BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German Bundeswehr's new "White Paper" is conceived as just a milestone in the ongoing development of German global policy and its instruments, according to an article published by Germany's leading foreign policy periodical. According to the article's two authors, who had been in charge of elaborating the "White Paper" for the German Defense Ministry, the White Paper's explicit claim to shape global policy and policy for outer space must be implemented and "brought to life" in the near future. While the German government is initiating new projects for upgrading military and "civil defense" measures, the EU is boosting its militarization: A growing number of government leaders of EU member states are supporting the creation of an EU army under openly proclaimed German leadership. According to a leading German daily, the balance sheet of recent German military involvements is "not exactly positive," but this should not discourage future military interventions. One should, however, not expect too much and harbor "illusions about rapid successes." more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The Berlin office of an EU-wide think tank, is warning of how the "frustration over German dominance" is growing among EU member countries. Over the past ten years, the Federal Republic of Germany has become the EU's undisputed strongest power, according to a recent analysis of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). The "EU partners" must now "decide how to handle Germany's power." Some have expressed resentment; others have "centered their EU strategies around Germany," and look for "ways to influence Berlin's policy machinery." None of this leaves any doubt that "Germany's political class" continues to see the EU as "the best available framework for the articulation of its national interest." Whereas the ECFR's analysis concentrates its attention primarily on the political establishment of the other EU countries, the supplementary question to be raised in how to deal with German dominance is becoming increasingly urgent. Berlin is impelling the militarization of foreign policy as well as domestic surveillance and repression, measures, serving the preparation for war - a concern of everyone. more…

BERLIN/MOSCOW | | russische-foederation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) - German government advisors are speculating about Russia's possible foreign policy offensives and discussing countermeasures to be taken. According to a research paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Russia "has continuously developed and further diversified" its foreign policy "tool chest" over the past few years. Today it includes "enhanced military capabilities, alongside numerous 'soft' tools." like "the orchestrated disinformation campaign in traditional mass media and online social networks, the instrumentalization of ethnic minorities, use of civil society organizations, economic cooperation, or economic pressure." The research paper describes fictitious scenarios, such as Russian support for extreme right-wing parties in Western European election campaigns as well as steps to ward off Russian influence. The types of international activities being ascribed to Russia are practices long in use by NATO countries - particularly Germany. more…

BERLIN/MOSCOW | | russische-foederation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) - In view of the Duma elections in Russia, the German foreign policy establishment is discussing Russia's future foreign policy and appropriate western reactions. This discussion is deemed necessary, given the fact that the institutions analyzing foreign policy had failed to foresee Russian initiatives both in the Ukrainian conflict and the Syrian war, according to a study by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). The SWP analysis indicates that politicians and experts were taken in by their own propaganda and their "stereotyping" interpretations "blinded" them to actual developments. In his contribution to the discussion, a well-known Russian expert wrote that, for the time being, Moscow as well as the western powers will most likely continue a confrontational foreign policy, because it is in their respective interests. With this policy, both sides would seek to consolidate their alliances and overcome the growing divisions within their own societies. In the West, this can be seen in the mantra-like "mention of Putin in the establishment parties' elections and other campaigns." more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - The Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras has announced a new initiative to force Germany to pay reparations and compensations to Greece. During a memorial service for the victims of a massacre committed by the German Wehrmacht in the western Greek village of Kommeno, on Tuesday, Tsipras declared that, should the Germany government persist in refusing to pay reparations, Athens will seek "through diplomatic channels - and if necessary at the judicial level - " to take action against Berlin. In early September, the Greek parliament is scheduled to discuss a recently completed report quantifying the German reparations debt at 269 billion Euros. German government assertions that the reparations issue has been "closed" are unfounded. In fact, payment of the binding 1946 reparations sum, recognized by the London Debt Agreement of February 1953, had been deferred, but not annulled. Only a fraction of it has been paid. As confirmed by Horst Teltschik, former advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Bonn had sought to evade its reparations obligations by explicitly not qualifying the 2 + 4 Treaty a "Peace Treaty." It had been feared that, with a peace treaty, suddenly "reparations demands from over 50 countries would land on the table," Teltschik explained. more…

ALEPPO/BERLIN | | syrien

ALEPPO/BERLIN (Own report) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's newest diplomatic initiatives for ending the battle for Aleppo are aimed at increasing Germany's Middle East influence. His efforts to achieve a Russian ceasefire and the establishment of a corridor to airdrop supplies for the besieged neighborhoods coincide with Berlin's official announcement to "actively help shape the global order." Assuming a humanitarian image, Berlin is demanding that combat ceases, precisely at the moment, when a victory in this war for the government troops appears within reach. This contrasts with its earlier attitude in phases of the war. When the insurgents were on the offensive; Berlin was fueling the conflict with the development of major reconstruction plans for Syria for the aftermath of Assad's overthrow. In the current battle for Aleppo, whereas Steinmeier is officially promoting a ceasefire, Germany's close allies are intensifying the arms buildup of the jihadi militias. A report by Amnesty International has revealed the consequences of the support Germany's close allies have been providing the jihadis, for years - with Berlin's tacit consent: In the regions controlled by jihadis, the militias are using corporal punishments such as amputations and stoning, arbitrary abductions, torture and murder to secure their reign. more…