BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Thanks to Donald Trump's electoral victory, Berlin sees its opportunities for pushing for the creation of EU military structures and possibly European nuclear armed forces growing. Wolfgang Ischinger, the influential diplomat and Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, is "hoping" that the "Trump shock" has "dramatically increased" the willingness to militarize the European Union. Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that includes setting up an EU Operational Headquarters, establishing a "political leadership" for EU military operations, and raising the military budgets of all member states to at least 2% of their GDP. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, continues to promote the idea of an "EU superpower." Leading politicians and commentators are beginning to pick up the idea, previously launched by a number of experts, of the EU developing its own nuclear military forces on the basis of French and British nuclear weapons. However, for this, the French and British arsenals would be insufficient, according to a suggestive article published in one of Germany's leading opinion-forming dailies. more…

BERLIN/ERBIL/BAGHDAD | | irak

BERLIN/ERBIL/BAGHDAD (Own report) - In the wake of the war against IS (Daesh), the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, which is supported by Berlin, is forcibly displacing the Arabic-speaking inhabitants, aimed at a consolidation of the Kurdish dominated territory, as was reported by Human Rights Watch (HRW). According to HRW's investigation, the Kurdish Peshmerga has deliberately destroyed the homes of Arabic-speaking Sunnis in at least 21 villages and towns in northern Iraq, while leaving intact the Kurdish-owned houses. The Kurdistan Regional Government under President Masoud Barzani is striving to incorporate as many areas as possible - particularly the oil rich region Kirkuk - into the Kurdish autonomous region before seceding from Iraq. For decades, Barzani and his clan have been cooperating closely with politicians from the Federal Republic of Germany. Berlin was also promised access to the large oil reserves in the autonomous region. In return, Germany, above all, has been supporting the Peshmerga in its war against Daesh, while refusing similar aid to the Baghdad government. The German government is also ignoring the eviction of the Arabic-speaking inhabitants of the predominantly Kurdish region. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN |

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - Foreign policy experts are calling for the EU's concerted effort in opposition to a future USA governed by Donald Trump. According to the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a unified European stance is necessary to increase "leverage" over Washington. If the US President-elect ignores Europe's interests, Europe should consider going its own way in global policies, writes a German author in the leading US foreign policy periodical. It may be necessary "to consider whether to develop a European nuclear umbrella." These demands began to be heard after liberal Western media and members of the foreign policy establishment had declared Merkel the new "leader of the free world," and characterized outgoing US President Barack Obama's visit to Germany as "passing the baton" to Berlin. The Federal Republic of Germany is setting out to take on "America's status as torchbearer of liberal democracy." "It is befitting for Merkel to speak in the name of what we have been calling the West, for the past seven decades," according to the business press. Journalists describe the predominant attitude in Berlin already as being "the guardians of the international post-war order." more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN |

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - Under German pressure, the EU is pushing toward the establishment of military structures, independent of NATO, as is evidenced by recent decisions taken by its defense ministers. At their meeting, ending yesterday, the defense ministers decided, as a first step, that particular EU countries should enhance their military cooperation. The EU will establish a logistic hub and explore the creation of a European Medical Command. They planned the setting up of a nucleus for an EU civilian-military headquarters that, according to Italy's foreign minister, could grow to become a European general staff. These structures could serve NATO, but in the end, are suitable for an EU army. Berlin's attempt to pit the EU against the USA, by ostentatiously taking a distance to President-Elect Trump, has encountered opposition from the UK and several eastern EU countries. Leading European foreign policy makers called the EU a "superpower" expected to be a "global security provider." more…

BERLIN/CHISINAU | | moldawien

BERLIN/CHISINAU (Own report) - In its struggle against Russia for influence, Berlin has just suffered a severe setback with the results of Moldova's presidential runoff elections last Sunday. Official German representatives were relying on the liberal conservative candidate Maia Sandu to win the elections in the Republic of Moldova, located between Romania and Ukraine, with its population of 3.5 million. Sandu sought to maintain the country's pro-EU orientation. However, the Socialist Igor Dodon won the elections. He not only has recognized Crimea's joining the Russian Federation, he also wants to terminate Moldova's EU association. Dodon's victory is another sign that Germany and the EU are loosing influence in that country. Most recently, proponents of the country's neutrality formed the government and began putting a distance between their country and NATO. Now even closer ties between the Republic of Moldova and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union seem conceivable. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | usa

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - After Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential elections, the German government announced that it will continue its close cooperation with the United States and is calling for enhancing Germany's position in the transatlantic relationship. Chancellor Angela Merkel "offered" President-elect Donald Trump "close cooperation" on the basis of particular conditions. Jürgen Hardt, the German government’s Coordinator of Transatlantic Relations, spoke of the "necessity for us Europeans, and particularly for us Germans, to assume more responsibility." This "responsibility" would "grow" under a US President Trump and this concerns "all ... instruments of foreign and security policy." The call for more German influence reiterates positions recently voiced in Berlin's foreign policy establishment, demanding "not to leave stability policy proposals up to the USA," but to independently evaluate how to "shape the future global order." German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, are linking this demand to a call for significantly increasing the German military budget. more…

BERLIN/JUBA |

BERLIN/JUBA (Own report) - Wednesday, the German government decided to extend the Bundeswehr's deployment in South Sudan at least until the end of 2017. Therefore, up to 50 German soldiers will participate in the United Nations Blue Helmet Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). At least 50,000 people have been killed since late 2013 in this region's civil war - according to experts, it could be many more. Observers had warned against South Sudan's July 2011 formal secession and the possibility of an escalation of the vicious battles. However, together with Washington, Berlin, pursuing the geostrategic goal of significantly weakening the Arab dominated Sudan, pushed for secession to deprive it of a large portion of its oil deposits. They succeeded and the South Sudanese population is paying the price in blood. German politicians and media are silent on this fact because German interests are not affected. more…