EU, Germany, latest, NATO, Russia

Merkel Rearms Germany

by Johannes Stern, for WSWS

On the eve of this weekend’s NATO summit in Warsaw, Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) delivered a government statement to the Bundestag (parliament) demanding the acceleration of German re-armament. In addition to expanding the military budget by almost two billion euros in the next year, and “more than an additional 2.5 billion euros” after 2018, Merkel announced that the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) would engage more actively alongside NATO in Iraq, Syria, Libya, the Mediterranean and Afghanistan.

At the heart of the chancellor’s speech was a justification for war preparations against Russia, which NATO plans to announce in Warsaw. Right at the start, Merkel praised the so-called “Readiness Action Plan,” which NATO had already adopted in 2014 at its last summit in Wales. In particular, Merkel praised the “nine NATO rapid intervention forces, deployable throughout the alliance territory, the so-called Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, and the building up of Force Integration Units in our Eastern NATO partners.”

Germany is making “a substantial contribution to these measures,” said Merkel. In Warsaw, the “alliance’s adaptive measures agreed in Wales would be extended.” Essentially, this involves enabling “NATO to increase its presence in the Baltic States and in Poland.” This so-called “enhanced forward presence” is important because it is not enough “to be able to move troops quickly.” Rather, there must “already be a sufficient local presence.”

The plans foresee “a multilateral composite presence,” Merkel stated. “For each of the three Baltic countries and for Poland … one ally would take the lead to ensure the continued NATO presence there.” The ally assigned to Germany would likely be Lithuania.

Merkel made it clear that the new battalions would be used if need be. The approach “expressly included the response to so-called hybrid threats, that is, scenarios similar to those that Russia has followed in Ukraine,” she stressed.

Ever since Berlin and Washington supported the putsch in Kiev against the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, German politicians and media representatives have religiously repeated the mantra of NATO’s responsibility to protect against the “Russian aggressor” in order to justify a military push into the East and the encirclement of Russia.

In her speech, Merkel expressly welcomed the fact that Montenegro will soon join NATO as its 29th member state. Moreover, there would be “meetings of the NATO-Georgia Commission and the NATO-Ukraine Commission” in Warsaw with representatives of these two states, which are already in a de facto state of military conflict with Russia and have the declared aim of joining NATO.

Merkel voiced support for the new missile defence system that the US is currently building in Poland and Romania. She called it a “further important step … to better protect the people in the alliance area.”

Absurdly, Merkel described NATO’s deterrence strategy “as a deeply defensive concept.” “Deterrence and dialogue” are “not mutually exclusive,” but are “inseparable,” she claimed. Within NATO there is “agreement” on this. In addition, there is agreement “that lasting security in Europe can only be achieved with and not against Russia.”

In reality, sections of the NATO establishment are already discussing a possible war of aggression against Russia. For example, American military strategist Harlan Ullman reported in a recent article for the UPI news agency entitled “Is the US planning for a war with Russia?” that at a military conference in Britain a US general had said it was the US Army’s highest priority “to deter and if necessary defeat Russia in a war.”

In the latest issue of Die Zeit, in an article based on internal NATO documents, Matthias Nass writes that the military alliance is returning “to nuclear deterrence” and wants to “set a nuclear tripwire against Russia in the Baltic States.” It is already clear that “the decisions in Warsaw will trigger violent reactions in Russia—from the stationing of nuclear capable Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad area, up to the termination of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”

While Merkel stands fully behind NATO’s war policies, differences within the grand coalition were also visible in the Bundestag debate. Above all, representatives of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) increasingly regard the aggressive actions of the US against Russia as a threat to Germany’s geostrategic and economic interests in Eastern Europe and other regions of the world.

SPD parliamentary leader Thomas Oppermann demanded “clear answers” to “large-scale Russian military manoeuvres with up to 100,000 soldiers.” At the same time, he warned against slipping “back into the logic of the Cold War.” Everything should be done to ensure “that we never again fall into this disastrous spiral,” he declared. An arms race “would be the last thing Russia and Europe need.”

Oppermann pleaded “for a gradual approach to Russia.” In the event there were “real concessions from Vladimir Putin,” Oppermann held out the prospect of lifting the sanctions that had only just been extended last week by the EU. These were “not an end in themselves,” he said. In addition, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) was “absolutely right” that “you cannot win security with military parades and manoeuvres alone.” He was “grateful that he had pointed out that peace cannot be secured solely by military strength.”

Oppermann knows very well that Steinmeier is not advocating a “peace policy.” For years, he has been urging a greater foreign policy and military role for Germany throughout the world. On June 13, the German foreign minister published an article in Foreign Affairs entitled, “Germany’s new global role,” which describes Germany as a “major European power,” distanced Germany from the US and questioned Washington’s claim to sole leadership in world politics.

We commented at the time, “Steinmeier’s foray makes clear that the wars for the redivision of the Middle East and Africa, together with the encirclement of Russia and China, lead to conflicts between the imperialist powers themselves. Although allies, the US and Germany have competing economic and political interests. The disintegration of the European Union, which will accelerate if Britain leaves, and the rise of Donald Trump in the US will exacerbate these conflicts.”

Sarah Wagenknecht, the parliamentary leader of the Left Party, took the greatest distance from the US and advocated an alliance with Russia. She spoke as opposition leader directly following Merkel.

Wagenknecht sharply criticized NATO’s war preparations against Russia and pleaded that Germany regard the US as a potential adversary. She said former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (SPD), who died in November 2015, was of the view that “today, more risk emanates from the US than from Russia. Things would not be much different following the next presidential election, when the White House was occupied by either a semi-lunatic or a puppet of the US arms lobby.”



  1. Merkel is a danger to humanity. After two world wars, Germany should never be allowed to rearm. Wont somebody please lock that deranged flabby old woman up.

  2. Bobby says

    The Germans have got to be crazy, getting sucked into a possible third world war. Chancellor Ludwig Erhard warned them to make business not war. That was the way to the good life. But then, Germany is probably not a sovereign nation anyway and Merkel is a mere sock puppet.

  3. rtj1211 says

    It really would be helpful if someone could present a detailed psychological profile of historical figures who have:

    Had an atavistic desire to conquer foreign territories.
    Display paranoia about external threats or wilfully make them up.
    Regard the enslavement and murder of other human beings as an intrinsic part of ‘making money’.

    I don’t somehow think that these are traits which are likely to get elected at the ballot box short of imminent invasion by aggressors of the country carrying out the election.

    It might therefore be useful to analyse politicians seeking election against aforementioned psychological profiles and eliminate them from ballot boxes using an ‘unfit to stand’ definition within Parliaments……..

    Assuming you don’t want to just bump them off to rid the world of their plague……..

  4. Seamus Padraig says

    I think Sahra Wagenknecht is the only German in politics today who’s worth a sh_t. The rest of them are just pathetic.

  5. Merkel clearly belongs in a lunatic asylum & we hope will be committed in 2017 after she gets kicked out ! Cameron got the boot & Obama is over, Hollande wont survive 2017 & Hillary is ‘too dumb to jail’ & the US electorate does not trust her nor the silly PEW polls. Trump has got his work cut out.

    More & more these deluded western leaders are fooling nobody – This is all SOUR GRAPES from the West for losing the Coup in Kiev that these neocons so carefully planned to be outwitted and shown for the morons they are by the target of their coup.

  6. Herr Hitler failed to enter through the front door, so now Frau Merkel gives entering through the backdoor a shot…_

  7. Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:

    So Merkel intends to disregard the agreement previously made after WW2 that the German Army would from that day forth only be used for defence (Paris Treaty?)

  8. Secret Agent says

    Lithuania has the best neo nazis in the Baltics. They will make fitting partners for Frau Merkel. They have not forgotten the struggle for destiny. German troops will be quite at home with these patriots.

    Merkel and the German high command have had plenty of time to study what went wrong at Lenningrad. Their failure to achieve victory there arguably cost them their victory over the godless Russians.

    Merkel hates the Russians. They have denied the fatherland of its living space. She also hates the German people. They failed the leader once. She is generous to offer them a second chance at national greatness.

    • Brad Benson says

      Bullshit. Merkel speaks Russian and gets along with Putin, who speaks German. You don’t know what you are talking about. The Fatherland is not looking for Lebensraum, but you should perhaps seek out an asylum.

      • Seamus Padraig says

        I assume he was being sarcastic. He sure had me laughing!

      • Catte says

        I highly doubt Putin and Merkel “get along.” The so-called special relationship between them was much-touted in the West during the onset of the Ukraine crisis, as was her alleged “intelligence” and political skill. None of these things have been much in evidence have they? On the contrary, Merkel has displayed an above average tendency toward the moronic, short-sighted and mulish. She does as she’s told by her handlers in Washington and barely has the ability to comprehend what it might mean for herself, her reputation, her country or the human race. If Putin hasn’t figured out by now that she’s a mendacious and incompetent fool with almost no ability to act or think for herself, he hasn’t been paying attention.

      • Germany might not be looking for Lebensraum to grab from others, but its role in providing the necessary grounds for Euromaidan and the putsch of February 2014 is undeniable. Like other EU members, the Merkel government was fully aware that ALL of the Ukrainian opposition was deeply tainted with fascist tendencies and ALL of it (except for the communists) infiltrated by elements of the Bandera Nazi-collaborator diaspora.

        Despite warnings from both the EU Parliament itself and the Jewish American press, which urged Europe to have nothing to do with the Ukrainian opposition, Merkel’s government went ahead in October 2013 to deliberately violate the terms of the Budapest Memo of 1993 and issue an ultimatum to the Yanukovitch government, which the latter couldn’t possibly accept. Those who willingly, knowingly go around holding hands with fascists and crypto-Nazis, as Merkel and her government have done and continue to do in Ukraine and elsewhere raise the question of their own real sympathies and allegiances.

        The fact that Merkel knows some Russian — she doesn’t speak it fluently, and is nowhere near the proficiency Putin has in German — is neither here nor there. She could have single-handedly stopped the US anti-Russian war-mongering in Europe and refused to go along with the sanctions Washington demanded or the military saber-rattling it’s doing on Russia’s borders. Her failure to do either speaks of her real sentiments and intentions.

        • Jen says

          If Angela Merkel doesn’t speak Russian fluently despite having grown up in East Germany, there’s definitely something amiss with the woman.

          I personally would like to know what’s in the National Security Agency’s file on Merkel that she’s so afraid of : that has to be the key to how Washington is controlling her. Whatever it is must have the potential to destroy her career if it were to go public in Germany.

          • reinertorheit says

            Merkel, like most rightwing nutjobs in Europe, enjoys the patronage of the USA, and their support in all her activities – in exchange for loyal support of the UA agenda for Europe, and membership of NATO. I doubt there is any blackmail involved. She is just a fascist warmongering sow from Nowheresville, E Germany – suddenly propelled to glory as Uncle Sam’s willing Viceroy as a sellout to her native land.

            Oh, and she gets a free Torah and some bagels with love from the Kagan family (Robert & Victoria). She rarely mentions her religious affiliations.

            • Seamus Padraig says

              FYI: In Germany at least, it’s pretty well known that her father was a Lutheran minister, so there wouldn’t be much need for her to mention that.

              • I’ve no idea what the NSA have on Merkel, but there may well be something a little odd/off in her family background as she claims that she never knew her father was a Pole who moved to Germany and converted to Protestantism at the end of WWII. I’m inclined to believe her about that, which makes me wonder what it was that her father felt he couldn’t tell his family about. His ethnic background and his conversion to Lutheranism don’t strike as things requiring any secrecy or a sense of shame about.

              • Jen says

                This comes from Angela Merkel’s Wikipedia entry:

                … Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner in 1954, in Hamburg, Germany, the daughter of Horst Kasner (1926–2011) … a native of Berlin, and his wife Herlind, born in 1928 in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) as Herlind Jentzsch, a teacher of English and Latin. Her mother was the daughter of the Danzig politician Willi Jentzsch and maternal granddaughter of the city clerk of Elbing (now Elbląg, Poland) Emil Drange. Herlind Jentzsch was once a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and briefly served as a member of the municipal council in Templin following the German reunification … Merkel has Polish ancestry through her paternal grandfather, Ludwig Kasner, a German national … of Polish origin from Posen (now Poznań) … The family’s original name Kaźmierczak was Germanized to Kasner in 1930 …

                Religion played a key role in Angela Merkel’s migration to East Germany. Her father was born a Catholic, but the Kasner family eventually converted to Lutheranism … and he studied Lutheran theology in Heidelberg and afterwards in Hamburg. In 1954, Angela’s father received a pastorate at the church in Quitzow (a quarter of Perleberg in Brandenburg), which was then in East Germany, and so the family moved to Templin. Merkel thus grew up in the countryside 80 km (50 mi) north of East Berlin …

                It is odd that Merkel was born in West Germany but her family migrated to East Germany and that her father should take up a position as a pastor to a Lutheran community in an avowedly atheist country. Does anyone else think this is also passing strange?

                What use could the atheist police state East Germany have for a Lutheran pastor? What can a Lutheran pastor do that might be useful? Could the NSA file have something on Merkel’s father?

                • So that was her paternal grandfather, not her father as I’d thought — and way before WWII.

                  Strange nevertheless, as you say. Not to know that your own grandfather was from Poland? I find it hard to imagine, family dynamics in which such a major piece of information about one’s grandparents is not spoken of. Some have speculated that Merkel herself might have worked for the Stasi though I’ve never seen anything to corroborate it. Whatever the NSA has on her must be major to account for her readiness to carry out every Washington wish — unless, of course, it’s simply that Merkel is herself a die-hard Atlanticist.

                • Joss says

                  My feeling is that it must have something to do with spying, but for whom I wouldn’t care to guess. Maybe he was a spy in Poland for Germany, and was forced to leave poland and change his identity because of risk of being uncovered, then was redeployed as a lutheran pastor. Just an example of dozens of possibilities. Like grandfather, like granddaughter, as they say.

      • reinertorheit says

        You’re living in neocon dreamworld, Brad.

        In a TV-generated fantasy in which all world leaders live in a game-show house, and “get along” with each other.

        Here in Russia, the government hasn’t underestimated the threat posed by nuclear-armed psychopaths like Jens Stoltenberg, or the Norwegian ultra-right loonies he represents. We do not “get along” with them. In case you missed it between the children’s programs on TV, Brad, they’ve imposed economic sanctions on Russia., which they have then progressively ramped-up in intensity, and extended repeatedly in duration.

        Now you go back to Spongebob, Brad. That’s more your American level.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      The Lithuanian fascists, the forebears of today’s Lithuanian political elite, were such enthusiastic Jew-killers that they repulsed even the Nazis. Then the vermin were given sanctuary in the West for forty years until the imbecile Gorbachev allowed their return. They showed that they hadn’t changed from generation to generation by persecuting one elderly Jewish woman for the ‘crime’ of killing Nazis and Lithuanian fascists during WW2 while a Communist partisan. As ever, the USA has been the patron and protector of evil swine, no matter whence they emanated, so long as they know how to follow orders.

    • Bobby says

      You’re full of bull and probably just another German hater. Who cares??

      • reinertorheit says

        An American “intellectual” speaks.

Comments are closed.