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Thread: Germany (catch all, incl. terrorism)

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    It is known that Germany covertly aided Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims, as did we-overtly once the arms embargo was dropped. Islamic NGO’s based in German (and in the U.S.) also provided humanitarian and military aide to the Bosnian Muslims with little interference by both governments.
    Helping Croatia sure and maybe Croats in Bosnia but helping Bosnian Muslims Germany did not. Or, at least I never heard of and i was there for years... U.S. did have couple covert operations before embargo was lifted. I know for some of them and I manage to meat couple guys who was there.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Serbia is difficult.
    Slovenia is no problem at all, Croatia is (if known at all) rather positive.
    Serbia otherwise is still stained by the reporting about the Yugoslavian civil wars.

    Serbs usually get little appreciation for their political positions in Germany.
    I cannot tell much about private relationships, I only knew one Serbian female 11 years ago.

    Serbia is no doubt being considered as "European" (unlike Turkey or Georgia, for example).
    Yes all that is right but my point was:

    Serbia was perpetrator for 5 wars (all of them they lost), for genocide and death camps, still sheltering war criminals and still they are regard better by the Germany and EU! Turkie's military elite on other hand go as far to forbid ezan from the Islambul's mosques and forcing veils from womans head, doing they worst to the Muslims and yet they are ignored and kicked on the side by the EU countries... Reason why is Serbia better then Turkey is not geographical (if Israel can be part of Eurovision, European songs competition, then Turkey can be Europe since half of them is in Europe anyways). It is xenophobia, old history and racism that looks better on white, Christian Serb then on dark skinned, Asiatic Muslims.

  3. #83
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Trust me, it's not about skin colour.
    Israel (not European imo) shares the culture with Europe, Turkey does not have an European culture.
    The border to Turkey marks the frontier between "Morgenland" (orient) and "Abendland" (occident).

    This cultural division is the key. They are simply not (considered as) European, although they managed to keep a tiny bit of European ground on their withdrawal from the former Ottoman Empire's size.
    They're sitting between Arabs/Persians and Europeans, don't belong to either group (but much more to Arabs/Persians than to Europeans).

    Steve;
    Uhrlau is part of the very small scaremonger faction in Germany (which consists of federal Secretary or Interior, some state Seretaries of Interior, BND head, and some Internal Intelligence Service (Verfassungsschutz / constitution defence service) officials.

    He's right, our participation has moved us into crosshairs instead of protecting us. But we're part of a huge group of countries in the crosshairs and the overall perception fo threat is very low.

    The "Crusaders" affiliation should bother the Israelis the most, they're a perfect copy of crusaders imho. I expect them to collapse as well in some generations like the Crusaders did once support from overseas dwindled.

    The connection between the 2nd Reich and the Ottoman Empre is 99% unknown today and can be regarded as utterly unimportant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Trust me, it's not about skin colour.
    Israel (not European imo) shares the culture with Europe, Turkey does not have an European culture.
    The border to Turkey marks the frontier between "Morgenland" (orient) and "Abendland" (occident).

    This cultural division is the key. They are simply not (considered as) European, although they managed to keep a tiny bit of European ground on their withdrawal from the former Ottoman Empire's size.
    They're sitting between Arabs/Persians and Europeans, don't belong to either group (but much more to Arabs/Persians than to Europeans).
    OK, I think I can agree with that. Thank you for you explanations and patience.

  5. #85
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Spain charges AQ suspects

    Nearly forgot this odd incident and found this Pakistani newspaper report that some suspects have now been charged: http://www.dawn.com/2008/06/06/top10.htm . A second press report: http://www.expatica.com/es/articles/...ays-judge.html

    davidbfpo

  6. #86
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    Interesting thread. Does anyone know anything about the proposed changes to the German intelligence community?
    Not to be confused with Rank Amatuer (2 words)
    http://www.rsl-dc.blogspot.com/

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    A snippet of information linked to the thread; Sarkozy has recently offered Germany the possibility of basing some german units in France within the frame of the Franco-German brigade (FGB).

    Everybody in France thinks the germans will decline.

    This has been presented as a way of silencing local german opposition to the withdrawal to France of a Mech unit (16 BC in Saarburg) and to the possible return to France of two other units (110 RI and 3 RH), both part of the FGB and based in Donaueschingen and Immendigen.

  8. #88
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default Germany, NATO, Europe and the US

    The problem isn't Germany, the real problem is NATO. This was a great organization for waging the Cold War. Now that the Cold War is 20 years into the rearview mirror it has taken on a disturbing new role. If the U.S. pulled out of NATO, I suspect the EU would stand it down shortly thereafter as being either redundant to the EU or simply irrelevant.

    The U.S., however clings to this organization as it gives us tremendous leverage to coerce our allies to do things in support of US national interests that are not necessarily in support of their own. The old Cold Warrior crowd are also using NATO to push Russia back into a corner for reasons that escape me.

    I for one believe it is time to seriously reconsider our role in NATO and to be careful on how our current approach is wearing thin with our allies and competitors alike.

  9. #89
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    Default Consider the Cost Estimates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    The problem isn't Germany, the real problem is NATO. This was a great organization for waging the Cold War. Now that the Cold War is 20 years into the rearview mirror it has taken on a disturbing new role. If the U.S. pulled out of NATO, I suspect the EU would stand it down shortly thereafter as being either redundant to the EU or simply irrelevant.

    The U.S., however clings to this organization as it gives us tremendous leverage to coerce our allies to do things in support of US national interests that are not necessarily in support of their own. The old Cold Warrior crowd are also using NATO to push Russia back into a corner for reasons that escape me.

    I for one believe it is time to seriously reconsider our role in NATO and to be careful on how our current approach is wearing thin with our allies and competitors alike.
    Bob, I appreciate your contributions to FID/SOF/SF analysis, however I disagree with your analysis of NATO. The US is not an Island; globalization impacts us even more than it has in the past.

    Regards,

    Steve

    A critic’s analysis of the cost of WW II

    …the Second World War, when 16.3 million U.S. troops fought in a campaign lasting four years, at a total cost (in 2007 dollars, after adjusting for inflation) of about $5 trillion...
    2000 Forbes Analysis of the cost of NATO

    Were it not for keeping the peace in the Balkan states of Bosnia and Kosovo, a reasonable mission that is more suited to the United Nations, NATO would have nothing else to do. NATO is a military alliance--and having added three members in 1998, a growing military alliance--that has no adversary. Barring the unlikely event that Russia suddenly goes back to being a militaristic power with expansionist leanings, NATO will have little to do other than prepare for a war that will never come, and endlessly contemplate its role in the world.

    With an estimated annual budget of $1.56 billion, the U.S. shouldered about 29% of NATO's operating budget in 1999, or about $452 million. Each of the member nations pays into NATO based on its gross domestic product, making the U.S. the biggest single contributor. That fund pays for NATO's basic day-to-day operations like staffing and communications, and will presumably pay for NATO's new headquarters, a 557,000-square-foot complex in Brussels
    2005 IHT NATO Analysis of the cost of NATO

    NATO has a civilian budget of around €130 million, or $167 million, and a military budget of around € 780 million. The United States, Britain, Germany and France are the largest contributors to both segments, with payments ranging from 15 percent to over 23 percent into those budgets while Belgium, Turkey, Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands pay under 2.75 percent.
    Sapere Aude

  10. #90
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Last thing I want is the US to be an island. I am, however, far from alone in being concerned with how the U.S. is using its NATO membership since the Cold War.

    Personally, I believe that all of the institutions, (UN, World Bank, NATO, etc) born of the Cold War, and US foreign policy in general, and our governmental organization for implementing it are long overdue for a major refreshing. Don't throw out the baby, but after 60 years its time to change the water.

    All are based on a understanding of the world as it existed in 1947, and were used to good effect through a very different Cold War world '47-89. Then even as globalization grew and the Soviet threat faded as new post cold war threats emerged, we continued to ride that same tired horse. I am very optimistic that the incoming administration is going to take this on, and just last week a major proposal along these lines was published.

    I try to imagine how Americans would feel if the Cold War had gone the other way, and if the Soviet Union was expanding the Warsaw Pact into former NATO nations, and if they had just positioned missile defense systems in Canada to protect them from Iranian missiles... Or if they were using this treaty organization to lead regime change efforts in the name of promoting communism. I think we'd see it much the way the Russians see it today. They dont like it.

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    The problem with NATO is the most Europeans don't want their forces in Afghanistan. I think we need realize what is and is not politically possible for fo the governments of European allies. We can and should try to convince them to do more, but unless and until the people's view changes we should not expect much more.

  12. #92
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    Default UK public opinion

    This week a UK opinion poll reported 73% opposed our role in Afghanistan. I am reasonably sure NATO gets a high level of public support.

    I recall an earlier thread reported on how European NATO members public opinion regarded Afghanistan; with large majorities opposed.

    davidbfpo

  13. #93
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    Default Change...

    Bob,

    We all hope for world peace and prosperity and all of us hope we will navigate our way towards these goals in a wiser and more effective way than we have in the past. I myself have devoted one or two hours towards the study and application of indirect methods to accomplish this. But….as I suspect we both know firsthand, it’s a dangerous world out there and the stakes are very high.

    Mr. Gates is someone who exhibits an intuitive understanding of these ideas and I find his latest thoughts to be of intense interest:

    The defining principle of the Pentagon's new National Defense Strategy is balance. The United States cannot expect to eliminate national security risks through higher defense budgets, to do everything and buy everything. The Department of Defense must set priorities and consider inescapable tradeoffs and opportunity costs.

    The strategy strives for balance in three areas: between trying to prevail in current conflicts and preparing for other contingencies, between institutionalizing capabilities such as counterinsurgency and foreign military assistance and maintaining the United States' existing conventional and strategic technological edge against other military forces, and between retaining those cultural traits that have made the U.S. armed forces successful and shedding those that hamper their ability to do what needs to be done.
    I would be interested in a link to the proposal of which you speak and wonder if it is the one posted above.

    With respect to Russia, I find it to be a fascinating country and agree that we could have approached some things in a more productive way than we have. The Economist has a timely 14 page analysis in its November 29th Edition that may be of interest. Having served on the other end of Russian intentions however, I am a big fan of the saying ‘trust but verify’.

    Regards,

    Steve
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 12-07-2008 at 12:15 AM.
    Sapere Aude

  14. #94
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    I agree that we underestimate Russian nationalism at our peril. I just wish we didn't let the old Cold War gang keep poking the Russian bear in his nads. As to NATO, I believe it is high time for the US to quit burdening our own economy with the EU's defense bill. They'll let us do it for as long as we are willing to pay it, and pay us back with token forces to support our efforts, that they then, like the German example in this string, they restrict from full participation. Just seems like a sucker's bet to me.

    General Jones was the original lead on the commission, but I noticed his name was not on the final; but as he is the new NSA, I suspect much of it will get implemented. Don't have the link. It hit my in box late this week, and I only had time to read the exec summary and scan it quickly so far. Someone else might have it handy.

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    Default Back to Germany...

    From today’s FT

    Unilateral Germany threatens to weaken Europe

    Finally, the same three capitals despair of Germany’s commitment to Nato and EU defence. Germany’s 4,500 troops in Afghanistan – in the north and not allowed to fight – are little help to the Nato mission there. Germany shows scant enthusiasm for French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s efforts to strengthen EU defence.

    Germany is the world’s biggest exporter of goods, and its industrial lobbies hold more sway over foreign policy than is the case in most other countries. Germany Inc demands good relations with Russia, its fastest-growing export market after China last year. Its heavy industry is trying to weaken the ambitious EU climate change package that Ms Merkel herself brokered in 2007. And if Germany is more reluctant than its partners to sanction Iran, that may be because it out-sells them in that market.
    From today’s Economist

    German politics

    Ms Merkel is the CDU’s greatest asset. On a good day 38% of German voters support the party (more than any other). But over half would vote for Ms Merkel if the chancellor were elected directly. The party is counting on a “chancellor bonus” to lift it over several electoral hurdles in 2009. In September it hopes to secure a big enough victory to end its grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and govern with the liberal Free Democrats, a smaller and more congenial partner.
    From the July/August 2008 Foreign Affairs

    Building a New Atlantic Alliance

    This year, Germany, not the United States, played the role of NATO power broker. All the key NATO foreign ministers were huddled with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to determine the future of NATO enlargement. When their decision was announced, Georgia and Ukraine were stunned that the clout of the United States was not enough to put them on the path to NATO membership.
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 12-07-2008 at 02:03 AM.
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  16. #96
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    We've been tracking this. France had the foresight to create more energy independence than its neighbors, all of which are almost wholly dependent on Russian energy. I think we need to respect Germany's perspective on Russia, because we certainly cannot empathize with it. This is why France was the only Euro to really protest the Georgia event. Probably why they are the ones talking again here.

    Russia can, and has, turned off the pipelines to enforce their will. It becomes a game of chicken, as they need the steady revenue to fund their own economy, as to who blinks first. Germany is wise to fear a Russian incursion in the name of nationalism into the Ukraine. If Georgia is any example it would be met with extremely broad nationalist support in Russia.

    Anyway, good to see Europeans taking back the lead in Europe.

  17. #97
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    http://www.pnsr.org/web/page/583/sec...2/interior.asp

    This probably requires a thread all of its own. Link is to PNSR: Project on National Security Reform. Recommend that those interested in potential trends for the bigger picture of how our Nation's national security writ large operates read the exsum in the "reports" section, then into "Major reports" for the propsals for National Security Reform. Report is called "Forging a new Shield." A lot of heavy hitters here, to include the newly nominated NSC advisor, Gen(ret) James Jones.

  18. #98
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Also a few lightweights like

    Wes Clark...

    Yet another Commission with yet another report -- saying the same things are needed that we've known since the 50s. Better Intel, less bureaucracy, centralized planning (not totally beneficial), decentralized execution -- old wine in new bottles as the saying goes...

    Here's the big problem with their recommendations:
    "We must build a better executive-legislative branch partnership."
    Until Congress gets on board and gets considerably less venal and concerned with reelection there will be no reform; we will continue to blunder about -- fortunately, doing more right than wrong.

  19. #99
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default Short August 2009 study...

    From American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (John Hopkins) by Gunther Hellman: A Status-Conscious Germany between Adolescence and Retirement: Foreign Policy Commemorations on the 60th Anniversary of the Federal Republic

    One way to recount the history of Germany’s foreign policy over the past sixty years is to tell it as a story of an unflagging yet patient drive for equal status. It is almost entirely a success story—particularly because the status of all the other states relative to which Germans aspired to be treated as “equal” has continuously risen. Membership in the European Coal and Steel Community, the predecessor to the European Union, in the early 1950s; then NATO in 1955; the UN and the G7 in 1970s; and, most recently, the “P5 plus Germany” group, the exclusive club made up of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany that tries to tackle the Iranian nuclear program—all this marks an impressive line of continuous successes of (West) German diplomacy rising within the ranks of the international hierarchy of power and prestige. Given the lack of hard military resources upon which ascending powers had traditionally relied in pushing for admission to the great power club, Germany’s success is undoubtedly due in no small part to its “civilian power” qualities—i.e., the emphasis on soft power tools such as diplomacy, economic aid, and restraint.
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  20. #100
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    Default Not surprising that .....

    Germany is a 'great power", given this from Economy of Germany:

    As of 2007[update], comparable IMF figures, billion dollars, current prices:

    United States: 13,807.550
    Japan: 4,381.576
    Germany: 3,320.913
    China: 3,280.224

    As of 2008[update], IMF staff estimates:

    United States: 14,334.034
    Japan: 4,844.362
    China: 4,222.423
    Germany: 3,818.470

    "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". World Economic Outlook Database, October 2008. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved today (JMM).
    Some times power comes from the barrel of a gun; most times, it comes from the barrels of smokestacks. The Germans also seem to have a reasonably working health care program, which I suppose has its roots in the Bismarck era.

    Still surviving are such pioneers as Deutz AG (the successor to Otto's engine factory, the first in the world - use full screen view - F11 - to scroll though pages); and new amalgamations such as Otto GmbH & Co KG, the world's largest mail-order company (second largest online IIRC). Some bias in favor of those two companies because I know one of their directors; but they exemplify both tradition and adaptation which have served German businesses well.

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