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Thread: Germany (catch all, incl. terrorism)

  1. #101
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The core of the German economy are the SMEs (small&medium enterprises) - many of them date back to the 1950's reconstruction era while many large companies have their roots in the Bismarck era. The larger ones need the SMEs as innovative suppliers because most large companies lack innovative power or have only innovative power in areas that require huge investments for progress (like pharmaceuticals).

    The quantitative economic comparisons among countries become even more interesting if you look at the goods production only (ignoring the services).
    Or - really hardcore - look at the production sector in terms of purchasing power parities.

    A comparison of economies in PP in general is also interesting.

    I did a quick table.

    http://www.filefactory.com/file/a0ahg2c/n/G9_pdf


    About Germany and great power; it's true in a European context (Germany can essentially move the EU if it teams up with France - and did so many times already), but global ambitions are limited to conference halls.
    Last edited by Fuchs; 09-19-2009 at 10:04 PM.

  2. #102
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    From the Economist, 17 September 2009, Germany's election: A change of partners?

    SAARLAND, the smallest German state without the excuse of being just a city, is a thumbnail caricature of Germany. It was here, among the woods and hills, that Goethe in 1770 claimed to discover that “passion for reflection on economic and technical matters” that occupied much of his life. For decades the thick coal seams underneath it made Saarland a pawn in the power-games of Germany and France. And because of that history, the sort of industry that Germany is known for—cars, steel and machines—looms even larger in its economy than in the rest of the country.
    Yet the election will not be a coronation. The main choice voters face is whether to extend Ms Merkel’s cranky partnership with the SPD or to heed her plea for a change of coalition: she would rather govern with the smaller Free Democratic Party (FDP). That would not be a trivial change. The SPD and FDP stand almost at opposite poles of Germany’s political spectrum. The SPD preaches “solidarity”, which entails strong worker protection, minimum wages and robust social welfare. The FDP champions “freedom”, which goes along with sharply lower taxes, less regulation and friendliness to private enterprise. Ms Merkel ’s CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, stand uneasily in the middle. All four accept the tenets of Germany’s “social market economy”. Both the Social Democrats and the Liberals have mellowed, which means that the next government is unlikely to bring in radical change, no matter what its makeup. But a government with liberal leanings is more likely to keep Germany vigorous as it ages, and is what Ms Merkel says she wants.
    Sapere Aude

  3. #103
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    Partners changed. But propably no change in Germanys GWOT Operations.

    Few foreign policy shifts expected from new German coalition
    Things are unlikely to change, however, as both Merkel's conservatives and Westerwelle's liberals support Germany's involvement in Afghanistan. Westerwelle himself has made it clear that he opposes widening the role of German troops deployed against the Taliban, a consistent irritant to US military planners who regularly called on the previous government to commit Bundeswehr troops to combat operations. It is therefore unlikely that the new coalition will cave in to increased calls from the US and other NATO partners to move German troops into more dangerous areas of Afghanistan.
    Though I disagree with this statement:

    "In fact the new government will find it marginally easier to pursue the policy of the previous government. The Afghanistan mission is widely unpopular within the German electorate and it was particularly hard for the Social Democrats with their pacifist traditions to defend Germany’s involvement. It should be easier for the CDU/CSU-FDP coalition government to sustain Germany’s engagement even if it remains a position which is unpopular at home and with a large part of their own electorate."
    If the socialdemocrats move to an anti-war position it will be much harder to pursue the current GWOT policy. An anti-war stance by the SPD would give a large part of the german electorat a more serious voting alternative to end the mission than the far-left "Linke". Depending on how the war in Afghanistan develops, rising election chances of the SPD could force the new goverment to be even more reculant about the fighting deployments of the german troops, to put more pressure on NATO to end the mission or could even lead to a retreat of the german troops.
    Then again this is a rather big "if" and I would hardly describe the SPD as "pacifist". In any case after that defeat the SPD will have its hands full with internal party politics for quite a time.

  4. #104
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    We don't even know the future SecDef or the coalition agreement.
    That will likely take 4+ more weeks.

    The only quite certain things are that Merkel will remain chancellor and Westerwelle will become minister for foreign affairs.
    I don't know much about his foreign affairs attitude, though.


    Jung will likely not remain SecDef, although his state party agitates in order to keep him in the cabinet in whatever position.

  5. #105
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Uzbek link to German jihadis

    Originally reported last week in Die Spiegel and picked up elsewhere (not sure if it appeared here):

    The German government is trying to secure the release of a group of suspected German terrorists, arrested by Pakistani authorities while they were on their way to a jihadi colony in Waziristan Agency. A report in the German newspaper Speigel claimed that entire families from Germany, and Europe, were moving to the region to take part in jihad. In a recent jihadi video surfacing in Germany, a young speaker, who called himself “Abu Adam”, praises his stay in the mountains. “Doesn’t it appeal to you? We warmly invite you to join us!” Abu Adam said. The latest recruitment video from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is 30 minutes in length and is addressed to “beloved” brothers and sisters back in Germany. The video was presented by, among others, Mounir Chouka, alias “Abu Adam”, who grew up in the western German city of Bonn. The video showed shacks erected against a backdrop of lush greenery and craggy rock formations, with women wearing blue burqas seen surrounded by children, the paper said. The video appeals seem to be finding fertile ground in Germany. German security officials believe the IMU is currently the largest and most active Islamic group recruiting in the country. But what was worrying them more was that the terrorists did not usually recruit women and children, as the IMU appeared doing. Villages: Families are moving to “mujahideen villages” in the Tribal Areas, which are used as bases for supporting the battle against the US troops and the Afghan army, Speigel claimed.
    There is a current court trial in Germany of a terrorist group, called the Saurland plot to attack US targets, who were mainly Turks recruited by the Uzbek group (IMU) - German legend was that German-Turks were not attrcated by AQ ideology (3m of the 4.3m Muslims in Germany are Turks). Four defendants have made admissions and indicated there was a previously unknown group of German-Turks in Waziristan. Of note is that those recruited were encouraged to return home to launch attacks.

    There are too many links on Google and some background is in: http://www.swp-berlin.org/common/get...?asset_id=5147

    hHelps to put the context of German concerns over terrorism; which is little reported in the UK except headlines.

    Fuchs - any reaction being closer to the scene?

    davidbfpo

  6. #106
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    A guy was yesterday arrested in Germany for recruiting for AQ, but the whole terrorism thing isn't worth to be watched closely.
    It's better to look at these kinds of things in retrospect, for the initial info is too often crappy.

  7. #107
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    From today's WSJ By JAY SOLOMON: NATO Pledges More Afghan Troops

    BRUSSELS -- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's top official said twenty-five countries have committed to send an additional 7,000 troops to Afghanistan next year, providing the Obama administration with an important infusion of additional firepower to prosecute its war in Central Asia.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other American officials who visited Friday, however, voiced optimism that NATO allies and other nonmember partners would agree to send even more soldiers to Afghanistan in a bid to salvage a mission viewed as critical to the organization's future.
    Sapere Aude

  8. #108
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    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.
    Well, I understand that this quote is really old, but I seem to have missed it till today.

    My short response: Wrong. It's irresponsible, wrong and completely misleading to write such a quote.

    This energy dependence works two ways an, is an old and not very dramatic story - and it's the tiny basis of a wrong myth that seems to be rampant in the U.S..

    Zahl der Woche Nr.002 vom 13.01.2009

    Russland ist Deutschlands wichtigster Energielieferant
    Januar bis Oktober 2008: Erdöl und Erdgas für 22,5 Milliarden Euro importiert

    WIESBADEN – Wie das Statistische Bundesamt (Destatis) anlässlich des Staatsbesuchs des russischen Ministerpräsidenten Wladimir Putin am 16. Januar 2009 mitteilt, wurden von Januar bis Oktober 2008 Erdöl und Erdgas im Wert von 22,5 Milliarden Euro aus Russland nach Deutschland eingeführt. Gegenüber dem vergleichbaren Vorjahres*zeit*raum ist die Einfuhr wertmäßig um 41,3% gestiegen. In der Rangfolge der wichtigsten Lieferländer von Erdöl und Erdgas lag Russland mit einem Anteil von 32,5% auf Rang 1 vor Norwegen (21,9%) und dem Vereinigten Königreich (9,8%) und war damit Deutschlands wichtigster Energielieferant.

    Der Anteil der deutschen Importe von Erdöl und Erdgas aus Russland an allen deutschen Importen aus Russland lag bei 73,8%.
    http://www.destatis.de/jetspeed/port...002__p002.psml

    (Information from the German federal agency for statistic that says that German crude oil and natural gas imports from Russia in 01/2008-10/2008 were worth EUR 22.5 billion. Russia supplied 32.5% of German crude oil and natural gas imports, Norway 21.9% and UK 9.8%.)

    32.5% of crude oil and natural gas (I assume they added it up in terms of cost, not in terms of weight or heating energy content).

    That's one third of a faction of the overall energy consumption (there's still Uranium, lots of Coal, water, wind, waste and solar energy in the mix.


    I beg you; don't multiply this ignorant and wrong myth. It's dangerously close to nation bashing.


    Besides; natural gas can be easily substituted with other materials and techniques. A natural gas crisis would likely last no longer than half a year or at most a year.
    A single serious natural gas crisis inflicted by Russia and Russia would permanently lose most well-paying customers for one of its main export products.

  9. #109
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default German held by U.S. troops planned Europe attacks

    Hat tip to Kings of War for spotting this:
    A German Islamist held by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and interrogated since July has revealed details of planned attacks on targets in Germany and Europe.
    Link:http://www.reuters.com/article/idUST...US+/+Top+News)

    Note suspect linked to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
    davidbfpo

  10. #110
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    A direct link to the mentioned Spiegel article (in German):
    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/auslan...715697,00.html


    German police shut down the mosque last month, saying it had links with armed Islamist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    That's (if I remember correctly) misleading. Clubs and parties can be forbidden in Germany if they are criminal organisations or opposing the core of our constitution (this was originally meant to outlaw a revival of the NSdAP and its organisations). The Club which maintained the 'cultural centre' and mosque there has been forbidden by Hamburg's minister of the interior based on this law.

  11. #111
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Default The Grand Strategy of Germany (FRG)

    A new contribution for a better understanding of Germany by foreigners:

    The Grand Strategy of Germany (FRG)

  12. #112
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    what fuchs is not admitting is that the whole EU is bankrupt!
    The whole EU is under threat from the Turks, Germany, Austria and Benelux countries are over run with "refugees" that brought -and bring- all kinds of
    terror connections with them.
    The EU countries take them in, put them on welfare, house them and turn them loose on their indiginouse population without propper protection!

    So what is fuchs saying now?

  13. #113
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anna View Post
    what fuchs is not admitting is that the whole EU is bankrupt!
    The whole EU is under threat from the Turks, Germany, Austria and Benelux countries are over run with "refugees" that brought -and bring- all kinds of
    terror connections with them.
    The EU countries take them in, put them on welfare, house them and turn them loose on their indiginouse population without propper protection!

    So what is fuchs saying now?
    I'm saying "now" that it's too late to respond in length before going to sleep.

    Maybe I'll remember the question tomorrow and respond not very positively.

  14. #114
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    OK, piece by piece.

    "whole EU is bankrupt"
    Wikipedia: "Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability [...] to pay its creditors."

    The EU has no real debt, just some bills to be paid in the next few weeks. It is legally impossible for the EU to have a deficit and thuis there's no regular debt.

    Maybe you meant the dozens of member states; in this case your assertion is ridiculous because of the vast differences. It's even more ridiculous considering your context (which appears to be about nations, not mere fiscal policy).
    Germany is a surplus nation, for example. The trade balance surplus has become a tradition and grew to sick proportions in the previous decade. The moderate budget deficit is a mere matter of policy, not of economic ability.
    "under threat"

    I wrote it before and I'll write it again; the inflationary use of the word "threat" appears to be an indicator for fearful characters. I cannot elaborate on this further because of beoard nettiquette.
    "the Turks"

    That's actually a very diverse group. Well-educated or poorly educated, Turkish or Kurdish, Sunni-Alvite-secular, ...
    "Turks" are furthermore mostly relevant for Germany and Cyprus, but irrelevant in other European countries.
    "overrun"
    Hardly. Immigration is de facto limited to family members of those who are already in Germany. The real worker immigration was stopped decades ago.
    "refugees"
    Turkish passport holders are very rarely refugees.
    "terror connections".
    Your logic reminds me of this.
    Which terror connections, really? The only one that appears to count is the connection between Kurds and the PKK. The PKK has been at a low for years, is long since outlawed in Germany and was no real problem to Europe anyway - it's opposing the Turkish oppression of Kurdistan.
    A single tired bus driver is a greater problem.

    The very few people with AQ ties appear to have forged these ties inside the EU, not in Turkey. It's therefore a homegrown, not imported problem.
    "The EU countries take them in, put them on welfare, house them [...]"

    They "take" very few nowadays, not all are on welfare, and living under a roof is in practice considered to be a human right in Europe.

    "and turn them loose on their indiginouse population without propper protection!"

    I can not really imagine how much prejudice and hate it takes to write something like that. High five for the funny typos, though.
    "So what is fuchs saying now?"

    I didn't say a word while I wrote this.

    Fuchs

  15. #115
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Default Germany to Abolish Conscription

    From today's Guardian, UK:
    The German government has announced plans to abolish compulsory military service by next summer, marking the most radical overhaul of the armed forces since its postwar founding and a major change to German society.

    Under the reforms, which will transform the Bundeswehr into a fully professional defence force by July 2011, the size of the existing military and its inefficient bureaucratic apparatus will be considerably reduced as part of a cost-cutting exercise aimed at shaving about €8bn (£6.8bn) from the defence spending budget.
    The entire story can be read at this link .

  16. #116
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    That's inaccurate. July 2011 is the date when conscription call-ups will end. Conscripts will stay in the forces for four to six more months.

    Conscripts are a small minority in today's Bundeswehr anyway, employed in the least important jobs only.

  17. #117
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Full steam back, the last conscripts will be called upon on 1 January, will leave in late July. Only conscripts who volunteered for a few more months will stay beyond that date, but then they're volunteers, obviously.

    Some early reports were misleading and I assumed that the English source was a more likely candidate for a misunderstanding.

    Details are here http://augengeradeaus.net/2010/11/zahlen-auf-dem-tisch/

  18. #118
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    From Security and Defence Agenda, 8-27-2010, GERMANY TO CONDUCT MAJOR RESTRUCTURING OF MILITARY

    Under the plan, the existing military which totals 252,000 soldiers will be downsized to 163,500 and conscription will be suspended, but will retain its place in the constitution. Guttenburg claimed that the proposals will make the German military smaller, but more functional in operations overseas. "By the end of the year it ought to become clear that the Bundeswehr will become smaller, but better," Guttenberg said.

    Not all commentators are convinced and many worry about the effect of the reforms on Germany’s ability to successfully fulfil its international military obligations. Markus Kaim, a defence expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs points out, “The flaw is that the reforms have neither been coordinated with the EU nor NATO, particularly since Germany is involved in so many of the EU and NATO missions.”
    From BBC, By Stephen Evans, 18 Feb 2011, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg: Baron without a title

    At 39, he is young for a politician. He is often mentioned as a possible successor to Germany's chancellorship.
    He told a swarm of reporters enquiring about the plagiarism allegations swirling around him: "I will temporarily - I repeat temporarily - give up my doctoral title."

    He will do so, he said, while the university that gave him the doctorate completes its investigation into whether it really was all his own work.
    The Internet, Political Participation and Election Turnout A Case Study of Germany's www.abgeordnetenwatch.de, Author: Pautz, Hartwig, German Politics & Society, Volume 28, Number 3, Fall 2010 , pp. 156-175(20)

    Germany's parliamentary democracy appears to be in crisis. The major parties' membership is in decline and barely existing in East Germany, election turnout is decreasing at all levels, and the reputation of politicians has never been worse. At the same time, however, Germans are more interested in politics than in the 1990s, overwhelmingly support democracy, and are keen on participating particularly in local political decision making. Out of this situation emerged www.abgeordnetenwatch.de— a website that aims to re-establish the link between electors and elected by allowing voters and representatives to communicate via a publicly accessible question-andanswer structure. This article addresses the questions of whether such an instrument can revitalize representative democracy and whether it has done so in the context of the 2009 federal elections.
    www.abgeordnetenwatch.de

    Die copy & paste-Abgeordneten
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 02-19-2011 at 04:40 AM.
    Sapere Aude

  19. #119
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Forget the reform planning. The minister is gone (for certain reasons), his right hand was fired by the successor and said successor has no real background on military affairs. They're starting from a blank sheet of paper.

    -----------------

    "Germany's stiff upper lip
    Germany's surprisingly healthy attitude toward terrorism
    "
    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/...tiff_upper_lip


    These both are related; the previous minister of the interior has become minister of defence. He has a reputation for a cool approach to CT with no fear-mongering.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_de_Maizi%C3%A8re

    We didn't have a good minister of defence after Wörner ('88).

  20. #120
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Terror in Germany: An interview with Guido Steinberg

    Hat tip to ICSR blogsite for an interview with the FRG's most prominent expert on the topic of radicalisation in Germany:http://icsr.info/blog/Terror-in-Germ...uido-Steinberg

    There is another thread on the recent Frankfurt Airport shooting.
    davidbfpo

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