In an interview with the editorial network Germany (RND), Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced a further increase in defense spending and a massive armament of the Bundeswehr in the next few years. It threatens Russia and China and underlines the claim of German imperialism to enforce its economic and geostrategic interests worldwide with military means – also independently of the USA and against it.
“First of all, it’s about our own safety and our own interests. It was never about doing the US a favor. We have to take care of our own safety, ”she emphasizes right at the beginning of the interview. “American foreign policy” is “now more reliable again” under the new president. However, “even under Biden, key foreign policy priorities were set, for example in the Indo-Pacific. It is also clear that the burden-sharing in NATO remains unchanged on the agenda for the USA – even if a different style is now maintained. “
In fact, the Biden administration and the US military are preparing to escalate the military confrontation with the nuclear powers Russia and China. They have stepped up provocative “freedom of navigation” operations in China-claimed waters in the South China Sea and plan to deploy offensive missiles along several densely populated islands, including Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
Since taking office, Biden has also tightened the course of war with Moscow. In mid-March, he described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a murderer and threatened Moscow with retaliatory measures. Since then, the Ukrainian regime of President Volodymyr Selenskyj, with the backing of Washington, NATO and the European Union, has escalated the course of war against the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
German imperialism reacts to the danger of nuclear war with its own massive war offensive. In the midst of the pandemic, the ruling class claims there is no money for necessary protective measures and higher wages for caregivers. Social benefits are slashed and exploitation of the working class intensified. At the same time, billions more are to flow into military armament.
It is “good” that the Bundeswehr “will get another 2.5 billion euros for the next year”, explains Kramp-Karrenbauer in an interview. This will increase defense spending next year by a further five percent to officially 49.3 billion euros. Although this makes them almost as high as the health and education budgets combined, that is not enough for the ruling class.
The amount is “not nearly enough to further develop our capabilities in order to be able to counter the threats effectively,” complains the Defense Minister and holds out the prospect of a further increase after the federal elections in September at the latest. The “next coalition negotiations” are “decisive”. “In it,” the major armaments projects must be secured for the future. Security is a central task for the entire government. “
Behind the backs of the population, the grand coalition is working on the largest German arms offensive since the armament of the Wehrmacht on the eve of the Second World War. They have presented “a consolidated plan for what is necessary for our security”. This includes “the major armaments projects that we have also promised at European level and which therefore enjoy priority. In addition to the normal defense budget, these projects have to be secured through a planning law, because they sometimes extend over ten or 15 years. “One will” definitely have to spend more money “.
The numbers and projects that Kramp-Karrenbauer and the Ministry of Defense have in mind are gigantic. “In total, there will be a difference in the clear double-digit billion range up to 2025 compared to our calculated requirements.” They have named “15 armaments projects including the associated sums”. In addition to the several hundred billion expensive “Franco-German projects such as FCAS [Future Combat Air System] and MGCS [Main Ground Combat System] such as the successor to the Tornado fighter aircraft, the replacement of the outdated fleet service boats, the procurement of aircraft for anti-submarine defense and a tactical air defense system ”.
The armament does not, as the Defense Minister would have you believe, serve the “security” and “prosperity” of the German population, the “fight against terror” or even the implementation of “women’s rights” and “democracy”. It is about the pursuit of the geostrategic and economic interests of German imperialism by warlike means.
In an interview, Kramp-Karrenbauer defends the extension of the Federal Armed Forces mission in Afghanistan decided by the Bundestag at the end of March and prepares readers for a massive intensification of the fighting in the Central Asian country. You have “arranged in consultation with the military leaders to strengthen the protective measures. Reinforcements, additional armament, equipment and ammunition are brought there quickly. “She would also like to have” armed drones “at her disposal.
The brutal occupation and plundering of Afghanistan by the imperialist powers is only the prelude to even more extensive wars for the ruling class. According to Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Bundeswehr “has drawn a lot of military lessons from 20 years in Afghanistan”. “Politically” she wanted “a comprehensive debate about this nationwide deployment”. One owes this “only to those who were killed or injured in Afghanistan”. In addition, “with a view to the next German commitment, for example in the Sahel zone, it is necessary to make it clearer from the start what realistic goals are and what are not”.
With the characteristic hubris of the German bourgeoisie, which committed barbaric crimes in two world wars in order to rise to world power, Kramp-Karrenbauer threatens the nuclear powers Moscow and Beijing. Russia is “with its arsenal, unlike China, a very tangible threat to us, both conventional and nuclear”. However, “China also has a very ambitious plan, namely to make its own army the largest and most modern in the world“. And it has “a recognizable claim to shape the world order in its own way and to force weaker people to behave in a certain way. We, that is to say Europe and the West, must not be the weaker ones. “
That is unmistakable. Germany and Europe are arming in order to put Moscow and Beijing in their place – up to and including a nuclear war. In reality, it is not Russia and China that are the aggressors, but the imperialist powers. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO has been systematically militarily encircling Russia and is now tightening its course vis-à-vis Beijing. Germany is playing an increasingly aggressive role in this, despite its close economic ties with both countries.
After Berlin supported the right-wing coup in Ukraine in 2014 in order to install a pro-Western regime in Kiev and weaken Russia, it is now looking even further east. Last September, the SPD-led Foreign Office published official “Guidelines on the Indo-Pacific” in which it says: “The Himalayas and the Straits of Malacca may seem far away. But our prosperity and our geopolitical influence in the coming decades will also be based precisely on how we work together with the states of the Indo-Pacific. ”As a globally active trading nation, Germany should“ not be satisfied with a spectator role there, even from a military point of view ”.
Now this policy is to be implemented. “The situation in the Indo-Pacific is of course something to do with us,” emphasizes Kramp-Karrenbauer to the RND. Germany will “send a frigate to the Indo-Pacific” in the next few months. Ultimately, “compliance with the rules for free trade routes and territorial integrity, the strengthening of our democratic partners in the region such as Australia, Japan, South Korea or Singapore is in German and European interests”. They talked “not only about the freedom of sea routes, which is endangered by China, but we are also ready to do something about it”.
The deeper cause of the ruthless action of the imperialist powers is the deep crisis of the capitalist system, which has been exacerbated by the corona pandemic. Like the murderous “Profite before Life” policy, which has already brought the deaths of more than 75,000 people in Germany alone, the war course is supported by all parties in the Bundestag – including the nominally left. In their election manifesto, the Greens plead for the massive armament of the Bundeswehr, NATO and the European armed forces and threaten Russia and China. And the Left Party has long since made it clear that it would fully support the aggressive foreign policy course in a possible red-red-green federal government.
In the election campaign, only the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) opposes the return of German militarism and the danger of a third world war and fights for an international socialist program to give the growing opposition of workers and youth a perspective. In its election declaration, the SGP writes: “In the midst of the corona pandemic, all great powers are preparing for new wars in order to enforce their economic interests … Millions are supposed to die in order to pursue the imperialist interests of the German financial elite with military force. We demand: Immediate termination of all foreign and war missions! Dissolution of NATO and the Bundeswehr! Billions for education and work instead of armament and war! “