KW 39: EU imposes sanctions on violators of Libya weapons embargo, German military launches space junk tracking system, Trend towards new mercenary system


The end of Germany’s G36 debate: The German armed forces will be purchasing their new assault rifles from the Thuringian armory CG Haenel. Traditionally, the armed forces and police buy a lot of operational equipment from Heckler & Koch. However, the chaos brought about by accusations over the accuracy of the G36 when the weapons are heating up already led to the expectation that the defense ministry would finally want to get out of the political debate. After all, serious and controversial allegations were made against Heckler & Koch. I am curious to see whether the new rifle will meet expectations in the field. It also remains to be seen whether competition stimulates business or whether politics came before functionality in this decision.

One thing is certain: the argument that Germany has given up sovereignty in procurement because C.G. Haenel belongs to the gunsmiths Caracal International (from the UAE) is only marginally important. A look at Germany’s digital resources reveals that this sovereignty already no longer exists.

Warm greetings from
Christian Hübenthal
– Editor Defensio Briefing –


Germany taps UAE-owned Haenel for new assault rifle contract: The German government has chosen arms manufacturer Haenel, which is owned by a company in Abu Dhabi, to make assault rifles for the military. Haenel is owned by Abu Dhabi-based Caracal International, which in turn is part of the United Arab Emirates state conglomerate EDGE Group. If the contract is approved by parliament, Haenel will supply 120,000 rifles to the German military to replace the Heckler & Koch G36, which has suffered from overheating problems.

EU imposes sanctions on violators of Libya weapons embargo: EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed to sanctions against entities that violated the United Nations embargo on arms flowing into Libya. The measures target three companies — from Jordan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey — as well as two individuals for providing planes, ships and other logistics to funnel combat equipment into Libya. The 2011 toppling of dictator Moammar Gadhafi plunged Libya into chaos, making it a battleground for rival forces. The UN weapons embargo was imposed that year, although this has often been broken.

German military launches space junk tracking system: German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has inaugurated Germany’s Air and Space Operations Centre to track space junk using a prototype sky-scanning radar. Observing the airspace over Germany and orbital space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere “belonged together,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer.

EU sanctions on Belarus remain blocked by Cyprus: The EU is still unable to adopt sanctions targeting people involved in electoral fraud and repression in Belarus due to member state disagreement at a foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels. Cyprus had wanted the sanctions to be tied to sanctions against Turkey due to a dispute over gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto aired his frustration on Twitter, saying that his country would be prepared to use qualified majority voting rather than unanimity to get the measures through. Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urged European lawmakers to be more brave in their response to Alexander Lukashenko’s refusal to relax his grip on power in Belarus. In a separate decision, EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed to sanctions against entities that violated the United Nations embargo on arms flowing into Libya.,, (Belarus); (Libya)

Scandal over far-right extremist chat groups: Germany’s conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has rejected calls for a study into racism in the German police. In an interview, Seehofer said there would not be a study that dealt exclusively with the police and the accusation of structural racism in the police: “That wouldn’t even begin to do justice to the problem. What is needed is a significantly wider approach for the whole of society, and that’s what we’re working on.” Earlier this week, 29 officers were suspended in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia for sharing far-right images on WhatsApp.

Two new ranks in the German armed forces: This October, the German military will introduce the ranks of corporal and staff corporal. The aim is to make the team career more attractive for long-serving soldiers. Initial guidelines for selection are set by the defense ministry. In a pilot project, 1000 positions will be created for corporal and staff corporal in the next year – the number is to rise to 5000 by 2031.

Soldiers don’t want female ranks: An attempt by Germany’s defense ministry to change the names of ranks based on gender did not go over well with the female soldiers. They called on the ministry to instead improve equipment and readiness for action. André Wüstner, Chairman of the Federal Armed Forces Association, said: “If the majority of our comrades wanted ranks with a female name, that would be a good idea, but in fact we as an association almost only know women who reject such a change.” The ministry has since put the plans on hold.,

ECOWAS calls for civilian transition in Mali: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has demanded an immediate civilian transition in Mali and elections within 12 months. The demands were spelt out after Mali’s new junta released ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, seized in the August 18th coup, but also apparently granted their new chief the powers of head of state. ECOWAS called on the junta to initiate a civil transition immediately, as well as a rapid establishment of a government to prepare the legislative and presidential elections within 12 months.

Delivery: German military has to wait for new submarines
Tensions: Would the US risk a war with China?
Iran-Iraq conflict: First Gulf War began 40 years ago
Islamic State: The al-Haul camp complex in Syria
Dialogue: Slight relaxation in conflict between Turkey and Greece


Arms manufacturer Haenel wants to manufacture 90 percent of assault rifles ordered by the German military in Germany.


Comparison: The Turkish and Greek military: The tensions between Greece and Turkey over natural gas drilling in the Mediterranean demonstrate the fragile security in the region. But if the two states meet in a warlike manner – which country is better equipped? The Turks dominate both in troop strength and when it comes to the air force. 45,000 soldiers serve in the navy in Turkey, while the Greeks can fall back on 21,000 soldiers and 6,000 reservists. In comparison: Germany has 16,000 soldiers in its navy. Traditionally, Turkey and Greece orientate themselves towards each other when purchasing war material. The Turks have 360 ​​warplanes, the Greeks 270. The situation is similar with the number of warships: Greece has 13 frigates, Turkey 19. However: Greece is also present under water: The country has five latest generation submarines in active service, while Turkey only has one and relies on older models.

China is increasing pressure on Taiwan: China is increasing the frequency of its military maneuvers off Taiwan’s coast. The government in Beijing has increased the pressure in recent years towards Hong Kong and the islands in the South China Sea and is trying to bring more areas under its control. Traditionally, if never explicitly, China never touched Taiwan because a US military attack was expected in response. In view of the new war maneuvers, however, the relationship between Taiwan and the US may need to be articulated clearly. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, calls for clear gestures on the part of the USA, which is still militarily superior despite the Chinese armament.

Trend towards new mercenary system: Private mercenaries are used more and more frequently. In Africa in particular, the end of the Foreign Legion seems to have begun – instead, entrepreneurial actors are entering the theaters of war. Private security and military companies have been booming since the late 1990s.


“I very much regret this practice – I apologize to those affected.”
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to compensate homosexuals who have been removed from their military ranks because of their sexual orientation.


Critical infrastructure vulnerable to ransomware: Security experts have expressed concern about cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. After the University Hospital Düsseldorf was hacked and a woman died as a result, experts searched for vulnerabilities in the software. The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) warns that with certain security vulnerabilities, attackers can still access the relevant scripts after installing updates.

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