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Old 04-17-2007   #41
bismark17
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You can almost hear the strains of, Ich Hatt Einen Kameraden, or Deutschland Uber Alles while watching that video....

Last edited by bismark17; 04-17-2007 at 05:50 AM. Reason: Mein spelling....
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Old 04-17-2007   #42
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Quote:
I suspect if there is large scale residual use of deregatory terms, its by folks who made the initial 2003 (maybe 2004) deployments, but none since or the train up that accompanies them. Our soldiers are becoming culturally saavy, and astute. The only other people I've heard use deragatory terms were some of the people who never left the FOB or interacted with Iraqis (Arab, Kurdish, Turkoman, or other) as people.
I'll note that this may be the case for some, but many Marine veterans I know who have just returned from a third deployment had some rather, shall we say, insensitive things to say about Iraqis. To be clear, these are guys who have lost friends over there.

This is, of course, not everyone.
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Old 04-17-2007   #43
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Default use of deregatory terms

Hmmm, let's go back a few years. George however was never exposed to PC

"We want to get the hell over there. The quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit."
- General George S. Patton, Jr
(addressing to his troops before Operation Overlord, June 5, 1944)
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Old 04-17-2007   #44
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Default From WWII Battle Lesson Pamphlet No. 1

Quote:
Hate Your Enemy! “Our men do not ordinarily hate. They must hate. They are better soldiers when they hate. They must not fraternize with prisoners-must not give them cigarettes and foodthe moment they are taken. Hate can be taught men by meticulous example. The Rangers are so taught.”
It was a different time and it most certainly was a very different war...

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Old 01-26-2008   #45
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Default FAZ & Spiegel Al Qaida Report

All,

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zietung is reporting that Spain has captured some 14 Al Qaida types planning strikes in Germany & Spain http://www.faz.net/s/RubDDBDABB9457A...~Scontent.html

Spiegel is carrying the same story

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/

FAZ and Spiegel are referencing El Pais but so far I have had no joy searching their website http://www.elpais.com/archivo/buscando.html

IHT, BBC, and Guardian had nothing on this topic at this time...

This website is reporting 10 individuals were planning suicide attacks against public trains in Barcelona. Three were identified as suicide bombers: Mohamed Shoaib, Mehmooh Khalib and Imran Cheema

http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3388...as/terrorismo/
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Old 01-26-2008   #46
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Default Doubts over the Spanish plot

Some are not convinced:

Under the title 'Spain doubts alleged terror cell's plan' http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080125/...terror_arrests

Compared to a CBS report that treats the plot seriously:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/...=World_3754062

All very odd.

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Old 01-26-2008   #47
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Default Informant talks now?

Just found on Reuters this story:

http://www.reuters.com/article/world...rpc=22&sp=true

Based on an informant's evidence and four of those arrested were released for lack of evidence.

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Old 01-27-2008   #48
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Default Der Spiegel

Your Spiegel link (scroll down) has another, unrelated, interesting brief item--George (PFLP) Habash dead in Amman of a heart attack...

Cheers,
Mike.

Last edited by Mike in Hilo; 01-27-2008 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Added "scroll down."
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Old 02-10-2008   #49
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Default Franco-Spanish co-operation: a little more

On this link: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/10/europe/spain.php

More reporting on the alleged plot and the role of a French informant. All very murky and why all the revelations to the press? Read and draw your own conclusions.

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Old 05-30-2008   #50
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Default Germany - terrorism/military operations/America

I know that some unrest exists in the English-speaking world on this topic, so I'd like to provide some bachkground. If really necessary, I could add the references for much of this.

I don't want to argue, but to inform as well as possible.


# War on terror in general

Germans don't feel really threatened by terrorists. Our secretary for internal security pushed some law changes to fight terrorism better (much like his predecessor), but that was regarded with a lot of skepticism (as the state becomes probably too powerful) and he didn't do much in the past months anymore. Most of his new anti-terror methods are regarded as ineffective anyway. His reputation among young citizens (about 14-35) seems to be an unparalleled disaster, I know lots of despising jokes and images.

# Anti-terror laws

We still have some legacy laws from the anti-RAF years, and were rather surprised that some politicians deemed it necessary to add additional methods of fighting terrorists at home.

# War on extreme Islam in general

Gates mentioned this, but Germans don't feel like at war with extreme Islam in general. We didn't declare such a war and are not aware of such a war going on against us.

# Terror vs. Germans

Is considered as marginal threat. We seem to care more about smoking in pubs or not, for example.
We had some terror victims in 9/11, some in Tunisia IIRC in 2002, but not much else. AQ sometime declared us as their foe due to our involvement in Afghanistan, so far without significant consequences.

# Spoiled terror attacks

Our executive was generally successful at spoiling some AQ projects, but none of these was grand scale anyway.

# Afghanistan ISAF

Huge disapprovement in the population (consistently more than 50% want to withdraw in polls). Our previous SecDef asserted that Germany is to be defended in Afghanistan, but few seem to buy into this theory. Our casualties are sporadic (and initially in great part the result of terrible equipment...we had some KIA/WIA in a bus!).

# Afghanistan OEF

Limited to 100 special forces, this mission is even mroe rejected than ISAF. It's not being much in the focus, though. Few news. Most don't feel like Germany is involved in a combat mission in Afghanistan.
That's probably the planned result of public relations, as up to 4/5th of the population reject the idea of Bundeswehr combat mission in Afghanistan.

The overall opinion on the relevance of the Afghanistan civil war for our national security seems to be very low.

# Other missions (like patrols in front of Lebanon, Somalia)

Mostly ignored, few news, imho not considered as vital most of the time.
One apparently common rumor is that especially the Schröder government used UN expeditions with German participation to buy goodwill for a permanent German UNSC seat. This plan (the plan existed, whether the method description si accurate is debatable) seems to have been cancelled as unrealistic.

# Pro-Americanism, Anti-Americanism, Contra-Americanism

Hatred for the USA is really rare, but its foreign policy is almost universally despised. Even internet forums on weapons which are full of weapon freaks and soldiers tend to be very critical about military actions.

# Pro/Anti War

War is generally considered as a very bad idea.
This needs to be seen in context. Historically, it turned out to be a very bad idea since four generations.
The world pushed us to become peaceful, we did on oru 2nd attempt.
The recent push for a more martial stance finds little understanding.
We cannot easily undo two generations worth of anti-war indoctrination, institutional changes and the like.

# Economic / political power

Political power is not considered as very desirable. We care much more about our economy.

# NATO

Is considered as the original collective defense treaty that it was. It's extremely rare that a German believes in NATO as a club for collective expeditions.
We're aware that article 5 was declared active in 2001, but seriously - nobody seemed to have thought about sending troops to very distant places.
It was seen as a revive for NATO and a symbolic act of solidarity.

# Iraq

~ "We told you not to do it, but you didn't listen."
Germans usually don't see a connection between AQ and Iraq.

# Terror and military operations

The reasoning link between terrorism and military operations to prevent/retaliate terrorism is generally being considered as not very solid.

# Lobbyism

No real pro-war lobbyism seems to be known in public.
Our pro-Israel lobby is nto very powerful and keeps a low profile. It was weakened because prominent speakers died or had a horrible scandal (cocaine+ forced prostitutes+photo+assertion superior morality in public discussions) in the past years.
Pro-America lobbyism is mediocre at best, anti-America lobbyism is probably not really organized as such (at least not in credible institutions).
Our news media seems to be pro-America most of the time to others and overly critical of Israel/America to others.
Criticizing Israel is almost politically incorrect, but happens.

# Politicians and Israel/USA

Generally interested in strong friendships, but apparently still critical of their actions/non-cooperative on some issues.

# Ability to wage war

Seriously, give us a good reason and we'd fight fiercely. We jsut don't seem to be really motivated to wage war at the time.

# Political system

Every military operation outside of NATO (except visits, but including a single OECD or UN observer in a crisis country) requires approval of the parliament (~congress).
Our ruling coalition is composed of the two largest parties and can change the constitution on its own, but is almost at a political stalemate. One ruling party is rather anti-war (social democrats), although its former chancellor participated in the 1999 Kosovo air war (even the supposedly pacifist greens agreed then).
More common is in our history a coalition of one large and one small (liberal or green) party, but the rise of a fifth (left) party coplicated matters. A majority without participation of green or social democrats seems to be impossible in the next 10 years.

# Average German and particular German

We're heterogenous adn pluralistic, of course. You'll easily be able to find Germans who disagree on most if not all of this. I'm talking about poll results, policy, statements, personal perceptions. I'm talking about majorities/averages.

# Schröder government

Schröder is quite despised today for his marginal ethics and was quite inconsequential on the Iraq issue. Don't be confused by this. He's irrelevant right now.

# Right wing

The only relevant right wing is the CSU, which exists only in Bavaria and might lose power there soon. The outer right wing (neonazis) is quite irrelevant and utterly incompetent. We don't have an effective nationalism/patriotism political force.

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

My own opinions inadvertedly influenced these descriptions, but you can imho consider it as 70-90% accurate description.

Last edited by Fuchs; 05-30-2008 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-30-2008   #51
120mm
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I find your post "spot-on" in its entirety.

It roughly mirrors my experience living in Deutschland.

I also find the simultaneous beating of Germany for being militaristic and aggressive, in the past, and the beatings for not being militaristic and aggressive enough in the present/future as being cryptic.

I can see where the typical German would be confused about what America wants out of them....
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Old 05-30-2008   #52
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An addition might be appropriate:

# Muslims in Germany
Many people seem to consider Germany and othr parts of Europe as somehow infested by Muslim minorities who might weaken the nation's resolve.
Actually Turkish emigrants live in Germany (usually 1st to 3rd generation) in great numbers (few millions).
Many of them have a German passport.
Today, Turkish emigration to Germany is almost impossible if the Turk don#t marry Germans.

The Turks and German-Turks are no Arabs. They are partly Alevites (moderate Muslims) and msot of them come from rural, not highly developed regions of Turkey, being actually more conservative than modern Turkey at times (1st generation). The first generation is now approaching the retirement age and some of them might soon return to Turkey for a cheaper living.

The 3rd generation is not really Turkish anymore, but very often close to a stereotype that resembles the stereotype of Young black ghetto children.
Their education is on average inferior, their command of both German and Turkish often not satisfactory, they haven't been fully raised as German nor as Turk. Most of them don't appear to be prone to become terrorist.
In short: They want to have a black BMW series 3 car much more than some dozen virgins in paradise. Almost all have a German passport or are entitled to get one.

The real troublemakers are some non-EU citizens Imams from Turkey without knowledge of Germany who sometimes preach rather radical Islam which is not possible in Turkey due to the Turkish laws. We could easily send them away, as their entitlement to stay can easily be revoked in almost all cases.
The other problem group consists of convertites who tend to be (as in all religions) rather radical.
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Old 05-30-2008   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
I find your post "spot-on" in its entirety.

It roughly mirrors my experience living in Deutschland.

I also find the simultaneous beating of Germany for being militaristic and aggressive, in the past, and the beatings for not being militaristic and aggressive enough in the present/future as being cryptic.

I can see where the typical German would be confused about what America wants out of them....
Which is also colored by the 'typical' German view of America which (when I was there in the early 1980s) was formed almost entirely by "Dallas," "Dynasty," and "Rambo." I suspect these days it's a mish-mash of "The Real World" and one gangsta video/film too many.

I remember the Turkish 'guest worker' situation being a bit of a high-temp subject back in the early '80s, though not the hotbed of bomb-throwing radicalism that many seem to think it might be (that distinction was reserved for students from the Free University in Berlin). The change mentioned by Fuchs was evident even then. Of course, reunification has changed the social makeup of Germany considerably since then. I think many in the US (and elsewhere) underestimate the impact that had on Germany in many ways (social, economic, political).
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Old 05-30-2008   #54
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Default Outcasts = Rambo

Steve Blair said:
"Which is also colored by the 'typical' German view of America which was formed ... in the early 1980s almost entirely by "Dallas," "Dynasty," and "Rambo." I suspect these days it's a mish-mash of "The Real World" and one gangsta video/film too many."

1. The first sentence is a nice example for illegitimate generalization & misinformation. - How long was Mr. Blair in Germany and how many people did he meet? Apparently he hasn't been there for over 20 years but still wants to talk about things he cannot have current information about. I would rather go with Fuchs who is actually a German/or at least currently living there.

2. The "Aero Outcasts" badge Mr. Blair displays is IMO much more inspired by "Rambo" than anything else ...

3. "I suspect...": Lets hope this site goes back from "suspicion" to "information".
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Old 05-30-2008   #55
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Got some bad news for you, Bruz...the patch from First Squadron, Fourth Cavalry predates Rambo by some years.
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Old 05-30-2008   #56
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Default Herzlich wilkommen

Fuchs,

Herzlich wilkommen und vielen dank fur ihren rat auf dieser thema (Deutschland).

I would be very interested in any references that you would be willing to share. At the moment I am a bit short on time however I have a few topics that I have been following and would enjoy your take on any that of interest to you; The German Navy had been (continues?) to patrol off of Lebanon, Die Ziet has had a series of interesting articles about computer/State monitoring of late, energy costs are of concern, and I note that commerce with Russia and Germany is very robust. I also find it fascinating that Germany is so strong with regards to photovoltaics - Germany is an engineering powerhouse however the weather (often overcast) is not really conducive to pv as compared to other parts of the world. Weather-wise I have also seen reports of Tornados! in Germany, this is something I expect in Kansas but certainly not Germany. Finally, the German PRT's in the north of Afghanistan have also captured my interest and I would appreciate your insights.

Regards,

Steve
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Old 05-30-2008   #57
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I guess a source on the Afghanistan polls would be a good start.


The blue line (34% in Sep 07)says how many want our troops to stay in Iraq, the red one how many say they should withdraw.
The results are sometimes published in journals, the source institute Infratest dimap does the poll quite often with the same questions, but doesn't publish all results for an easy access like this one.

The Spiegel published these Infratest dimap numbers in IIRC February 08:

"Should the Bundeswehr continue to be stationed in Afghanistan?"
yes: 42% no: 55%

"Should the Bundeswehr do combat missions in Afghanistan like other nations' troops do?"
yes: 13% no: 86%


The navy is still at the coastline of Lebanon (pointless) and Somalia (blocking AQ - pointless as well. But it comes handy due to the recent pirate activity. The frigate has collected lots of intel on the situation there before the piracy problem erupted).
The present numbers of soldiers in so-called "out-of-area" missions is always up-to-date here:
http://www.bundeswehr.de/portal/a/bw...lVRS82X0NfNDJE

Actually, I forgot to mention a handful of Tornados that are now included in OEF as well.

Germany's trade with many nations is very "robust". We export and import extremely much (especially in comparison to GNP,see the CIA World Factbook for some easy statistics), and our balance surplus is a quite unknown problem.
Trade with Russia is sometimes in the news because natural gas sources are not diversified enough. We get too much natural gas from Russia.

Photovoltaic power; well, the other solar power technologies work with direct radiation, photovoltaic power works with scattered solar radiation as well. That's why we're looking at it: Because of our clouds.

Tornados. Well, every country has at least one ####ty newspaper, I guess.
But I've got something more interesting. Yesterday we had a cloud over parts of Western Germany that dropped not only an unbelievable volume of water - it also darkened whole regions like an eclipse. I had 10m sight range at 11 o'clock in the morning!

The PRT in Northern Afghanistan is outside of the originally allowed mission and it required quite some discussions to set it up with originally 42 men (with new parliament's mandate). It looks successful (although it had some troubles with harassing fires that stopped only when additional infantry began to patrol the area. There were also some IED/RPG attacks.)
I don't know much about its activities - Afghanistan news are very rare in Germany anyway and I'm out of uniform since some years. I saw a NGO-made map about deterioration/improvement of travel safety in Afghanistan which highlighted the Kunduz and Kabul regions as (almost) the only two regions with major improvements IIRC.
I personally consider the Afghan war as a civil war and don't think that we need to participate.

P.S.: I'm sorry about the many typos in the opening post. I used a browser without spelling check...

Last edited by Fuchs; 05-30-2008 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008   #58
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Interesting stuff, Fuchs. Thanks!
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Old 05-30-2008   #59
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Default Mohamed Atta? The Hamburg Cell?

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# Terror vs. Germans

Is considered as marginal threat. We seem to care more about smoking in pubs or not, for example.
We had some terror victims in 9/11, some in Tunisia IIRC in 2002, but not much else. AQ sometime declared us as their foe due to our involvement in Afghanistan, so far without significant consequences.
Left out of this summary is anything about Mohamed Atta.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Atta#Germany
He apparently felt comfortable enough operating in Hamburg to create the Hamburg Cell, which was central to carrying out the 9/11 assault.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg_Cell

I've been to several places in Germany, but never Hamburg. Is Hamburg especially hospitable for radical Islamists, for some reason?

I'm not a big fan at all of this democracy project of ours in Mesopotamia. But if the USA was discovered to be used as a base of planning operations for an Al Qaeda attack on another place (say Germany), I would regard this as a pretty serious development. If they feel comfortable planning something like that from here, then we've got a problem.
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Old 05-30-2008   #60
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Left out of this summary is anything about Mohamed Atta.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Atta#Germany
He apparently felt comfortable enough operating in Hamburg to create the Hamburg Cell, which was central to carrying out the 9/11 assault.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg_Cell

I've been to several places in Germany, but never Hamburg. Is Hamburg especially hospitable for radical Islamists, for some reason?

I'm not a big fan at all of this democracy project of ours in Mesopotamia. But if the USA was discovered to be used as a base of planning operations for an Al Qaeda attack on another place (say Germany), I would regard this as a pretty serious development. If they feel comfortable planning something like that from here, then we've got a problem.
"# Terror vs. Germans"

He behaved reasonably in Germany. I mean, besides preparing a terror strike.
His terror cell pretty much wiped itself out on 9/11 (one or two alleged supporters were sent to our courts, but iirc the police wasn't able to prove anything).

They happened to be in Hamburg to study at the university (something technical iirc), no other specific reason that I know about. You can find more Muslims in the Ruhrgebiet (west) than in Hamburg (north).

Btw, did you miss that the 9/11 pilots learned to fly in Florida?
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