BERLIN | | polen

BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is accelerating the creation of an EU army by means of bilateral military cooperation. The German-Polish "declaration of intent" on military cooperation of the two countries' armed forces, signed in the middle of the week, is the most recent example. The agreement includes the exchange and joint training of officers as well as "placing combat battalions under the other's command." Poland's military already has more than 130 German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks with another 120 due to be added by 2015. A sales contract to this effect was signed last year, only a few months after an agreement "reinforcing" cooperation between the Navies of the two countries was signed. At the time, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) spoke of a "totally new quality" in the military cooperation between Germany and Poland. His successor, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), has gone a step further and had her ministry declare that the intended German-Polish military cooperation is a "trendsetting milestone for the development of European integrated military structures." more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - German government advisors are calling for intensifying the military engagement in the Syrian war. According to an article published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), western countries "must seriously re-think their original strategy" for overthrowing the Assad government, because it had placed too much emphasis on the "promotion of civilian structures." The establishment of a no-fly zone over the entire Syrian airspace would be one of the necessities. At the same time, demands are being raised in the USA to cooperate with the Assad government and Iran in the war against IS. The US once had even "allied with Stalin to fight Hitler," reasons an influential US foreign policy expert. The demand is being opposed, not only in Germany but also in the USA, where a former CIA analyst is calling for the establishment of a conventional Syrian exile army in a neighboring country, which, in two to three years, should intervene in Syria. more…

BERLIN/BONN |

BERLIN/BONN (Own report) - Last week, the German Bundeswehr launched a new recruitment propaganda campaign. The advertising campaign includes three prime time commercials on public and commercial TV channels. The thirty-second video clips depict soldiers in civilian dress going about their off-duty activities with the objective of portraying soldiers as "everyday people," "with a private life like anyone else." The spoken texts emphasize the soldier's camaraderie, patriotism, and orientation on the common good - all reference to their use of violence is obscured. This new propaganda offensive is part of the "Attractiveness Agenda," announced by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) aimed at presenting the Bundeswehr as a modern, "people oriented" employer. The agenda also promotes the "embedding" of the Armed Forces in German society. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - The election campaign, ending this week in today's pro-Western Ukraine, is characterized by extremist nationalism. According to opinion polls, the party of the politician, who had promoted himself using videos of his violations of the human rights of alleged pro-Russian separatists, is set to become second in Sunday's elections. Considering the civil war's nationalist upsurge, other parties have begun accepting militiamen into their ranks. The commander of the fascist Asov Battalion, for example, is a member of the "military council" of Prime Minister Arseniy Jazenjuk's party. Last week, Asov Battalion militia members participated in the violent attacks on the Ukrainian parliament. During the election campaign, it was alleged that Kiev's troops had used internationally banned cluster munitions in the Donetsk region. New social cuts are anticipated - regardless of the winner of the elections - to pay for the essential supplies of Russian gas. Berlin and the EU, whose hegemonic sphere Ukraine joined this year, are refusing to give Kiev additional material assistance. Aside from these issues, the former Polish foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, admitted that he had completely invented the serious allegations he made against the Russian president. German media have widely reported on these allegations. more…

FRANKFURT AM MAIN |

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (Own report) - The "Airtec" arms fair, scheduled to begin next week in Frankfurt am Main, has provoked heavy protests. Opponents are particularly criticizing the organizers' intention to present combat drones, so-called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in the "Innovative Theme Parks." The program of the fair includes talks by leading representatives of German arms manufacturers. High-ranking representatives of the Bundeswehr will have the opportunity to present their requirements for future UAVs. The discussion will also focus on how combat drones can be made to "autonomously" perform combat operations. "Airtec" will also focus on how to "integrate" combat UAVs into the civilian airspace and how to increase their "public acceptance." Information on the necessary public relations methods will be provided by a well known "peace researcher." more…

BERLIN/ANKARA/RIYADH | | saudi-arabientuerkei

BERLIN/ANKARA/RIYADH (Own report) - The German Chancellor is raising strong accusations against Turkey. One should "be able to expect from a NATO member country" that it "will set the right priorities" and ultimately give precedence to the struggle against IS, Angela Merkel said yesterday (Wednesday), in reference to the catastrophic situation in the North Syrian border town of Kobani. Ankara is refusing any form of assistance to the Syrian-Kurdish combatants, trying to fend off the terrorist troops of the "Islamic State" (IS) storming the city. Observers are suspecting that an IS conquest of Kobani may even be to the Turkish government's geostrategic advantage. Merkel's accusations of Ankara are surprising - not solely, because Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been systematically spying on Turkey. Therefore, Berlin had known of how Turkey has been supporting IS, without objecting. Likewise, Berlin had not intervened against the strategic measures being taken in Lebanon and Syria by the USA and Saudi Arabia, even though these also benefited the IS or other Salafist militias, that are today supporting the IS. Experts are warning that in the short-term, the strengthening of IS can no longer be halted. In the Turkish regions bordering on Syria, there could even be a similar development to the Afghan-Pakistan border. more…

ANKARA/BERLIN | | tuerkei

ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) - Western interventions and the expansionist interests of NATO ally Turkey are responsible for the dramatic situation in the northern Syrian city of Kobane. The conquest of the city appears immanent, in spite of the desperate defensive battle against the "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist organization that was still being waged on Tuesday evening. There are already countless casualties. Western interventions in the Middle East are ultimately responsible for strengthening the IS, which is on the verge of conquering Kobane. Iraqi Kurdish militia - unlike the Syrian Kurds combating IS - are getting support, also from the Bundeswehr, thanks to Turkey's expansionist concepts. According to these concepts, which are being greeted with sympathy in the West, a "Kurdistan" state could be pried away from Iraq and linked to - or even integrated into - Turkey, in the hopes of weakening the area's pro-Iranian forces and pit Sunni forces against Iran. These strategic macro plans, which are in Western interests, have led to the terrible situation in Kobane. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is preparing the Bundeswehr's deployment in Ukraine. According to reports, in support of the OSCE mission to monitor the ceasefire between the Kiev government troops and the insurgents, up to 200 German soldiers will be deployed in the East of the country. The decision on the deployment is expected to be made in the next few days. Following armament and training operations in Iraq and the airlift to West Africa, this would be the third intervention to have been decided in a short period time. It shows that the German government is increasingly willing to supplement its foreign policy activities with military engagement. With the planned Bundeswehr deployment in Ukraine, Germany wants to reinforce its direct control over military activities inside that country. It would be the first combat mission of German troops since WW II on territory of the former Soviet Union, placing German soldiers close to the Russian border. This goes hand in hand with considerations to actually place the state administration under German-European tutelage. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | usa

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - Demands for a stronger orientation on a global cooperation with the United States are being raised in Germany's foreign policy establishment. In face of growing global insecurity, it would be very useful to have a powerful ally, according to a programmatic article by an editor of "Die Zeit" published in Germany's leading foreign policy journal. France could not replace a collaboration with the US, because it is too "state-led" and its "leadership is solely a network of relationships." Berlin, however, could "assume more self-confidence" in its cooperation with Washington, because Germany has become "a minor superpower." The fact that the Unites States is increasingly becoming a motor for the German export industry has a positive effect on plans for cooperation: German exports to the USA rose by one-third between 2010 and 2013. Observers expect an even more important increase, at a time, when German exports to central countries of the Euro zone and to Russia - once Germany's export oriented companies' great hope - are in a slump. New business opportunities with the USA are fueling political cooperation. more…