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Old 02-05-2014, 09:59   #1
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Germany Announces Military Rearmament

Germany Announces Military Rearmament

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced on January 30th: "As correct as the policy of military restraint is, it must not be misunderstood as a culture of standing aside." In a full-page interview under the headline "Germany and the World" released later the same day, Steinmeir emphasized: "Germany is too large, just to comment on world politics." When asked if that meant use of military force as the "ultima ratio" (last resort) of foreign policy, he warned: "No foreign policy in the world can banish the ultima ratio from its political thinking." In response to questions about America's diminished sway in the world, Steinmeir added: "The US has not lost its interests in Europe and the world. But America cannot be everywhere. Whether we like it or not, that shifts more of the responsibility for security in Europe onto our shoulders." With the hundred-year anniversary of the start of World War One just months away, Germany announcing its intention to rearm is a very problematic development.

Germany has been the big economic winner since the Financial Crisis began in 2008. While the rest of Europe is suffering 12% unemployment, export-led growth has driven down German unemployment from 8.4% to a record low of 5.1%. Germany is the architect of the euro currency, and highly competitive German manufacturing enjoys the equivalent of a 25% undervalued currency. Coupled with growing demand for high-quality goods from emerging economies such as China, Germany has boosted its international competitiveness, according to a study by the World Economic Forum.

A key factor to sustaining this prosperity has been the German Bundesbank's control of the political and economic policies of the European Union through its dominance of the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank (ECB). Roughly 40% of German exports go to the 253 million in the other European countries that rely on the euro currency. But despite this German prosperity, the Bundesbank, through its control of the ECB, has forced the weakest continental economies of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (PIIGS) to implement austerity spending cuts that have resulted in dramatically higher unemployment. With the Financial Crisis continuing, the ECB is now beginning to force the traditionally strong economies of France and the Dutch to also pursue austerity cuts.

But across Europe, nationalist parties are now uniting with the French National Front to challenge German dominance. Recent polls indicate the right wing could win control in the European Parliamentary elections in May. Such a victory would allow the nationalists to wrench control of the ECB away from Germany by appointing the President of the European Union and Board Members of the ECB. Loss of ECB control would represent an existential threat to Germany's predatory economic advantage.

Germany has pursued a relatively unassertive foreign policy since the defeat of the "Third Reich" at the end of World War II. Despite being utterly destroyed, occupied, and partitioned; West Germany's highly competitive manufacturing sector was quickly rebuilt as a bulwark against communism. When its arch-enemy the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, West Germany reunified with the East and the modern industrial and economic powerhouse of 81 million people emerged. But what did not survive two crushing defeats was "Lebensraum," the Teutonic belief that it was the inevitable law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races to territorially expand to displace people of inferior races.

Through the Cold War and the modern era, the United States military, economic and political power guaranteed free access to sea-lanes and security for Germany and the European Union (EU). The American military umbrella acted as substantial subsidy that allowed Germany to maximize its focus on economic ascendency. But Germany is increasingly aware that U.S. security guarantees of global order may lack credibility. To Germany, the Obama Administration's disastrous Arab Spring initiative, loss in Iraq, humiliation in Syria, and pending defeat in Afghanistan has created an international power vacuum as the American foreign policy appears to be in a major retrenchment.

Germany now finds herself once again confronted in the East by resurgent Russian economic and military capability under President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB leader. Instability in North Africa and the Middle East has resulted in the European Union being forced to increasingly rely on Russia for oil and gas imports. Russia's state-controlled energy company Gazprom enjoys a near-monopoly position supplying natural gas to the EU. After attempts to economically align with the Europe Union; Russia threatened to suspend natural gas shipments to Ukraine this winter. Such an action would also harm Germany, which receives 25% of Russian gas via a Ukraine pipeline.

A BBC World Service poll found that Germany is the most favorably viewed nation in the world. Of 26,000 people surveyed across 25 countries, 59% felt that the European nation has a constructive influence upon the globe. This positive perception is built on respect for Germany's robust economic recovery and an understanding that the German constitution limits the number of troops in the standing defense force and prohibits the Bundeswehr, the nation's federal defense force, from being used inside Germany's borders or anywhere Adolf Hitler's Wehrmacht had previously occupied.

The New York Times recently quoted Germany's Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere: "For decades, we Germans have benefited from the fact that our partners gave us the feeling of reliable security... Now we are in a position and have the duty, even, to make our impact felt." In the past when Germans started talking about doing their duty and making an impact felt in the same sentence, other countries were wise to be concerned.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/...#ixzz2sSogbOd8
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:39   #2
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Germany Announces Military Rearmament
I thought that announcement was made in 1955 with the formation of the Bundeswehr.

Richard
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Old 02-05-2014, 13:21   #3
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I thought that announcement was made in 1955 with the formation of the Bundeswehr.

Richard
Those sneaky Germans
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Old 02-05-2014, 13:23   #4
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"The US has not lost its interests in Europe and the world. But America cannot be everywhere. Whether we like it or not, that shifts more of the responsibility for security in Europe onto our shoulders."

Good. They can handle the next Bosnia...
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Old 02-05-2014, 14:13   #5
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Old saying -
"NATO has three purposes in Europe:
To keep the Americans in
To keep the Soviets out
To keep the Germans down."
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Old 02-05-2014, 21:23   #6
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At one time during the Cold War the U.S. had nearly 300,000 personnel stationed in Germany alone. Granted that stalemate is over but now we have about a tenth of that number there. With a smaller American commitment in Europe and peacekeeping or humanitarian missions to be fulfilled in the future doesn't Germany have something of a void to fill?

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Old 02-05-2014, 22:37   #7
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At one time during the Cold War the U.S. had nearly 300,000 personnel stationed in Germany alone. Granted that stalemate is over but now we have about a tenth of that number there. With a smaller American commitment in Europe and peacekeeping or humanitarian missions to be fulfilled in the future doesn't Germany have something of a void to fill?
At one time during the Cold War West Germany had nearly 500,000 personnel stationed in Germany alone. And that's not counting the NVA. As of January 2014, the Bundeswehr's actual strength was 185,921.

Notwithstanding the overheated rhetoric of the American Thinker writer, or perhaps the hopes of some German politicians or generals, there is no real evidence of German rearmament, least of all in form of a unilateral rebuilding of German combat power versus its neighbors.

The budget projections from the Bundesministerium der Finanzen indicate that, rather than rearming, the defense budget is set to shrink:

Quote:
Verteidigung

Mit dem Regierungsentwurf zum Haushalt 2014 wird die Finanzierung der Bundeswehr nachhaltig gesichert. Die Ausgaben des Verteidigungshaushalts werden im Haushaltsjahr 2014 rund 32,8 Mrd. € betragen und damit rund 0,4 Mrd. € unter den Ansätzen für das Jahr 2013 liegen. Bis zum Jahr 2016 sinkt der Verteidigungshaushalt auf rund 32,1 Mrd. €.
The savings are expected to come mainly from reduced international commitments, especially with ISAF in Afghanistan. The procurement budget is nowhere near able to satisfy the Bundeswehr's wishlist of weapons systems to replace much of its aging Cold War-era inventory (Eurofighters to replace the F-4 Phantom, NH-90s for Hueys, Puma IFVs for Marders), much less allow for significantly increasing German military capabilities.

Meanwhile Russia is planning a 44% increase in its defense budget over the same period.
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Old 02-05-2014, 22:48   #8
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I should also add, looking at the budget tables from the Ministry of Defense, I see that even in the last year the defense budget went up, a 4.3% overall increase in 2013 over 2012, the procurement budget fell 6.5%. Most of the increase went to other budget items like personnel, fuel, facilities maintenance and rents.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:11   #9
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Meanwhile Russia is planning a 44% increase in its defense budget over the same period.
That's what we should be talking about.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:15   #10
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That's what we should be talking about.
Seems they also have a mooslem problem, leave them alone.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:46   #11
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IMO the thread title is a bit misleading as the issues over the last three or four decades have been less about 'rearmament' but related more to their and their allies' views on 'reengagement' - the purpose of the BW within its multinational commitments to NATO (initially as a self-defense force which began to change noticably after 'Deutsche Wiedervereinigung') and the WEU.

Internally and externally, there remain both supporters and non-supporters for the BW's assuming a broader military role to these organizations and their international commitments, and the BW's commitment to NATO and the WEU in the Balkans and NATO in A'stan has added fuel to both sides of the debate.

Richard
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:51   #12
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Richard

I don't know as much as you but honestly i don't see s problem with it. One of my good friend when i was going through the Q, was a German from the KSK. I even took him home one weekend. He was a great guy and i think they are doing amazing things over there.

My only question which maybe you can answer, do you think this has anything to do with Germany getting all of their gold out of the US and back onto German soil?
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:38   #13
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Seems they also have a mooslem problem, leave them alone.
Yep, seems its time for a little misinformation campaign in Vladland. They did it to us, time for a little payback.
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Old 02-06-2014, 15:20   #14
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Richard

I don't know as much as you but honestly i don't see s problem with it. One of my good friend when i was going through the Q, was a German from the KSK. I even took him home one weekend. He was a great guy and i think they are doing amazing things over there.

My only question which maybe you can answer, do you think this has anything to do with Germany getting all of their gold out of the US and back onto German soil?
The debates I've witnessed and read center around 'fairness' (for lack of a better word at the moment) in terms of commitment and sacrifice (proverbial 'blood and treasure' arguments), Germany's past strategic initiatives and attempted hegemonies (the angst remains and predictably stronger among some regions than others), and the dichotomies which occur naturally between its international obligations within NATO/WEU/UN and the Grundgesetz (Fundamental Law or Constitution) for the BRD.

Richard
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“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.” - Robert Heinlein
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