Airlift Base in Georgia

German Bundeswehr uses Georgia as hub for withdrawal from Afghanistan. The country cooperates with EU and NATO, but, increasingly, also with Russia.

BERLIN/TBILISI | | georgien

BERLIN/TBILISI (Own report) - Since recently Germany has a temporary airlift base at its disposal in Georgia. According to the German Air Force, the base in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, serves as hub for the Bundeswehr's withdrawal from Afghanistan. The fact that the country has not only deepened its ties with the EU through an association agreement, but is also intensifying relations with NATO explains why, of all places, Germany uses a base in Georgia. Georgia, for example, has participated in the "Defender Europe 2021" maneuvers. This is in contrast to the domestic political development in that Caucasus country, which has enhanced its relations with Russia since its change of government in 2012 - under the protests of nationalist or pro-Western oriented milieus. The Green Party-affiliated Heinrich-Böll Foundation already speaks of Georgia's "creeping Russification." According to the Foundation's representative in the South Caucasus, the EU's policy in the region needs a stronger foreign and military policy component - including eventual "peace missions." more…

Of Perpetrators, Victims and Collaborators (II)

Ukraine honors Nazi-collaborators, who, 80 years ago today, participated in the invasion of the Soviet Union and carried out massacres of Jews.

BERLIN/KIEV | | ukraine

BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) - Whereas the German invasion of the Soviet Union 80 years ago is being internationally commemorated today, collaborators, who participated in the war of annihilation on the side of the Germans, are receiving state honors in Ukraine, in particular the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its leader Stepan Bandera as well as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) which originated from that milieu. Together with the German Wehrmacht and troops from several collaborating states, OUN militias advanced onto Soviet territory, where they committed countless massacres of the Jewish population alongside German units. In Lviv (formerly Lemberg), 4000 Jews were assassinated within a very short period. The parliament in Kiev declared the OUN "combatants for Ukrainian independence." A government decree calls for honoring their "patriotism" and "high morals" in Ukrainian schools. The UPA's founding day has been a national holiday since 2015. The OUN salute adorns Ukraine's football League's jerseys. more…

Of Perpetrators, Victims and Collaborators

Tuesday June 22, 80th anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union: No commemoration by the German government and Bundestag, German President under attack because of his commemoration address in the Karlshorst Museum.

BERLIN/MOSCOW | | russische-foederation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) - The German invasion of the Soviet Union 80 years ago will be internationally commemorated on Tuesday - without any participation by the German government or the Bundestag. This invasion marked the beginning of the German war of annihilation's key phase that had cost the lives of 27 million Soviet citizens, devastated large parts of the country and exposed the Jewish population to German crimes of extermination. The Bundestag should hold no special commemoration, but instead maintain an "undivided commemoration of the entire course of the Second World War," explained Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the Bundestag. Several members of the Bundestag used a "debate" on the war of annihilation to demand that "German crimes" not lead to restraint regarding aggression against today's Russia. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has Soviet victims of the war of annihilation disappear among the victims of "Central and Eastern Europe" - a choice of terms that conflates Nazi victims and Nazi collaborators: Significant forces from "Central and Eastern Europe" played an active role in the German war of annihilation. more…

The Big War

US military officers debate US war against China. It's timing: "maybe as early as 2026 or 2024."

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING | | usachina

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) - While the German frigate Bayern is preparing to set off for its Asia-Pacific tour, high-ranking US military officials are intensifying their discussion on the type and time of a possible large-scale war against China. Retired Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and author of a newly published novel on such a war, assumed until recently that the battle could begin in the coming decade and could possibly be triggered by a conflict over Taiwan or islands in the South and East China seas. However, the military balance of power between the USA and China is rapidly shifting in favor of the People's Republic, which in some areas has already caught up, for example in the number of warships or in cyber warfare, Stavridis notes. He warns that "the battle" between Washington and Beijing "may come much sooner. US allies play a central role and the USA is deliberately involving them in "more aggressive" operations, for example, in the South China Sea. Germany is among the allies he mentioned. more…

"The Starting Gun Has Gone Off"

G7 Summit adopts new measures against China. USA sees itself " in a competition to win the 21st century" and reinforces cooperation - also military - with allies.

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) - The leading western industrial countries want to compete with China's New Silk Road with a new infrastructure initiative spanning the globe. The project agreed on at their G7 summit meeting, which ended yesterday, bears the motto "Build Back Better World" ("B3W"). It is intended to mobilize over the next few years "hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment" in developing countries. Of course, the funding is completely uncertain. Over the years, similar ambitious initiatives launched by the EU, as well as by Japan and India, intended to undermine the New Silk Road have remained unsuccessful. The current G7 initiative is part of a broad-based offensive launched against China by the United States, one that includes a gigantic high-tech funding program and military measures with a strengthening of allied cooperation. US President Joe Biden stated: "We are in a competition with China to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off." more…

Counterweight to China at the Gulf

The strategy center of the German government demands that the EU exert more influence on the Arabian Peninsula - using also so-called security policy.

BERLIN/RIYADH/ABU DHABI | | vae

BERLIN/RIYADH/ABU DHABI (Own report) - The EU should take advantage of current turbulences on the Arabian Peninsula to intensify its activities for gaining more influence in the region, according a working paper just published by the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS), the most important military policy strategy center for the German government. As the BAKS notes, the energy transition compels the Arab Gulf states to abandon their economic focus on oil and gas. Moreover, following the change of US administrations, they are cautiously turning away from an openly confrontational policy toward Iran. This offers the opportunity to play a leading role in facilitating a new security dialogue in the Gulf, while enabling the EU to establish "a counterweight to Chinese influence in the region," according to the BAKS. China is gaining strength on the Arabian Peninsula. It is setting up a regional manufacturing plant for Covid-19 vaccines in the United Arab Emirates, while Huawei is rolling out the country's 5G network and is intending to upgrade it to a cyber security hub. more…

The World's Center of Gravity

EU seeks to expand its military presence in Asia. Kramp-Karrenbauer visits US base in Guam in the Pacific, the potential launching pad for attacks on China.

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/JAKARTA | | indonesien

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/JAKARTA (Own report) - The EU should significantly extend its foreign and military policy activities in the Asia Pacific region, EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell demanded on his return from a visit of several days to Indonesia. In Jakarta, Borrell discussed prospects for intensifying cooperation with the country and with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and announced: "We are exploring options to enhance EU’s maritime presence in the vast Indo-Pacific space." This is necessary because, through China's rise, the world's center of gravity is increasingly shifting away from the Atlantic to the Pacific. ”The history of mankind of the 21st century will be written in the Indo-Pacific area.” Just a few days earlier, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer became the first member of a German government to ever visit the Pacific Island of Guam, where the German frigate Bayern will dock during its Asia tour in the fall. Guam hosts major US military bases and is seen as a possible battlefield in a war between the USA and China. more…

The Lopsided Berlin-Paris Axis

Merkel's last Franco-German Ministerial Council meeting feigns harmonious relations. Yet Merkel had successively increased Berlin's predominance over Paris.

BERLIN/PARIS | | frankreich

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) - The Franco-German Ministerial Council meeting ended yesterday with a conspicuous display of harmony. He would like to thank Chancellor Angela Merkel for her "commitment," "vigor" and "patience," French President Emmanuel Macron declared in reference to the fact that the Ministerial Council meeting was the last such meeting with Merkel's participation. The Chancellor stressed that it was “always an enrichment when we reach a common solution." The declarations of harmony conceal the fact that, since she took office in late 2005, Merkel has succeeded in systematically increasing Berlin's predominance over Paris - from imposing Germany's austerity policy during the euro crisis against fierce French resistance, to the successful rejection of Macon's plea for a euro zone fiscal union. Their current disputes pertain to the war in Mali, where a defeat of the European powers is looming and the development of a new sixth-generation fighter jet (FCAS) almost encountered an impasse due to bitter internal rivalries. more…

In the Spiral of Sanctions

Berlin and Brussels plan harsh economic sanctions against Belarus. Foreign Minister Maas calls for the country's disconnection from the SWIFT payment system.

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/MINSK | | belarus

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/MINSK (Own report) - With a discussion of various drastic economic sanctions, Berlin and the EU are initiating their next round in the battle to topple Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. German Foreign Minster Heiko Maas calls not only for weighing punitive measures against Belarusian companies, but also for the country's exclusion from the SWIFT international payment system, which, according to experts, could lead to a massive collapse in the Belarusian economy - as it had once done in Iran. Of course, sanctions could also be damaging for one's own side, observers warn. Boycotting Belaruskali, for example, could cause serious problems for the farmers in EU countries. Luxemburg's Foreign Minster Jean Asselborn is quoted saying that the West might have to make “a little sacrifice.” The impending sanctions initiate the next round of more than two decades of Berlin, Brussels and Washington's attempts to topple Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. more…

Putsch in the Theater of Operations

Berlin and Paris are relying on a military solution, even after the putsch in Mali. More civilians are killed by military in the Sahel, than by jihadis.

BERLIN/BAMAKO | | mali

BERLIN/BAMAKO (Own report) - Following the coup in Mali, politicians in Berlin are pushing to enhance the influence of Germany and the EU in the Sahel. Brussels should be engaged "more vigorously for the security in West Africa," admonished CDU/CSU Defense Policy Spokesperson in the Bundestag Henning Otte. The Bundestag had already approved an increase in personnel for the training units in Mali. German troops in northern Mali will be provided with an additional drone. France seeks also to commit more troops. The Sahel's increasing militarization has led to a constantly growing number of civilians being killed by regular soldiers. While the EU is training Mali's armed forces, Malian soldiers are massacring villagers. The coup itself is the result of a dynamic stemming from the population's indignation toward the corruption of Mali's elites, who are cooperating with European powers. This development is quite similar to that in Afghanistan. more…