Mini-MErkel: International = Without Germany

That’s what it means when it comes to troops and international security zones, at any rate.

Mini-Merkel

It’s hilarious to watch this ritual. Whenever no one else is around to do the dirty work (in this case US-Amerika in Syria), Germans like to pretend that an international force can do the dirty work instead. The punchline comes later, however (stay tuned): The same Germans will then turn down any attempt made in the Bundestag to have German troops participate in such an international security zone. It’s a win-win situation.

Germany’s defence minister has suggested creating a security zone in northern Syria to protect displaced civilians and ensure the fight continues against Islamic State militia, the first time Berlin has proposed a military mission in the Middle East.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Angela Merkel’s preferred successor as chancellor, said she would discuss the initiative with NATO partners this week and did not rule out sending German soldiers to Syria, saying that would be a matter for parliament.

“We cannot just stand by and watch and not doing anything.” That’s right. Sit down and do so.

What Difference Does It Make?

Germany: Bundeswehr grounds ‘Tiger’ helicopters due to technical faults.

Tiger

The Bundeswehr and Bundesmarine (German army and navy) ain’t ever going to be deployed anywhere anyway so who cares if nothing works or not?

Bundeswehr’s enduring equipment woes – The incident is the latest in a series of embarrassments for the Bundeswehr and the German government concerning equipment, especially as regards government-issue aircraft. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz have all been delayed by faulty airplanes while carrying out official duties in the past year. Bundeswehr officials have also long complained that much of their equipment is outdated and broken, as increasing defense spending becomes more and more unpopular politically.

“Security is the top priority for the Bundeswehr.”

Germans Too Busy Killing Hitler To Help Allies

It’s another German oddity kinda thang. And one of my personal favorites.

Hitler

Germans hide from responsibility today by routinely ritualizing  how they hid from responsibility in the past. And don’t kid yourself. They are perfectly aware of what they are doing.

Germany will not join US naval mission in Strait of Hormuz – Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany will not be taking part in a US-led mission to secure oil tanker ships sailing near Iran. The US ambassador in Berlin slammed the decision, saying Germany has responsibilities.

“Hardly any other country is as dependent on the freedom of international shipping as export champions Germany.”

An Absolute Shocker!

That the US would even waste time asking Germany in the first place, I mean.

Germany

Germany rejects US request for help in the Gulf – Foreign ministry focuses on ‘de-escalation and diplomatic efforts’ as tensions rise.

And dialogue. The journalist here forgot to mention dialogue. Whenever Germany shirks its responsibility as an ally (and this happens with astounding regularity) the German foreign minister du jour suggests opening a so-called dialogue instead – knowing, of course, that this dialogue will never lead anywhere but that it will enable Germany to shirk its responsibilities in a more subtle, indirect manner.

Tensions in the Gulf have reignited a German debate over the country’s readiness to take on a larger role in global affairs with critics charging that Berlin should step up its involvement by taking part in a possible naval mission to the region.

Berlin has come under pressure from the UK and the US to increase its engagement in the Gulf after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz this month.

But on Tuesday Germany rebuffed a formal Washington request for support, saying it would not contribute to a US-led naval mission in the region.

“This is a classical case of ducking your responsibility. You see that something has to be done but you say: Not me.”

German Word Of The Day Except That It’s An English One: Mull

That means to study or ruminate, ponder, to think about carefully, consider, again and again, with great care, for an exceedingly long period of time, until the thing you are mulling about has taken care of itself and you are conveniently off the hook. Again.

Gulf

It also means to mess up or make a failure of.

Germany mulls joining European Persian Gulf naval mission – Pressure is growing on the German government to lend its military weight to a potential European naval mission in the Persian Gulf. The UK government floated the idea of a joint European operation last Monday.

“Hardly any other country is as dependent on the freedom of international shipping as export champions Germany.”

Mein Kampf-Karrenbauer

I mean Mein Kramp-Karrenbauer, of course. But she is a Kampf-Karrenbauer now, you know.

AKK

Or you can just call her AKK, if you prefer, although that sounds like a machine gun, too. Or just call her Mini-Merkel if you like that better (that’s her official unofficial designation). But I dunno. Mini-Merkel just doesn’t have the punch a defense minister needs to have with his name, don’t you think? Especially when it’s a she. Again. It just doesn’t exude any shock and awe. Well, shock, maybe, but nothing this government does can awe me anymore.

Merkel protege AKK given defence job seen as poisoned chalice – Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeds new EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen as German defence minister.

Angela Merkel’s favoured successor as chancellor has been appointed Germany’s new defence minister in an unexpected and potentially risky move after Ursula von der Leyen’s confirmation as European commission president…

The job of defence minister is widely seen as a poisoned chalice. Germany’s armed forces, which critics maintain have long been chronically underfunded, are consistently accused of inefficiency and of having inadequate or defective equipment.

History Really Does Repeat Itself

The German navy does this regularly, I guess. Commit suicide, I mean.

Suicide

So I suppose you could call the one going on presently a ritual suicide, albeit slower than those of the past (look what’s been going on with the Bundeswehr for the past thirty or forty years or so and you’ll get my drift).

One hundred years ago, the German High Seas Fleet committed suicide. On June 21, 1919, the crews of seventy-four German warships attempted to scuttle their vessels in order to prevent the Allies from taking them. Over the course of a few hours, fifty-two modern warships sank. In the modern history of naval combat, there has never been an event as devastating as the self-destruction of the German fleet at Scapa Flow. The scuttling immediately became legendary, closing one chapter of German naval history and opening another…

Indeed, the Germans had prepped the ships for scuttling over the previous several months, removing doors and taking other steps to reduce watertight integrity. They waited for motive and opportunity. As the Paris Peace Conference dragged on, both the French and the Italians had made claims upon the fleet. As the deadline for signing the treaty approached, both the Germans and the British made their preparations, the latter to seize the ships and the former to scuttle them.

On June 21, a comedy of errors ensued. The signing of the treaty was postponed two days, although it is unclear how aware the German sailors were made of this fact. The British commander decided that the fabulous early summer weather offered a great opportunity for practice, and the bulk of the Grand Fleet left Scapa Flow for maneuvers on the morning of June 21. Only a few patrol and utility ships remained.

Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the order for scuttling, and every German ship obeyed. The British didn’t notice until around noon, when the battleship Friederich der Grosse began to list noticeably. At this point, the rest of the fleet raised the Imperial German Naval ensign, which the British had officially forbidden. At that point, the scuttling became a race between the water and the Royal Navy. The Grand Fleet, notified by radio of the sinking, began to return immediately. The few Royal Navy ships in attendance picked up survivors, but were unable to save very many of the sinking ships.

Why Did The German Warship Cross The Taiwan Straight?

To get to the other side? To get repaired?

Taiwan

No. To 1) show the world that it actually has a warship, 2) demonstrate that it can actually travel this far without sinking or being towed and 3) demonstrate Germany’s formidable military power. No, all three are true. You don’t have to pick just one. But remember folks, this is all a purely hypothetical construct.

Why a German Warship Would Head To the Taiwan Strait – A naval mission to the region would be a low-risk way for Germany to show that it’s committed to alliances – and that it still has a navy.

No low-risk, no fun.

Germany Is NATO’s Biggest Freeloader

That was a Washington Post headline, not mine.

NATO

There’s a German word for freeloader, by the way. Sounds worse in German, too.

As Nato commemorates its 70th anniversary in Washington this week, Germany seems to be labouring mightily to reassure the 29-member alliance that it will never threaten anyone militarily again — because it is in fact its own worst enemy.

How else can you qualify an ally that has announced it won’t be meeting its own pledge to increase defence spending to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024, even when it has formally committed to a target of 2 per cent, like everybody else?

Eines kann man Donald Trump nicht vorwerfen: Dass er mit seiner Meinung hinter dem Berg halten würde.

This Is A Bad Hair Day

For hair everywhere. Especially in the Bundeswehr. German court rules goth soldier must get a hair cut.

Goth

Sorry, pal. But a man’s goth to do what he’s goth to do. At least those cute Bundeswehr chicks goth off the hook…

The soldier, a member of Germany’s Gothic scene who wants to wear his hair long, considered the armed services law discriminatory because it allows women to wear long hair, but not men.

Men in previous ages wore their hair long, argued the 51-year-old who works in the defense ministry in Bonn. He said ancient, long-haired warriors were thought to have a particular masculinity, so he did not understand why only women were currently allowed to wear their hair long.

“Fashionable hairstyles are allowed, provided they are not particularly conspicuous in cut or shape, such as mohawk, ornamental or sidecuts.”