By Theodore Shoebat
Griff Witte wrote a very interesting article for the Washington Post, showing that Trump and Merkel both agree that Germany needs to strengthen its military. While Trump is simply presenting his wishes as a request for Germany to “pay their fair share” to NATO. While Germany is advocating for a military boost because it desires to be a dominant force in the world. Either way, a powerful Germany — given its history — is another sign that war in Europe is not a far-fetched possibility. I will show some excerpts from Witte’s article:
Amid an ocean of discord, one of the few issues that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel agree on is that needs to change.
So basically, Shoebat.com has been so far correct in its suspicion that Trump’s pushing Germany to spend more of its GDP on its military is being capitalized by the Germans as a pretext to intensely commence what it has been laboring for for decades (going back to the 90s when Germany was a major force in the war against Serbia), and that is to entrench Germany hegemony in Europe.
The fact that Trump and Merkel — who are being presented by the media as rivals — both agree on one thing and this that Germany needs to boost its military really does tell us a lot: the Americans want Germany to become a substantial military force again.
The defense minister of Germany, Ursula van der Leyen, recently visited James Mattis in a meeting in which Mattis said that Germany is “on the right track” with its strengthening of its military:
When German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen met her American counterpart James Mattis at the Pentagon on Wednesday, Mattis said that Germany is “on the right track” with increases in defence spending.
So the Americans are encouraging Germany’s turn to militarism. So much for World War One (in which Germany was the main enemy), so much for World War Two (started by Germany), and so much for all the talk about remembering all of those who died fighting the Germans, when the American government is now congratulating Germany for its efforts in boosting up its military might. Why don’t Americans get shocked when they hear that the neo-cons and the military industrial complex in its own governments are clapping their hands to Germany boosting its military, the biggest foreign power that the US ever fought?
The Germans, while acknowledging NATO, have been arguing for a pan-European defense force, for the security of Europe itself. As the Japanese have been pushing for military independence from the United States, so the Germans have been pushing for military independence from NATO. Just recently, Germany’s defense minister, Urusula van der Leyen, in an interview in the Munich Defense Conference, spoke of the European Defense Fund, a military command for a pan-European military force, and the need for EU troops to be in Africa:
“What is important for me is its no competition to NATO, its complementary. NATO will always be collective defense. But there are other tasks, if I just look at Africa for example. There are other tasks where Europe is needed. And up to a few months, Europe wasn’t able to act at all because we didn’t have neither the procedures nor the structures. Now we are establishing those with a military command, with a European Defense Fund, just to name some examples, so that we are able to act for our own security too.”
Notice what van der Leyen says in the beginning of the video: Germany’s military advancements is about sending a message “across the Atlantic,” meaning to the United States. In the 2018 Munich Security Conference, Ursula van der Leyen sent another message to the US, stating that Europe (that is to say, Germany) must have more military might, and must be “more European”:
“Last year I was able to open this conference with my colleague Jim Mattis . Today I open with my French colleague, Florence Parly. Both are expressions of German politics: We want to remain transatlantic – and at the same time become more European. It is about a Europe that can also throw more weight militarily in the military. … The beginning is made: we have launched the European Defense Union. We have set out politically to create an ‘army of Europeans’! … And we need a common strategic culture of Europe. A common European understanding of our interests, our goals and our instruments of external action. Only then will Europe gain the necessary weight.”
The nature of Germany’s plan is obvious: it is pan-European, Euro-centric, and makes it quite clear that it wants to be militarily independent of the US. Later in the same talk, van der Leyen said: “We will continue to invest and modernize.” This signifies a very simple action by the German government: they are going to continue to advance the military capabilities of Germany. We are not arguing that the current German government is now going to do imperialism. Rather, that the current German government is setting up the conditions by which, in the future, Germany will return to the warpath.
Van der leyen ended her speech with a very interesting statement:
“If Germany as a well-established democracy does not hide behind its history, but accepts that soldiers must fight for security and freedom. Conversely, if development cooperation is no longer a “nice to have”, but a tough “must”. So if security and development are no longer opposites but soldiers and police officers, teachers, doctors and lawyers plan and work together; if national egoisms do not win, but the cooperative world order – then our children may say: you have used your time well.”
While van der Leyen says that “national egoisms” must not be entertained, she affirms that if Germany will no longer “hide behind its history” and accept that “soldiers must fight for security and freedom” and that soldiers and all Europeans in their professions work together, then posterity will say “you have used your time well.” In other words: we as Germans can no longer use our imperialist and genocidal history as an excuse to not increase our military. Ursula van der Leyen sounds no different than a German identitarian or an Alt-right activist who insists that Germany should no longer hide behind its holocaust past and pursue the road to glory.
Other European militaries are in fact merging their own units with the Germany military:
But these days the neighbours are concerned less by German strength than weakness, said Christian Mölling, a defence analyst at the German Council on Foreign Relations.
As the Trump-led United States wavers in its commitment to Europe, continental governments have been trying to work more collaboratively and to make their forces interoperable. Without greater German spending, however, the country’s European allies could be disappointed.
“They’ve started deeply integrating their armed forces into our armed forces. They’ve started relying on Germany,” Mölling said. “But if the money doesn’t come, we won’t be able to meet our obligations. It’s as simple as that.”
Germany wants to lead the militaries of Europe.
Germany cut down a lot of its military after the Cold War, but began rebuilding it in 2014 after Russia invaded Ukraine:
Like many Western nations, Germany had grown accustomed in the nearly 25 years after the Cold War’s end to slashing defence budgets and enjoying its “peace dividend.” For a generation, Germany reoriented its slimmed-down military away from European defence and toward expeditionary missions in places such as Afghanistan and Mali.
That all changed dramatically in 2014, when Russia seized Crimea and triggered conflict in southeastern Ukraine. Suddenly, war in Europe was a reality — and further Russian aggression was seen as a real possibility.
Germany has been building its armed forces back ever since. But progress has been halting.
In World War One, Germany wanted a war with Russia; in World War Two, the war between Germany and Russia was at the center of the conflict. So, we are already seeing the signs of this continual conflict between Germany and Russia. With the migration crises in Germany, an intensification of these talks on boosting the military has now led to Germany talking with Austria on extending their border patrols to the Balkans. Extending a country’s border patrol can also mean expanding one’s borders.
Last week Trump said in a tweet that Germany has allowed “millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture.” Again, the US government is amplifying the nationalism in Germany that has been intensifying due to the migration situation. With this intensification of nationalism, comes militarism, and the pushing for the deployment of German border police into Eastern Europe.
The Austrians are talking about expanding their border patrol into the Balkan states, while at the same time they want Albania — Turkey’s biggest ally in the Balkans — to become an EU member state, which will only give more leverage to the Turks. Moreover — and surprisingly this has not been a major headline — the Austrians, Germans and Italians are discussing the formation of a German-Austrian-Italian axis to better ‘security’ in Europe, with Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz saying: “I talked about creating a European axis of the willing, calling not only Vienna, Berlin and Rome, but also the Netherlands and Denmark as possible allies.”
If anything, this is a sign of a Europe getting closer to militarism.
The Interior Minister of Germany, Horst Seehofer, is now pushing for an “axis” between Germany, Austria and Italy on migration and security policies. In a news conference in Berlin with Sebastian Kutz, Seehofer said that he spoke with the Italian interior minister, “and it was his wish that Rome, Vienna and Berlin should work together at the interior minister level in the areas of security, fighting terrorism and the core issue of immigration. … I accepted that … And we will push ahead with it”. Kurz agreed and stated: “In our view, we need an axis of the willing in the fight against illegal migration.”
Matteo Salvini, the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and the federal secretary of the northern Italian nationalist party, Lega Norte, had a phone conversation with Seehofer and later announced in Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “We are in the process of building up an Italian-German axis based on a fundamental motto: protecting the external borders, which means defending the Mediterranean and therefore Italy.” In an interview with Der Standard, Kurz said that he wants to include countries like Denmark and the Netherlands into the axis:
“I talked about creating a European axis of the willing, calling not only Vienna, Berlin and Rome, but also the Netherlands and Denmark as possible allies.”
So you have a German-Austrian-Italian axis in the making, and they want to use Albania and other Balkan states as a buffer for ‘national security’? All this triangle of regional superpowers getting together to form an “axis,” over what? Some terrorist attacks?
Some will say that there is going to be no war in Europe, between European countries. But can you give me one century when Europe did not have conflict?