This has been yet another of those weeks where there is so much going on that it has been difficult to determine what to blog about: there have been more stories about that drill in California to cancel GPS data while some top secret test is under way, to NSA whistleblowers(again) talking about alien spaceships on the far side of the Moon(got to push that ET meme don't you know), to articles about Hillary, her email problems, and the Clinton Foundation. I want to lead off this week with two articles about Germany, the both of which illustrate just how difficult it has become to read the political tea leaves.
Various versions of this story were sent to me, but these are the two I want to concentrate on:
As the first article points out, all of this centers around the US-sponsored narrative about the events in the Ukraine, the US-sponsored coup there, and the subsequent Russian (RE-) annexation of the Crimean peninsula. All of this is, of course, nothing new for the Anglosphere, which has been obsessed about Russian power in Eurasia since the demise of Bonaparte, if not before. After all, a "coalition" of French, British, and Turkish forces laid seige to Sevastopol during the Crimean War of 1854. Approximately two decades later, Russian armies stood at the gates of Constantinople, were threatening to take the entire Bosporus from the Ottoman Empire, and were only stopped by the efforts of Bismarck, acting as proxy for the other European powers that were threatening war over the issue.
At the beginning of the article, however, we have these paragraphs:
According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an enemy shows Merkel’s subservience to the Obama administration.’”
Back on February 17th, DWN had reported that German Chancellor Merkel “will develop a new military doctrine” declaring, “The ‘annexation’ of Crimea by Russia is the basis for military action against Moscow.” Apparently, that prior report will soon be fulfilled.
The RT version of this story is also worth citing here in several paragraphs:
In the upcoming government security policy guidebook currently being prepared by the German Defense Ministry, Russia will be designated one of 10 major challenges on par with terrorists, migrants and global climate change, reported Die Welt.
The so-called White Paper is to be released sometime after the British referendum on EU membership, an event that that Berlin does not want to affect by releasing the 80-page document. The previous security policy overview was published in Germany in 2006 and the previous version came in 1994.
The new document is expected to downgrade Germany’s attitude toward Russia from calling it a partner, as was the case a decade ago. According to Die Welt, the move may be quite dramatic. White Paper 2016 will label Russia one of 10 global threats on par with international terrorism, migrant crises, right-wing extremism, cyberattacks and global climate change, government sources told the newspaper.
Moscow is now Germany’s rival, which uses “hybrid instruments to blur the boundaries between war and peace” and “undermine other states,” authors of the document reportedly said. Russia’s influence on global public opinion through traditional outlets and social media are of particular concern for the German military, according to the report.
Earlier media leaks from the White Paper indicated that the document would provide for greater use of German troops for domestic deployments (which would require a post-war ban to be lifted) and independent missions in foreign lands. Berlin also reportedly seeks to form and lead a pan-European military force, which would sideline NATO as the security provider for the continent.
Commenting on the issue, Alexey Pushkov, chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Tweeted that Germany’s listing Russia as one of its major security threats is more a sign of Berlin’s “subordination” to the US than a demonstration of “the real state of affairs.”
Moscow has never abandoned cooperation and partnership with the West, including Germany, but hopes for mutual respect, said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Upper House committee for foreign affairs.
“We never abandoned partnerships with European countries. It was not us who imposed sanctions; it’s not Russia who withdrew from cooperation with NATO,” he asserted. Russia will not cut off dialogues with Germany or any other European country, Kosachev stressed.(Bold-italics emphasis added)
So what's Germany's game here? Part of the answer must await tomorrow's blog, but for the moment, it appear Germany is content to remain a satrapy of the USSA. But this is not, I suspect, Berlin's long term goal. As we have indicated in previous blogs, there is discontent in German political and corporate circles with the sanctions regime and the confrontational posture adopted by the Anglo-sphere toward Russia, as there is growing discontent in Germany and other European counties over how the Merkel regime has handled the refugee crisis.
The RT article highlights what the central pivot in this strategy is: the creation of a pan-European military. At the core of this will, of course, be Germany and France, and as I've pointed out in previous blogs, the mergers last year of German armaments giant Kraus-Maffei and the French firm Nexter (see http://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/osw-commentary/2015-08-27/controlled-europeanisation-kmw-nexter-merger-and-germanys-new) and the consolidation of the German arms giant Rheinmetall are creating the corporate "Europeanization" necessary for the standardization of equipment for such a military. As RT notes, such a military would by-pass NATO, and hence, conceivably bypass American influence in Europe, or conversely, making it much easier to exert over a unified military, logistical, and command structure. There's no middle ground here in this high octane speculation.
But let's speculate further. A revivified German military - and let us not forget Germany is planning a massive expansion of the Bundeswehr to Cold War levels - in conjunction with the creation of a European-wide military, would not only perhaps short-circuit American influence in Europe, it would give Germany more negotiating leverage with Russia... think of it as a kind of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, version 2.0, with Eastern Europe being the subject not of a military occupation, but of an economic one, and this, I suspect, has been all along the background to nations from Romania to the Baltic States seeking American bases in their countries to protect them from "Russian agression."
I suspect, however, that it is the former, since Germany's diplomatic strategy since the Reunification has been a careful balancing of its Atlanticist-globalists, i.e., those in favor of maintaining ties to the US and UK, and its Ostpolitik components, favoring closer economic ties to Russia. It is Bismarck's old game, one he played well in forestalling a major continental war in the 19th century when the Tsar's armies stood before Constantinople. The peace he erected of course, did not last, setting up the two-act World War of 1914-1945. And that, we hope, is a lesson they're heeding in Berlin, for the Kaiser's uneasy victory over Russia in 1918 was short-lived, for 27 years later Russian armies were in Berlin, where they stayed for almost half a century.
But, as I said, there's more to this story than meets the eye, but for part two, we'll have to wait until tomorrow...
See you on the flip side...