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Thread: Germany (catch all, incl. terrorism)

  1. #121
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    *shameless self-promotion*
    On the German stance towards Libya
    */shameless self-promotion*

    There's some strange talk about the recent UNSC vote in the world, so I did put out a blog post in an attempt to set the record (and point of view) straight.

  2. #122
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Germany 'bomb plotters under al-Qaeda orders

    A BBC report on three arrests made, from a cell of eight and I'd expect the report is all from government sources:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13248107
    davidbfpo

  3. #123
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Homegrown Terror Takes on New Dimensions

    An interesting article and worth a read IMHO, especially on the terror threat before the German federal elections last year:http://www.spiegel.de/international/...761391,00.html

    Note the estimated flow of Jihadists to training camps in Pakistan.
    davidbfpo

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    As the article states this has been going a while, it woulld be interesting to see the estimated numbers of Europeans going to these camps from France, England, Netherlands, etc.

    Also of interest would be how many are seriously pursuing jihad versus going to a summer adventure camp? Based on the number of attacks, etc. is clear not all those attending are serious jihadis. Just a thought.

  5. #125
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Adventure Training or Jihad Training?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    As the article states this has been going a while, it woulld be interesting to see the estimated numbers of Europeans going to these camps from France, England, Netherlands, etc.

    Also of interest would be how many are seriously pursuing jihad versus going to a summer adventure camp? Based on the number of attacks, etc. is clear not all those attending are serious jihadis. Just a thought.
    Bill,

    I know of no open source / published estimate of traffic to the camps from the UK and I'd be surprised if the French were open to this.

    Valid point about
    summer adventure camp
    and IIRC Guido Steinberg referred to that in an article I've linked here before. I've read a few papers on foreign fighters and only rarely is leaving the process of radicalisation / training mentioned. Try this for more:http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/p...cyFocus101.pdf
    davidbfpo

  6. #126
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    Default What do the coalition forces think of germany´s army?

    Hello @ all...

    I´d like to read some statements of US-, UK-, canadian- (what ever)guys who serve/served in Afghanistan about the germans in AFG.
    What do you think, how we are doing our job there?

    In my opinion we had to develop from a peace-army to a fighting-army during our engagement in AFG. We were not being prepared for that rising hostility there. We were sent there with the mission to build shools or fountains, but not for fighting. In the last four years these things changed. We had more and more troops in contact. We lost men and habe lots of wounded. PTSD became a big problem for us.

    In the first contacts, our troops withdrew. But by the time our CO´s, our platoon-leaders and our team-leaders got sick of getting away. They decided to engeage the INS who attacked us, not the officers of staff in the HQ.

    I remember a situation in Kunduz in 2009. A german patrol was under fire by an overwhelming enemy formation. A company of our Quick-Reaction-Force was in the near and decided to get there for support. I think the INS did not belived their eyes when the first APC apeared an fired some rounds of HE-ammo on them. And then the infantry went out and started to roll them off. This was the tourning point for our role in AFG. Now every leader has the opportunity to decide what to do in situations of contact. He can decide to engage or to withdrawl. And I do not remember one leader in the field who wants to get away without trying to kick some INS-asses.

    How do you see us?

    Greetz

  7. #127
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    I posted a similar question some time ago and -like you - did not get an answer.

    I think that it is out of politeness, that nobody on this forum wants to give his opinion about the German army. But what might this opinion be?

    Let me give you some examples. Dr. Tony Korn, who works for U. S. state department, wrote in his recent article "From Mars to Minerva":
    "Germany‘s subsequent performance in Afghanistan has shown that, for better and for worse, the German Way of War these days involves much beer drinking
    (278 liters a year per soldier, to be exact) and very little fighting."
    Pretty flattering.

    ISAF command used KSK as prison guards, not as a fighting force.

    McChrystal choose to publicly humiliate Oberst Klein after the Kundus bombing, as if a German officer was rather answering to the U. S media than to BMVG.

    These facts allow a pretty good guess on what US diplomats and soldiers might think about Germany's contribution in Afghanistan, don't you think so?

  8. #128
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    I would not blame this on the German Army. This is a reflection of Germany's government and a pretty clear metric that they do not perceive any great German interest's to be at stake.

    Reportedly however, a significant portion of the foreign fighters who have traveled to Pakistan to support AQ are German. One must look at both of these circumstances together to understand either one, I suspect.

    The US calls for our NATO allies to act against their interests in Afghanistan, and we then agonize over the results.

    The US calls for Pakistan to act against her interests at home and in Afghanistan, and we agonize over the results.

    The US most recently calls for Israel to act against her interests at home, and we agonize over the results.

    I'll go out on a limb here, but perhaps, just maybe, US interests are not shared by every other state on the planet? I'll risk an other assumption, that perhaps even some of these allies have a clearer perspective on what our interests are and how they are best addressed than we do ourselves??

    (How many times have you had to wake a friend up who could not see his own destructive behavior on some girl, job, etc issue that he had grown too close too? Or had the same done for you??)

    We bully our friends and foes alike. We really should become a bit more self-aware and reassess that situation before it is too late.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  9. #129
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The beer story has long been debunked. Import in a period is not the same as consumption in a period, foreign soldiers and policemen and civilians consumed some of that beer as well and besides that, the average German soldier hardly gets drunk even by one liter in a day. So what's the problem? Beer is healthier than Cola.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The beer story has long been debunked. Import in a period is not the same as consumption in a period, foreign soldiers and policemen and civilians consumed some of that beer as well and besides that, the average German soldier hardly gets drunk even by one liter in a day. So what's the problem? Beer is healthier than Cola.
    Man, and to think I thought the Germans could put away the beers. Must be a continental problem because in the good old bad days of South West Africa (before Namibia) when our "kraut" friends arrived with the very cold schnaps on ice we knew the party was on.

    Funny thing about schnaps... after a bottle one finds oneself able to sing along word perfect with all the German marching songs. Amazing stuff!

    278 litres per year is the equivalent of 2 x 375ml bottles per soldier per day. Considering they are in base most (if not every) night the low beer consumption must be put down to operational consumption restrictions and/or logistic limitations.
    Last edited by JMA; 05-22-2011 at 02:36 PM.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I would not blame this on the German Army. This is a reflection of Germany's government and a pretty clear metric that they do not perceive any great German interest's to be at stake.
    IMHO the German government does not reflect about German interest.
    They think about how something is going to influence the polls
    or the next election. So they send soldiers abroad to be seen as acting
    decisively, defending freedom and human rights or fighting global terrorism.
    On the other hand, they do not want to take responsibility for casualties,
    so force protection is the no1 priority for those forces they send.

    Reportedly however, a significant portion of the foreign fighters who have traveled to Pakistan to support AQ are German. One must look at both of these circumstances together to understand either one, I suspect.
    These fighters are mainly naturalized Turks and Arabs. I do not think that
    their taking part in global jihadism is really influencing German policy in Afghanistan.

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The beer story has long been debunked. Import in a period is not the same as consumption in a period, foreign soldiers and policemen and civilians consumed some of that beer as well and besides that, the average German soldier hardly gets drunk even by one liter in a day. So what's the problem? Beer is healthier than Cola.
    It does not matter whether this story is true or false. It is all about
    perception. And Mr. Korn's perception seems to be that Germans in
    Afghanistan are a bunch of useless drunks.

  13. #133
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I don't have much in the way of a personal reflection on the subject, but many fighting men who have come across the Germans and posted their impressions elsewhere, considered them useless. I do understand how national policy factors in to operational actions, however. As was already mention, impressions can be a bitch...

    I'd hazard a guess that not many American members have commented here so as to be charitable, or because they prefer to not comment on a divisive topic they have not seen firsthand.

  14. #134
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uwew View Post
    IMHO the German government does not reflect about German interest.
    They think about how something is going to influence the polls
    or the next election. So they send soldiers abroad to be seen as acting
    decisively, defending freedom and human rights or fighting global terrorism.
    On the other hand, they do not want to take responsibility for casualties,
    so force protection is the no1 priority for those forces they send.
    Participation in ISAF is rather a problem in elections than helpful in any way. A stable majority is against the involvement. Even party bases are largely against participation. It looks like stupid foreign policy gaming to me; keyword UNSC seat.


    @jcustis:
    Restrictions changed in iirc 2009. Previously, German troops in Afghanistan pretty much had restrictions as if they were policemen in Germany.



    Overall it's a bit as for the Italians in 1940-43; neither did we prepare for this mess nor are we interested. It's no wonder that the troops don't gain a reputation for fierce activity. Moral is still > everything else.


    I've been saying for a decade that this idiocy of so-called "out-of-area missions" is not indicative about our military potential. The Bundeswehr has deep in its institution what it takes to wage a war ferociously and send bolts of fear into opposing armies - but there's simply no reason to build and unleash this beast.
    Tired bus drivers are a greater threat to us than all terrorists combined.
    The whole ISAF thing is a mere self-inflicted cutting of our arms over and over again for no rational purpose.
    The official ISAF mission that the government still refers to is an idiotic daydream.


    Most Germans realise that it's not our defence that happens in AFG "Deutschland wird am Hindukusch verteidigt" - "Germany is being defended in the Hindu Kush"), but political adventurism if not braindead followership.
    I personally are especially frustrated by the supposed attempts to lend "relevance" to NATO - as if keeping peace for its members in Europe wasn't a great mission and achievement already.

    Quote Originally Posted by uwew View Post
    It does not matter whether this story is true or false. It is all about
    perception. And Mr. Korn's perception seems to be that Germans in
    Afghanistan are a bunch of useless drunks.
    Some people are serious and others are mere morons.
    The Americans are gifted in giving morons heir own national newspaper OP-Eds, radio talk shows, think tank jobs...
    This does not mean that their opinion has any value.

  15. #135
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    The Americans are gifted in giving morons heir own national newspaper OP-Eds, radio talk shows, think tank jobs...
    Unfortunately, every nation does that. We do not hold a monopoly in that regard.

  16. #136
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Well, in Germany I know only three persons who (still) punch far above their weight: An economist who's almost always 180° wrong, a super-arrogant bank CEO and a special interest minority guy who should never have recovered from the huge scandal he had a few years ago.

    Here's no real think tank culture and no such pundit culture as in the U.S..


    In the U.S., it appears as if for every tiny topic there's someone ready to offer a stupid opinion about it on national media. This turns such opinions into quite useless indicators.

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    Guess we should be thankful the so-called "national media" isn't nearly as important as it once was.

    On the topic at hand I can't give an opinion since I had no interaction with the Germans during my time in Afghanistan.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopard 2A4 View Post
    In the first contacts, our troops withdrew. But by the time our CO´s, our platoon-leaders and our team-leaders got sick of getting away. They decided to engeage the INS who attacked us, not the officers of staff in the HQ.
    This is very interesting. Do you mean the lower level leaders eventually decided to fight in spite of what the HQ officers were telling them to do?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  19. #139
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    I can't offer anything either, although I've heard lots of second hand stories about some frustration in the early ISAF days (think 2004-ish) that we had working with other NATO countries and specifically Germany. One staff officer seemed to figure that the Euro contribution to NATO was a bunch of uniformed tourists.

    I can see where this came from; as Fuchs alluded to the Afghan mission seems to be a political distraction for Germany as opposed to a top issue for us in the Anglosphere.

    Fuchs post above from 0227 PM sounds pretty good to me - I can't see how the German Army, considering its professional and social history and the brains behind building the modern Bundeswehr, can have its potential judged by its performance in a sideshow in Afghanistan that it never really had the heart for.

  20. #140
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    Default Heh. LLLs quite often disregard their higher HQ.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    This is very interesting. Do you mean the lower level leaders eventually decided to fight in spite of what the HQ officers were telling them to do?
    Most subordinate leaders use one of two techniques, generally type of task or validity of guidance determined. Either selective neglect or selective compliance. That's called exercising 'initiative.' We used to encourage it before we got all touchy feely and nambyish. Now it's not encouraged but few Armies would get much accomplished if that didn't happen constantly.

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