coordinated by the German national, Martin Selmayr, who had previously been employed as cabinet director of the EU Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, (Luxemburg) and was considered to "actually be the Commissioner of Justice." He is also considered to become cabinet director of Juncker's office as President of the Commission. Germans are at decisive posts on the Council of Ministers as well as in the European Parliament, for example as parliamentary group whips, and the German national, Martin Schulz is being considered for the next presidency of the parliament. An influential German journal commented the concentration of Germans at the leadership level of the EU's bureaucracy with "The EU speaks German." more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS | | georgienmoldawien

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - At its summit, starting today, the EU is pushing ahead to integrate non-member countries into its global foreign and military policies. With the Association Agreements due to be signed at the summit, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine will have to gradually adapt themselves to the EU's foreign and military policy. The association aims at enhancing the three countries' participation "in EU-led civilian and military crisis management operations as well as relevant exercises and training activities." Ukraine is already contributing soldiers to EU battle groups, while Georgia has contributed 140 soldiers to the EU's Central African Republic intervention force. With its "Framework Participation Agreements" (FPA), the EU, for years, has been engaging numerous non-member countries - including Canada, Chile and South Korea - in its global policy operations. Resembling NATO's "Partnership for Peace," the FPA has not only the objective of attracting additional troops, but also of enhancing global acceptance of EU's operations. However, as an EU think tank openly admits, Brussels requires a certain "degree of subordination," from its cooperation partners. more…

BERLIN | | russische-foederation

BERLIN (Own report) - In view of the EU's summit meeting, later this week, the "fracking" lobby and NATO are intensifying their pressure for the EU to initiate the highly controversial "hydraulic fracturing." There are indications that the German Bundestag could speed up legislation allowing this dangerous gas production technique. The outgoing NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen is implying that fracking opponents are in fact working as agents for the Russian government. This incredible slander coincides with global transatlantic strategies aimed at using the current fracking boom in the USA and other western countries, to significantly weaken or even eliminate Russia's influence as a producer of natural gas. If Moscow can no longer sell its gas to the EU, it could hardly avoid painful budget cuts. This would have serious consequences for Putin's position of power at home and his influence in global politics. Regardless of such campaigns, German and US energy companies are pressing ahead with fracking in Europe - while continuing to do business with Russia. more…

BAGHDAD/DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | iraksyrien

BAGHDAD/DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - The advance of the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" ISIL - also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIL) - a product of the Syrian war, which Berlin has been energetically spurring on, is shaking up the Middle East. ISIL's current strength is the result of the radicalization that has taken place in the course of the insurgency against President Bashar al Assad's government in Syria, of which observers had been warning since early in the conflict. However, these warnings had fallen on deaf ears in the German government, which had continued to strengthen the insurgents. The ISIL has also benefitted from weapons deliveries and other support provided by Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf dictatorship that is one of Berlin's most important partners in the Syrian war. The German political establishment also maintains close contact to a Saudi prince, who, during the 1980s, while serving as head of the intelligence services of his country, had furnished arms to the Mujahidin in Afghanistan, including Osama bin Laden, and who, still today, wields considerable political influence. Berlin has never insisted that the Saudis cease their support for ISIL. That Salafist militia has now taken control of wide areas of Iraq and has begun to attack Lebanon. ISIL activists are also active in Europe. One of them is being accused of having committed the quadruple murder in the Jewish Museum in Brussels. more…

BERLIN | | russische-foederationusa

BERLIN (Own report) - An influential German weekly opened a debate on the call for redefining EU - US relations. The West's current policy toward Ukraine is diametrically opposed to "European" interests, according to an article published in the online-edition of the German weekly "Die Zeit". "Europe should not deprive itself of cooperation with Moscow; it should rather be enhanced. At the same time, the EU should intensify its relations with Washington, while pursuing "its own concepts" with more determination. The objective should be a "new and more promising transatlantic grand strategy." The article was authored by an associate of the Global Policy Institute, a think tank in London, but his standpoint also reflects opinions being expressed within the German foreign policy establishment. Back-stage disputes over Germany's policy toward Ukraine are slowly surfacing into public view. more…

BERLIN | | china

BERLIN (Own report) - In light of escalating tensions in the maritime areas off the Chinese coast, German foreign policy experts are analyzing the divers interests at stake and possibilities for intervention. At the heart of the conflicts, particularly in the East China Sea, are military options, according to a German think tank. China, in the dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, is concentrating on its defense capability against potential aggressors. According to the naval publication "MarineForum," maritime trade routes through the South China Sea are of major interest. This is where China, for example, is transiting 80 percent of its oil and liquid gas imports. This is why the Spratly islands - apart from their own oil deposits - are of significant strategic importance. To the question of how the EU would react should a war start in East Asia - provoked, for example, by a dispute over any of the groups of islands - an associate of the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK) answered that, unlike London and Paris, Berlin would currently not have the capability to intervene, which is why Germany should seek to establish a naval base in the Indian Ocean. more…

BERLIN/KIEV | | ukraine

BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) - In the West's hegemonic struggle against Russia, German government advisers are calling for close military ties between Ukraine and the Western war alliance. According to a recent paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Ukraine's direct accession to NATO would be counterproductive and should not be sought. This, however, should not impede an intensification of cooperation, joint military maneuvers and, in the long run, the country's arms build-up in favor of the West. In its paper, the SWP is proposing a "Finnish model" for Ukraine's future: Finland is not an official member of a military alliance, but has close ties with NATO and is practically allied with the West. Similarly, Kiev could combine a formal "non-alignment" with close partnership with NATO. The US foreign policy mainstream is sharing this view: Ukraine's NATO membership is seen as too risky because it could push the country into the ultimate abyss and - In the long run - heavily incriminate the Eastern members of this war alliance. The plans for closer cooperation between NATO and Ukraine are accompanied by intensified military activities in East European NATO member countries. more…

KARLSRUHE/HAMBURG |

KARLSRUHE/HAMBURG (Own report) - A new scholarly study has provoked discussion about the network of former Nazi war criminals, which was formed after 1945 by the Hamburg-based Toepfer Foundation. The network included the agricultural expert Hans-Joachim Riecke, according to historian Wigbert Benz in Karlsruhe. Riecke had organized the large-scale theft of food from the territory of the Soviet Union under Wehrmacht occupation in WW II, to deliberately starve millions of people to death. In 1951, the agronomist Riecke became head of the economic department of Alfred C. Toepfer's agricultural trade company and a few years later rose to become a board member of the Alfred C. Toepfer Foundation, which exists still today. In this function, Riecke also accorded the 25,000 DM-doted "Freiherr vom Stein Foundation Award" to the Bundeswehr generals Wolf Graf von Baudissin, Ulrich de Maizière and Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg, who, during WW II, had been members of the Nazi Wehrmacht's general staff. Kielmansegg prided himself with having marched "forward over graves" in France and Poland. more…