Berlin has promised to comply with the US requirement to increase military spending by 2% of GDP.
German Defense Minister Annegret Crump-Karrenbauer assured the United States that Berlin will comply with the requirement to increase defense spending within NATO to 2% of GDP. She made a corresponding statement during her recent visit to Washington, where she held her first meeting with the new Pentagon chief Mark Esper.
– I adhere to the outcome of 2 percent of GDP. However, by 2024 my goal is 1.5 percent, – the German media quoted the head of the military department.
It is noted that, in this way, Kramp-Karrenbauer, in fact, confirmed the obligations that were previously voiced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. True, Merkel considers it possible to achieve the required level of 2% not earlier than in ten years.
Recall that Washington constantly criticizes Berlin for its reluctance to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense, which NATO countries agreed upon after the September 11 attacks in the United States.
At the same time, US President Donald Trump insists that Germany fulfill this requirement immediately. Promising in the future to achieve an increase in defense spending of NATO countries to 4%.
Once again, this topic was voiced during a conversation between the head of the Pentagon and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
The American minister again called on Berlin to fork out for the army, pointing out that “in the era of competition between the great powers, German leadership is more critical than ever.”
– We believe that Germany, being the largest economy in Europe, is in a good position to invest in strengthening the alliance’s potential, – the press service of the US defense department quoted Esper as saying.
In this regard, political analyst and publicist Marko Mayer expressed an opinion that was far from typical of the West in an article on the pages of the Austrian publication Contra Magazin.
According to him, Kramp-Karrenbauer, having accepted the American conditions meekly, showed “humility” in front of the Washington hawks, who are preparing Germany for the destructive third world war with Russia. Mayer suggests that the Germans ask themselves if they would like to spend “crazy money” on militarizing the country every year. For the sake of just “fulfilling the desire of hawks in Washington and Brussels.”
According to the draft budget for 2020, Germany expects to spend almost 45 billion euros on military needs. This is approximately 1.3% of GDP. The amount, I must say, is far from small.
But if you recall how NATO’s objectives were originally formulated – “to keep Americans within Europe, Russians at a distance, and Germans down”, then Germany with a strong army does not fit into this concept at all.
Or has the concept changed today?
- I must say that the United States, even in the“ zero years ” (2000 s), was following with concern the definite rapprochement between Russia and Germany, the establishment of close, at least commercial and economic relations between them, – says Alexander Shatilov, Dean of the Department of Sociology and Political Science of the Financial University under the Government of Russia.
– Moreover, under Gerhard Schroeder, we even had some kind of mutual understanding on the political agenda.
Therefore, of course, in recent years, with the help of our, let’s say, agents of influence in the German elite, the United States has been doing everything to compromise and interrupt our constructive relations. Set Germans against Russia. And even make Germany act as the main anti-Russian skirmisher in the European Union.
I note right away that this is in no way consistent with the interests of the Germans themselves. Recently, a public opinion poll was conducted, and even in West Germany more than half of the inhabitants supported the development of a constructive partnership with our country and the end of the confrontation. In the eastern lands, such an opinion was expressed by more than two-thirds of the respondents.
Meanwhile, the German elites, as usual, are under rather strict supervision from Washington. Therefore, they act contrary to the interests of both the state and the people. But in accordance with the interests of America.
And here I do not exclude the possibility that the States, really, wanting to reduce allied defense spending within the Alliance, will try to shift this financial burden onto their satellite partners.
And therefore, unprecedented pressure is now exerting on the German establishment both in terms of increasing defense spending and in terms of pursuing an anti-Russian course.
– So, the NATO concept is no longer relevant?
– Why … It is quite relevant. It’s just that within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance (on a European, conditional, theater of operations) the United States wants to shift a certain burden of responsibility, as they say, to Germany. Because they understand that they themselves can’t keep up everywhere. To control alone all directions will be very, very difficult.
Therefore, it seems to me that they are trying to turn Germany into their, so to say, military-political plenipotentiary in Europe. More precisely, not so much even Germany as the German elite, which traditionally occupies pro-American positions. And he pays more attention to impulses from Washington than to the opinion of his citizens.
- That is, Germany still remains “below” – under the Americans?
– At least the elite – yes. Because in due time, as I said, the States somehow missed Schroeder. And now, in order not to repeat the mistake, the nuts are tightened. We saw how they Merkel, who was quite loyally at first tuned to Russia, quickly broke and forced to dance to her tune.
It seems to me that further in Washington they will very clearly see to it that Germany, as the leader of the European Union, does not get out of control in any way.
– There is an opinion that Germany is again preparing for war with Russia – already in the third world war. What do you think about this?
– Given that our world has now entered an era of turbulent changes, the “era of turbulence”, so to speak, and this kind of “fermentation” is taking place in different parts of the world, it is impossible, in principle, to exclude something like that. World War III may not even begin between Russia and the West. But for example because of the collision of, say, Pakistan and India – in a completely different part of the planet.
That is, it cannot be excluded.
But the fact that the Americans want to properly incite Germany, to orient it toward containing Russia, thus interrupting the constructive cooperation of our countries, attempts of this kind are already evident.
And this policy will continue. I don’t even exclude that at some point the revanchist moods will also be involved – they say, “You lost the Second World War, why not take revenge in the third one”.
In any case, as a kind of ideology, such an injection into German society may well be carried out. Moreover, just a few years ago, Hitler unexpectedly published a very large print run there. And through it just this traditional idea of Drang nach Osten passes (onslaught on the East).
– Then why explain that the second Minister of Defense of Germany is again a woman who has nothing to do with military science?
– The Minister in this case, is rather the political head of the defense department. I think that among German generals there are not many who want to fight with Russia.
But, as practice shows, politicians usually bend both the military and business. We saw this as an example of the imposition of sanctions against Russia, when European politicians managed to break the business and forced it to play by their own rules, although it was completely unprofitable to join the sanctions against the Russian Federation.
Therefore, as the political overseer of the military and the conductor of Washington’s political will, this Kramp-Karrenbauer is quite suitable. Her predecessor, Ursula von der Leyen, also coped with this role quite successfully.