KW 32: Turkey holds military exercise in Azerbaijan, EU imposes sanctions on Russian and Chinese hackers, Why Poland needs the US


China’s double standards:

TikTok is considered to be one of the major social media platforms of the future. But the company behind the service is based in China, which annoys US President Donald Trump. The president has called for a “significant portion” of US regulation on the platform, most likely through an acquisition by Microsoft. If this doesn’t happen, Trump threatens, TikTok will be banned in the US. China has fought back and accused Trump of violating the rules of the market economy and free trade.

In view of the significant special rights that the Chinese government repeatedly grants to investors in its own country, the blocking of Twitter and Facebook as well as the considerable industrial espionage in China, I have to thank the Chinese government: Their lamentation really made me laugh.

Warm greetings from
Christian Hübenthal
– Editor Defensio Briefing –


Majority of Germans support US troop withdrawal: A YouGov poll shows that 47% of Germans are in favor of reducing the number of US soldiers stationed in Germany. Around 25% would support a complete withdrawal of American troops. Only a third of Germans surveyed would like all US soldiers to remain in Germany. Along party lines, it is mostly voters of the governing conservative CDU/CSU alliance that are against a reduction of US soldiers in Germany. The voters of all other parties, especially the country’s opposition parties, want the troops to be withdrawn.

Turkey holds military exercise in Azerbaijan: Following the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in recent weeks, Turkey has deployed soldiers and attack helicopters to Azerbaijan’s exclave Nakhchivan to hold a military drill. In doing so, Turkey wants to signal its support for Azerbaijan. The country has been in conflict with Armenia since the 1990s. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to solve the conflict. Russia is considered a supporter of Armenia.

German frigate joins EU mission Irini: On Thursday, the navy frigate “Hamburg” left port to join the EU mission “Irini” to enforce the arms embargo on Libya. 250 sailors are aboard the frigate, the first German naval asset to join the EU operation, which began in early May. Germany’s opposition has criticized the mission, with Green party politician Katja Keul doubting that the arms embargo can be effectively implemented: “Most of the arms for the recognized government, which is supplied by Turkey, come from the Mediterranean, while the Arab Emirates and Egypt deliver the weapons across the land border.”,

EU imposes sanctions on Russian and Chinese hackers: The European Commission has imposed sanctions on four Russian hackers who tried to hack the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons in The Hague. In addition, another Russian group, two Chinese organizations and a North Korean hacker gang was added to the sanctions list. The Russian hacker who spied on German politicians was not added to the list.

Middle East conflict: Israel strikes Syrian military sites after reporting foiled border attack
Coronavirus: Germany military wants to do bigger exercises again
Data protection: Defense companies want to renounce US technology
Afghanistan: At least 21 killed in Isis attack on prison
Troop withdrawal: Dreyer promises support to region surrounding US airbase


Between October 2019 and the beginning of July 2020, Turkey received arms deliveries worth 25.9 million euros from Germany.


Why Poland needs the US: Recently, Poland and the United States significantly intensified their relations. For Poland, the US has played a special security role since the fall of the Eastern Bloc due to its geographical proximity to Russia. As a result, Polish governments have often tried to live up to US expectations in the past, for example by participating in the Iraq war in 2003. Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States made the relationship even closer. Poland is an ally to the Trump administration while Europe is growing increasingly critical of the US. On the other hand, Polish President Andrzej Duda sees the opportunity to act as an intermediary between the EU and the US. Another goal of the Polish government is to increase the contingent of US soldiers in the country.

Turkey causes water shortage in Syria: In Syria, summer water shortages threaten millions of people. The Euphrates, one of the main water sources in Syria, currently supplies significantly less water than normal. In addition to the record heat with temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius, the reason for the water shortage could be Turkey: In recent years, the Turkish government has had dams built on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. The Kurdish regions of Syria, in which Turkey is militarily involved, are currently suffering the most from water shortages. Turkey took the Alouk drinking water pumping station in autumn 2019 and has turned off the water several times since then. “Turkey uses water – both the Euphrates and pumping stations like in Alouk – to demonstrate, consolidate and, at least in the short term, expand its power in Syria,” criticizes expert Tobias von Lossow.

German opposition calls for cancellation of arms deal with the US: Last week, Thomas Silberhorn, Germany’s Secretary of State at the Department of Defense, visited Washington to discuss security projects. Among other things, the talks involved the planned purchase of American fighter jets and helicopters worth billions. But some politicians of the German SPD and the Greens want to cancel this purchase in the wake of the US troop withdrawal in Germany. Silberhorn replied: “Rethinking joint projects now would only be seen as confirmation that Germany is doing too little and further burden the German-American relationship.”


“I want us to finally move forward faster with European security and defense policy and use the German presidency to do so.”
German Defense Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has called for a strengthening of European security policy in the wake of the US troop withdrawal.


John Bolton criticises Trump’s plan to remove troops from Germany: Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Germany. “The withdrawal of the US from any of the positions we hold is not an advantage — neither for our country nor for the security of the West as a whole,” Bolton said. The decision to remove some 12,000 troops out of Germany is “a sign – and not a good one – of what lies ahead if Trump is re-elected,” he warned.

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