WSWS reports that Germany plans an unprecedented military buildup.

This was clear from the speech given by Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Business Forum of the CDU in Berlin on Tuesday night. “We confront asymmetric conflicts, of hitherto unknown proportions,” Merkel told German business leaders. “The defence capability of the European Union,” however, is “still not geared up to ensure security even in our own territory.”

The conclusion of the chancellor: “There has to be convergence between a country like Germany that today spends 1.2 percent of gross domestic product for defence and a country like the United States of America, which outlays 3.4 percent of gross domestic product on defence.” It would “not be expedient in the long run to say simply that we will hope and wait for others to undertake our burdens of defence,” she said.

Merkel’s speech has been greeted in the bourgeois media for what it is: Another milestone in the return of German militarism following the announcement of the about-turn in German foreign policy by Federal President Joachim Gauck, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen at the Munich Security Conference in early 2014.

On Thursday the Handelsblatt proclaimed in large print “Germany upgrades” and called Merkel’s declaration a “turning point.” In the past 25 years, the paper wrote, “Federal governments of different persuasions gratefully pocketed the peace dividend” and the proportion of military expenditure to GDP had fallen by 3.4 percent in the mid-1980s to just 1.2 percent.

Now Merkel has signalled “that she is ready to up the ante.”

The business newspaper indicates what is meant by the federal government “upping the ante.” The Handelsblatt cites the military commissioner of the Bundestag, Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), who states that in order to recruit the planned additional 7,000 soldiers and equip the army “with tanks or helicopters,” the Bundeswehr (armed forces) must “increase the proportion of GDP in the foreseeable future by 1.4 to 1.5 percent,” The paper then concludes: “As of today, that requires an extra €9 billion a year.”

To justify the massive upgrade, the paper repeats the official mantra of the federal government of a “world out of joint” that forces Germany to act. The “new era” had not come “by chance.” The Ukraine conflict and terrorism have alarmed Berlin, simultaneously increased “the expectations of its allies” and placed special new demands on the Bundeswehr in relation to “NATO deterrence plans directed against Russia.”

The Handelsblatt is well aware that the military upgrade involves the acquisition of raw materials and new markets for Germany’s export-hungry industry. In early 2013 the newspaper ran an editorial headlined “Expedition Resources: Germany’s New Course,” noting that “current policy to secure raw materials has reached its limits” and that Berlin must once again be ready to wage wars over resources.

Merkel’s announcement that Germany seeks to “converge” with US military spending to “secure its own territory,” underlines that the German elite is again prepared to secure its economic and geostrategic interests against its former post-war allies if necessary.

In a recent long article on the referendum on United Kingdom membership of the European Union, Der Spiegel warned that the EU’s disintegration could lead to the breakup of its alliance with the US. As the “biggest central power on the continent” Germany would then “finally be forced to take the leading role,” the magazine wrote.

In another recent article in Foreign Affairs titled, “Germany’s New Global Role,” Foreign Minister Steinmeier distances himself from the US and highlights Germany’s new claims to be a superpower. He bluntly declares Germany to be a “major European power,” which was forced “to reinterpret the principles that have guided its foreign policy for over half a century.”

Behind the backs of the population, the military upgrade is already taking place at full speed. Handelsblatt reported that the same German armament giants who built up Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the 1930s are currently preparing new tanks for the German army. “Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall have set up a depot in a “secret location” where they collect used battle tanks from Austria and Sweden.” In total, German industry has already bought up more than 100 Leopard 2 combat tanks. “Well maintained and oiled” they are now to be “brought up to the armament standard of the 21st century” for €5 million each and receive “a second life in the Bundeswehr.”

The tank upgrade is just one project among many. The current military report of the government lists “more than 20 projects with a budget of over €60 billion.” On the list are various tank models, “Tiger” support helicopters, A400M transport aircraft, “Euro Fighters,” missile-type “Iris-T” and “Meteor” warships (including frigates, corvettes and the 180 multi-role vessel) and a tactical air defence system.

Just 75 years after the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany, Merkel’s latest speech made terrifyingly clear that the German elite is quite prepared to follow in the footsteps of its wartime predecessor.



REVEALED: The EU’s £1TRILLION plans kept secret until AFTER the referendum

EUROPEAN Union leaders are preparing to unveil a raft of unpopular changes and power grabs in announcements delayed until after Britain’s EU referendum.

PUBLISHED: 05:01, Wed, Jun 29, 2016 | UPDATED: 07:33, Wed, Jun 29, 2016

Budget plans will go before the Committee on Monday

The EU will present its massive draft budget next week
As Britain voted to leave the EU, Brussels leaders begin plans to set out their new military strategy, believed to include plans for a controversial EU army.
And they will announce how they intend to spend their £1trillion budget for the next seven years this week after ‘delaying’ their proposals until after the referendum.They will also present a raft of measures that cover everything from their plans to introduce EU border checks and the accession to the European Convention of Human Rights.According to insiders, politicians from the 28 member states have been waiting for months as bureaucrats dragged their heels on settling their draft budget and tabling a number of key proposals.

The budget proposals, known as the multi-annual financial framework, were shelved at the last minute last month.

The EU will be back to business as usual on Friday


It’s back to business as usual for the EU as of Friday

A source said: “Commission officials said there was ‘no link’ between the delay and the British referendum but parliamentarians see it as an effort to avoid a discussion of EU spending before the crucial vote.”It had already delayed the presentation of its mid-stream review of the EU’s seven-year budget plan until the autumn so as not to fuel British Eurosceptic arguments before the referendum.”The fact that it’s on the table just days after the vote says a lot.”Bulgarian economist and administrator Kristalina Georgieva, currently serving as European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, notified members of the European Parliament’s budget committee that her team needed more time to complete their proposals blaming the issue on the migrant crisis.

EU will set out its spending plans next week


The EU will set out its spending plans on Monday after delays

At the time they denied there was any link to the British referendum insisting they had to look at migration-related expenses, including financial assistance to Turkey and Africa before settling on their proposals.However the committee plans to hold the extraordinary meeting in Brussels just a week after the UK has cast its vote.And part of that meeting will look at immigration proposals which will also go before the committee.The EU is proposing to set up an “Entry/Exit System” to register entry and exit data and refusal of entry data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States to enable police checks.

It isn’t right for the European Union to have capabilities, armies, air forces and all the rest of it

Prime Minister David Cameron

But the whole delay sparked concerns amongst politicians from member states, including Italy.“There’s a kind of a deflection of attention to some issues,” said Mercedes Bresso, an Italian MEP from the Socialists and Democrats group.He added the British vote had caused “delay in some debates and that now is not the moment to create more problems.”Also on the agenda post the crucial EU vote is a proposal for new EU guidelines on labour rules across the Union.