BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The current discussion in Germany about the German population's "resilience" to attacks by enemy combatants can be traced back to reflections expressed in World War I and during the Nazi period. In 1935, Gen. Erich Ludendorff, who had been appointed in 1916 to the Supreme Command of the German Empire's army, declared that the "German people's spiritual unity" was a prerequisite to victory in the coming "total war." According to Ludendorff, the population, the military and the political leadership must be "welded" into a "powerful unity," seeing itself as a "community of destiny" and devoting all its energy to the service of warfare. To this end, the general demanded the introduction of "general compulsory service" for men and women, as well as the launching of the appropriate propaganda campaigns - "already in peacetime." Parallels can be found today in current German government initiatives. For example, in its "Civil Defense Concept" the German Ministry of the Interior speaks of changing the constitution to permit women to be obligated to work in "defense-relevant domains." Through "social discourse" the population should be prepared to "assume risks" and "endure" damaging events. more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS |

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - With billions in arms programs at the EU and national levels, the EU is seeking to become a globally operating military power. At its summit last week, the EU agreed not only to enhance cooperation among the member armed forces to facilitate their combat deployment - for example in Africa - but to also rapidly establish a "defense fund" planning to reallocate funds from civilian to military use. In a few years, Brussels will already be allocating €1.5 billion annually for both research and development of new military technology. The German government is also increasing its military spending and decided last week to allocate nearly ten billion euros for arms projects, including warships, tanker aircraft, satellites, and optimizing existing weaponry for current wars. In addition, billions are being earmarked for completely new projects. Lucrative for the arms industry, they include the Multi-role Combat Ship MKS 180, and a new fighter jet, capable of competing with the US F-35 and being integrated with guided missiles, drones and other weaponry. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS) is calling for a propaganda campaign to strengthen the German population's resilience to attacks in their country by enemy combatants. In collaboration with "media partners" and "civil society," an "understanding" must be achieved that "firmness against crisis" by each citizen towards "terrorist attacks" forms an "integral part" of society's overall resilience," explains the government's military policy think tank. BAKS explicitly refers to the "White Paper on Security Policy and Future of the Bundeswehr," presented by the German Defense Ministry in 2016, which is also pleading "to improve the ability of both state and society to withstand and adapt" to all kinds of attacks, necessitating a "whole-of-government approach to security." The state-owned Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft had launched urban projects along the same lines, already years ago, in which "each individual citizen" is considered "part of a comprehensive concept of resilience to multiple security risks." more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - German arms exports are leveling out at a new record high, as indicated by the Arms Export Report for 2016 and the first four months of 2017, published last Wednesday in Berlin. According to the report, the German government has approved €6.85 billion worth of military equipment sales in 2016 - one billion less than in 2015 but significantly more than the fluctuations around five billion in the overall value of arms exports since 2003. The main recipients of German deliveries include countries of the Arab Peninsula, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with the aim of forming a military counterforce to Iran. For over two years, they have been waging war against Yemen - also using German weapons. Berlin has also approved the sale of patrol boats to Saudi Arabia, which can be used to escalate the famine blockade around Yemen. Algeria and Egypt are receiving German warships. A closer cooperation with the navies of these two countries would enable Berlin and Brussels to complete their control over the EU's southern flank. German arms recipients include several countries around the Pacific basin, prone to become Western partners in the event of a conflict with the People's Republic of China. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN/BAGHDAD | | irak

WASHINGTON/BERLIN/BAGHDAD (Own report) - A strategy paper prepared by the US Atlantic Council think tank - with the assistance of Germany's CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation - is proposing measures for Western powers to take to insure their continued influence in Iraq following the fall of Mosul. According to the paper, published a few days ago, US military forces should remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future, train and equip Iraqi forces to prevent IS from regrouping and recovering after its expected defeat. To push back Iran's influence, measures should also be taken to help the country's economic development. In Baghdad, a government "strongly inclined to cooperate closely with the United States" is needed, the paper states, and calls for US allies - particularly European countries - to engage in Iraq to "tackle sensitive areas in which the United States is not seen as neutral." Berlin is already using this opportunity to build its own base of influence in Iraq and is supporting the reconstruction of towns recaptured from the IS. Insuring western control of Iraq is considered all the more urgent, since Russia could successfully obtain major influence in Damascus following the anticipated end of the Syrian war. more…

BERLIN/CIUDAD DE MÉXICO/BUENOS AIRES | | mexikoargentinien

BERLIN/CIUDAD DE MÉXICO/BUENOS AIRES (Own report) - On her trip to Argentina and Mexico last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to use the tensions between US President Donald Trump and Latin America to strengthen German influence on the subcontinent, by expanding business relations. Berlin would like to knit closer ties to Argentina through a free trade agreement with the South American Mercosur alliance and is planning to expand bi-lateral trade with Mexico, on the basis of the existing free trade agreement. Already long before Trump's electoral victory, the German government had been seeking to strengthen its trade with Latin America. Trump's threats to fortify the Mexican border with a wall and the revocation of the NAFTA free trade agreement have practically driven the countries of this region into Berlin's arms. This was even reinforced, when Chancellor Merkel publicly criticized the wall project. The coup had the desired effect, despite the fact that the EU - under German pressure - is surrounding itself with wall-like border fortifications. The German effort to expand its Latin American influence is also directed at China. more…

BERLIN | | saudi-arabien

BERLIN (Own report) - Following the recent terror attacks, international pressure has been mounting on a major supporter of global jihadism - Saudi Arabia, a close German ally. In London, leading politicians from the opposition are calling on the British government to finally publish an investigation of the - presumably Saudi - financiers of British jihadis. Protest against the western powers' pact with the Saudi ruling clan is being raised also beyond Europe's borders. The youth league of the world's largest Islamic organization, the Indonesian Nahdlatul Ulama, for example, has published a declaration accusing the West of ignoring the direct correlation between the Saudi Salafist crusade "and the spread of terrorism worldwide." For decades, Saudi Arabia has been promoting Salafi jihadi milieux throughout the world - partly in alliance with Germany, partly with Berlin's de facto approval - significantly strengthening them in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sahel, North Africa, the Middle East and the European countries with Muslim populations, such as Kosovo, as well as in Southeast Asia - in Indonesia and in the Philippines. While milieux supported by Saudi Arabia have increased their terror also in Western Europe, Berlin is continuing its cooperation with Riyadh. more…

LONDON/BERLIN/RIYADH | | saudi-arabien

LONDON/BERLIN/RIYADH (Own report) - With its continued worldwide support for Salafis, Germany's close partner, Saudi Arabia, is relentlessly fertilizing the soil for the growth of jihadi terror, according to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). "The consequences of Saudi Arabia's support for Salafism are catastrophic," the SWP concludes in light of IS/Daesh activities in Europe. British experts are also sharply criticizing cooperation with Riyadh. If one seriously wants to combat jihadi terror, one "should start by stopping the mass export of Wahhabism's intolerance and hatred from Saudi Arabia," an insider recommends. This is, however, countered by Germany, other European powers and North America's relentless cooperation with the Saudi ruling clan. Just a few weeks ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel launched regular military cooperation with the Saudi armed forces. Out of consideration for Riyadh, the British government has been withholding an investigation, showing the - presumably Saudi - financiers of British jihadis. This had been made known only three days before the latest terror attack in London. more…