And In Other News: Germany Unable To Deliver On Its NATO Promises

Ain’t no big deal. It’s not like NATO partners could ever get attacked or anything.

Bundeswehr

And besides, it’s not the Bundeswehr’s fault. “Industry” let them down again (or the lack of it?).

Germany could not currently fulfill its NATO commitments in the event of an attack on a member of the alliance, owing in part to severe backlogs in replacement parts for its aircraft.

“With our airborne systems we are currently below the target figures announced one year ago, defining what we would want to make available to NATO within 180 days in the case of an emergency,” Defense Minister von der Leyen told the “Bild am Sonntag” newspaper. “Delays for replacement parts for our planes and the missing helicopters are the reason for this.”

Red Carpet Treatment

For the guy with the gas. From Qatar.

Qatar

Who cares that Qatar funds ISIS terror and revels in exploiting its expatriate slave laborers ahead of the 2022 World Cup (to name just two minor points)? It is also the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). And these days, with Germany’s good buddy Putin getting all uppity about passing his Russian gas (and currently suffering from a 35% Russian gas import addition) LPG looks like the next best drug of choice.

Economic ties remain key to Germany’s relationship with Qatar, one of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ energy-rich members. The partnership increasingly encompasses energy interests, especially in light of the crisis in Ukraine and potential threats to Europe’s gas supplies.

Russia Passing Less Gas Than Usual

To Europe, I mean. Do to a “technical disturbance,” it seems. Some 20 to 24 percent less natural gas than agreed to. All of a sudden-like.

Gas

Thank goodness countries like Germany thought ahead and only import a mere 35 percent of the natural gas they need from Russia. Otherwise a dangerous dependency might have developed that could have eventually even threatened the Energiewende itself!

Seit Montag seien die Lieferungen um 20 bis 24 Prozent geringer als in den Vereinbarungen mit dem russischen Energiekonzern Gazprom festgelegt.

“If I Want, I Will Take Poland In Two Weeks”

Oops. I meant Kiev, of course

Poland

On September 1, 1939, the German army under Adolf Hitler launched an invasion of Poland that triggered the start of World War II.

Today, 75 years later, Hitler is regarded as one of history’s great villains. So it’s easy to forget how slowly and reluctantly the worlds most powerful democracies mobilized to stop him. France and Britain did declare war on Germany two days after the invasion of Poland, but it would take them another eight months before they engaged in full-scale war with the Nazis. The United States wouldn’t join the war against Hitler until December 1941, a full two years after the war began.

Germany Increases Pressure On Russia By Selling It An Oil Company

Berlin is set to approve the sale of one of Germany’s largest oil producers to a Russian consortium, in a move that may undercut U.S. and E.U. sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for its role in stoking the conflict in Ukraine.

Oil

Der Verkauf galt wegen der Rolle Russlands in der Ukraine-Krise als politisch umstritten. Die Bundesregierung hat bei derartigen Transaktionen ein Mitspracherecht nach dem Außenwirtschaftsgesetz.

Is The Party Over?

While Germany has so far led the regional recovery, it is feeling the pain of increasing political tension. The European Union agreed last week on its widest-ranging sanctions yet over Russia’s backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia counts Germany as its biggest trading partner in Europe.

Germany

“The manufacturing-sector outlook does not look encouraging.”

Die Konjunktur läuft nicht mehr rund – Industrie-Aufträge mit stärkstem Minus seit 2011

From Russia To Iran With Love

From Germany, I mean. It’s complicated.

German businesses are cooling on Russian investments amid anger over Russia’s role in the Ukrainian conflict, while simultaneously warming on another big country hit by Western sanctions: Iran.

Iran

According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as “war criminals” because of Hitler.

Poll: Four In Five Germans Have No Problem With Germany Being World’s Third Largest Arms Exporter

No, wait. That was four in five Germans would like to see their armed forces take part in fewer military missions abroad. But still.

Arms

Damn. And almost two-thirds think Germany should show caution on foreign affairs. Even more caution than they are already being so overly cautious about already, I mean. Well the Germans certainly have been reckless these past few years, haven’t they?

Calls from abroad for greater German participation showed the respect Germany had won, but could also put Germany under too much pressure.

PS: Speaking of pressure, according to former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer himself, “Russia is striving a major power role. That must not and will not be accepted by Europe.”

Die russische Strategie, verloren gegangenes Territorium zurück zu holen, könne man nur mit Entschlossenheit und Härte begegnen, nicht mit Verständnis. „Ein starkes Europa ist Voraussetzung für Sicherheit“, sagte der Ex-Außenminister.

German Word Of The Day: Bluff

In German, “Bluff” means to mislead by a display of strength or self-confidence when in fact their is no strength or self-confidence there. To display, I mean.

Bluff

But there’s one problem with this weapon (real sanctions): It can only be used if all EU members agree. In the EU, sanctions need to be decided unanimously. This worked for levels one and two, because they were primarily symbolic acts that affected people close to Putin and imposed no real burden on the EU. But level three would be different, making it unlikely that the EU would agree on sanctions that would have a strong effect on Russia. Europe’s strongest weapon is actually a bluff.

“Clearly there will be economic sanctions if Putin sabotages the vote, but it’s unclear what would constitute sabotage.”

PS: Personally, I think there is only one person on Earth who could possibly stand up to this Putin person. And he’s not even a person himself

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 267 other followers