German experts accuse Moscow of preparing for regional nuclear wars in the territory of the European Union.
The outgoing week began in Germany with the fact that the influential German newspaper Die Welt published an article by the head of its foreign department, Clemens Vergina, entitled “Russlands Kriegslust” («Russian lust of militancy»).
The article was based on a report sponsored by a retired Lieutenant General of the Bundeswehr, from October 2013 to July 2018, who held the post of NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning, Heinrich Brauss, and former director of the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (resigned in 2016 year), honorary professor of international politics of the Institute of Social Sciences of the same university Joachim Krause.
With links to their report (published in full in the online industry publication Sirius. Zeitschrift für Strategische Analysen; it’s “The Journal of Strategic Analysis”) Vergin’s article states that while Europe solves the problem of global warming and deals with migrants, Russia is preparing for waging regional wars in Europe with the use of nuclear weapons. Russia specifically seeks conflict with the West and is trying to destroy the world order, as well as to undermine the cohesion of the North Atlantic alliance.
At the same time, Russia understands that it will not be able to defeat NATO, so it can deliver an “unexpected strike”, backed up by the threat of nuclear weapons. The result of such a blow will be a situation where Europe will be forced to choose between a full-fledged war or submission to Moscow. The authors of the report called the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine and the countries of the Black Sea region the most likely places for the “Russian attacks” to start.
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The conclusion of Brauss and Krause is this: since Germany will play a key role in the “conflict” predicted by them, the German government should bring the Bundeswehr on alert as quickly as possible.
As Vergin writes in this connection, “At least after the annexation of Crimea, history returned to Europe, and with it the harsh facts of geopolitics. However, in the center of Europe there is a country in which the righteous still sleep. At the end of the month, the INF Treaty will cease to exist, but in Germany there is no political debate on this topic. It is hard to imagine that a “NATO Double Decision” could be made again in Germany, with the help of which the Alliance responded to the Soviet SS-20 missile systems in the late 1970s. An alternative would be to reinforce conventional weapons and help protect NATO’s eastern flank from any Russian attacks. But with the participation of the SPD in the government security policy is hardly capable of government action. Even the goal is to achieve the non-promised two percent of GDP for military spending, but at least 1.5 percent is not funded. And therefore, Berlin is unable to fulfill even the tasks previously set by NATO to protect the Alliance’s eastern flank. Such denial of reality is irresponsible. And it’s dangerous – as well as Donald Trump’s ambiguous statements regarding NATO. If the will and ability of the North Atlantic alliance to respond effectively in the event of an attack is in doubt, then at least do not encourage Kremlin players going all-in. This makes the Russian war against a European country even more likely. ”
When publishing this “horror story”, Die Welt undoubtedly counted on the piety with which the reader would react to the opinion of “respected German experts,” as the newspaper commanded by Lieutenant-General Brauss, who held one of the top positions at the NATO International Headquarters in Brussels, and twice Doctor of Political Sciences Krause (he defended his first thesis on the “Policy of Soviet Aid to Developing Countries” in 1982, and the second on the Structural Changes in International Nonproliferation Policy in 1997). After all, experts of this level advise the Federal Government of Germany! And based on their recommendations, it makes decisions on the most important issues of domestic and foreign policy.
So, for example, in the summer of 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered German security officials to open the state border of Germany to hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, she was guided, as she later recognized, not only by considerations of humanity, but also by pursuing a goal fill thousands of vacancies of qualified personnel in the German labor market.
And at that time, as well as today, there were not enough in the country, according to statistics, at least for 440 thousand (!) people. And they lacked them in such sectors as transport and logistics, metalworking, machine building and the automotive industry, energy and electrical engineering, construction and health care, including care for the sick and the elderly.
But instead of managers and engineers, machine operators and drivers of modern construction and road equipment, doctors and nurses, experienced nurses and other specialists, the million people of illiterate young men of draft age and their wives with numerous children rushed into the country. The fact that the Chancellor did not foresee this is a separate topic. But experts, experts … Now, the same ones, it seems, experts predict that Russia will unleash an atomic war.
In one of the soviet movies hero asks one of the characters: “Uncle Peter, are you a fool?”
Many leading German media outlets reported on the article “The Militancy of Russia” and also referring to the report of Brauss and Krause on the same Monday, July 15, and in the same alarmist spirit.
But the next day after these publications, the German journalist and blogger Tobias Riegel wrote in the article “The INF Treaty: the NATO propaganda hour” (“INF-Vertrag: Die Stunde der NATO-Propaganda”) (he posted his article on the Internet) a resource called NachDenkSeiten – Die kritische Website (“Post-Reflection Pages. Critical Web Site”), co-published by the former director of the planning department in the Office of the Federal Chancellor under Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidte, ex-deputy of the Bundestag from the SDPG, now 81 year old Albrecht Muller):
– Who was the first to terminate the INF Treaty? Who created the conditions for his failure by rearmament, confrontation and refusal to communicate? Who leads the propaganda method “Hold the thief!” (the one who stole something shouts Hold the thief)? – Rigel asks questions, but before giving answers, reminds:
– Russia should be portrayed as responsible for the inevitable termination of the INF Treaty on medium-range nuclear systems. Several publications that have appeared in various major media over the past few days should “bolster” this conclusion with the theses of NATO representatives, which on closer examination prove to be untenable. The so-called security experts, as well as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, deal with false statements and adventurous war scenarios. They are accepted by some major media, partly without criticism. But critical voices should also sound.
– Firstly, Stoltenberg in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper states:“ Russia has terminated the INF Treaty.This is not a direct lie. But this is, at best, half of the truth and a vivid example of propaganda by keeping silent and using the tactic “Hold the thief!”. Since Stoltenberg, the entire prehistory that led to this step of Russia (for example, the deployment of offensive weapons and the termination of the treaty by the United States of America), hides to a large extent under the table. But nevertheless, according to Stoltenberg, “Russia is solely responsible for the consequences.”
– Secondly, Die Welt reports on a “study”(Brauss and Krause). Their biased text states that Russia is “completely unprovoked” preparing for regional wars in Europe, “that it wants to complete them victoriously using threats of the use of nuclear weapons,” that Russia’s strategic concept pursues the goal of waging wars on the European periphery and bringing them until successful completion. ” Consequently, NATO, and in particular Germany, must counteract this by significantly increasing military spending.”
– As for the treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union solved this problem in 1987 in order to reduce the danger of a nuclear war destructive for all mankind. The treaty provided for the elimination of all ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range from 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Possession, production and testing of these medium-range nuclear forces, abbreviated as the INF, were prohibited.
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- It is expected that from August 2 this Treaty will be a thing of the past. Brauss, Krause and Die Welt claim that the reason is „a land-based cruise missile with a nuclear warhead developed by Russia and capable of reaching anyone except Lisbon, the capital of Europe in a few minutes, which violates the terms of the INF Treaty.”
According to the Americans, battalions with more than 60 mobile launch pads are already deployed in four locations in the European part of Russia. For the current US President Donald Trump, this was a reason to terminate the INF Treaty. ”
– But the INF Treaty was first terminated by the United States, not Russia. This complicates the defense of the thesis “Russia’s sole responsibility”. For Die Welt, the “crucial question” is: “What does Russia want from these numerous types of medium-range weapons and why are they aimed at targets in Europe?”
- But this is not a key issue for assessing the development of the INF Treaty, because it is obvious: both Russia and the United States are modernizing (their weapons). Rather, the key question is this: Who provoked the development, who was responsible for the recent escalation and who can stop it by giving a sign of goodwill?
– We do not want a new arms race, – said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in late June. Instead, he said, “we should strive for greater maneuvering, reinforcement of conventional weapons, improvement of air defense and missile defense, and further strengthening of the NATO presence in the Eastern Alliance.” In essence, this is “the continuation of the measures that we have been taking since 2014 to increase the reactivity and readiness of the Western troops, only with greater dynamics”.
– Through these proposals, the authors of the report largely disprove themselves. The fact that NATO serves here as a “new” military strategy has long been practiced. Obviously, Russia is responding to NATO aggression. The aforementioned 2014 year is also crucial, since that year it is presumed / most likely that the last Russian sense of confidence in the noble motives of the West’s actions was destroyed because of the Western-organized coup in Ukraine.
– Then follows the main motive of the article in Die Welt – the alarm bell about the need to increase military spending: “Germany in the event of an emergency plays a key role. Although the federal government promised to provide adequate military spending, these promises have not yet been fulfilled. The difference between the promised financing and the adopted budget is more than 30 billion euros.”
– Joachim Krause is a co-author of the research referenced by Die Welt, a personality known to readers of NachDenkSeiten. Krause is considered a transatlantist, a staunch supporter of the large-scale expansion of the German and European arms budgets, and sees Russia primarily as a “strategic competitor”.
– Almost simultaneously with Die Welt, the FAZ newspaper published a conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Its main theses are: “Russia has put our security at serious risk.” And further:
– If Russia does not give up, it means the end of the INF Treaty. (…) All NATO Allies fully support the conclusions of the United States that Russia violates the INF Treaty. (…) The violation of the Treaty by Russia is also the reason why the United States announced in February that it would withdraw from the INF Treaty within six months. (…) The United States fully fulfills its obligations under the Treaty.
– But all this text cannot be a serious argument – it’s some kind of pamphlet, biased and distorting the truth, – writes NachDenkSeiten. – Even in 2018, the Federal Government announced that it “knows nothing” about Russia’s military invasion or about such plans and intentions on the part of the Russian Federation against NATO members – this follows from the then (October 2, 2018) government response to the request factions of the Left Party in the Bundestag.
Surprisingly, Focus magazine has allocated a lot of space to sharp criticism from the former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the three-star general of the German Air Force, retired Harald Kuyat. He also describes the scenario of a regionally limited attack on a NATO member state as “absolutely absurd.” The fact that Russia is militarily capable of occupying the Baltic countries for several hours has always been clear to NATO.
But Russia would not have had to create an expensive armament program if, as General Kuyat sees it, Russia did not have to “maintain a strategic balance with the United States.” But in the Die Welt analysis, this is not mentioned.
The Die Welt newspaper has positioned itself as a “bourgeois-conservative publication,” and from the point of view of economic policy, “clearly market-liberal.” Popular with the German business elite. The daily paper circulation of 119.1 thousand copies, an audience of 0.71 million readers (including the online version), is distributed in 130 countries of the world.