KW 44: German defense ministry justifies assault rifle decision, UN treaty banning nuclear weapons set to enter into force, Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire frays soon after starting


Somehow good, somehow not:

The German activist group „Center for Political Beauty“ tried to expose Germany’s armed forces with a campaign pointing out the army’s missing weapons. Regardless of whether one wants to defend the numerous legal violations of this campaign as art or not, the campaign was somewhat of a success – but for who?
What is interesting is the reaction of the heads of the departments, which the so-called activists published in an effort to expose the department heads, painting them as negative examples of a culture of „looking the other way“. But the reactions actually included very prudent inquiries and references to poor data protection.
The activists certainly achieved one thing: The army’s budget to fight disinformation will definitely not be reduced. That went well – but for whom?

Warm greetings from
Christian Hübenthal
– Editor Defensio Briefing –


German defense ministry justifies assault rifle decision: The German government had chosen arms manufacturer C.G. Haenel, which is owned by a company in Abu Dhabi, to make assault rifles for the military, sidelining long-time supplier Heckler & Koch. The government later reversed its decision following much criticism, but now the ministry has come out in defense of the original procurement procedure. In a parliament briefing, the ministry said extensive investigations had provided “no evidence of biased decisions”, adding that the tendering of the contract was accompanied at all times with equal treatment of the bidders.

Far-right suspected as German army weapons go missing: Germany’s armed forces have lost more than a hundred firearms, including assault rifles and heavy machineguns, according to the campaign group „Center for Political Beauty“. The group fears that some of the weapons may have been taken by far-right soldiers. The German army, or Bundeswehr, is investigating more than 700 suspected cases of right-wing extremism in its ranks. An entire company of the elite KSK special forces division was disbanded after one of its commandos was found to have stockpiled a sub-machinegun, 2kg of explosives, a hand grenade and several thousand bullets at his home in Saxony. The country’s top prosecutor is also investigating the theft of two assault rifles and a pistol from a training base in Lower Saxony which has been linked to an alleged neo-Nazi network.

UN treaty banning nuclear weapons set to enter into force in January: In what leading campaigners are describing as “a new chapter for nuclear disarmament”, the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will now come into force on January 22nd, after Honduras became the 50th Member State to ratify on Saturday. Saturday’s milestone was reached a day after the island nations of Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications meaning that in 90 days, the treaty will become active, banning nuclear weapons just over 75 after they were first used at the end of World War Two.

Protests against police violence in Nigeria escalate: The African Union on Thursday strongly condemned deadly violence in Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos and called on all parties to privilege dialogue. The comments came as protests escalated in Lagos, following the shooting of peaceful protesters by security forces earlier this week. At least 12 people were killed by the Nigerian army and police in two locations in Lagos on Tuesday in a deadly crackdown on demonstrations, Amnesty International said. Peaceful protesters had gathered despite a curfew imposed to end spiraling protests over police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances.

Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire frays soon after starting: Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating the latest ceasefire over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, minutes after it came into effect on Monday. The US-brokered ceasefire had been announced in Washington on Sunday. Two other ceasefires agreed earlier this month over the conflict were broken almost immediately. Fighting erupted on 27 September around the mountainous enclave. The conflict has intensified again in recent days.

German police investigate arson attack on infectious disease institute: Authorities in Berlin are investigating what appeared to be an arson attack early Sunday on Germany’s infectious disease institute leading the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Police said a security guard witnessed several individuals around 2:40 a.m. local time tossing bottle-based incendiary devices at the façade of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), located in Berlin’s Tempelhof neighborhood. Photos showed a shattered window partially blackened from flames at the building housing the federal government agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention. Police are investigating whether the attack was politically motivated.

Appeal: German president asks soldiers to report far-right comrades
Study: Arms lobby has too great an influence on politics
Secret service surveillance: Security specialist wants to disable state trojans
Ceasefire: Libya’s two main factions agree to ceasefire
Rapprochement: Israel and Sudan agree on diplomatic ties


Germany’s elite KSK special forces division has lost no less than 62 kilograms of explosives.


China sanctions major US defense companies after arms sales to Taiwan: China will sanction several major defense companies in retaliation for multibillion dollar US arms sales to Taiwan, the foreign ministry has announced. The US had approved arms sales to Taiwan worth around $1.8bn. The Pentagon said the deal comprised three weapons systems, including rocket launchers, sensors and artillery. Taiwan, which considers itself a country, is seen as a renegade province by China.,

Erdogan called European politicians fascists: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned European leaders on Monday, claiming that they supported a policy of hostility towards Islam and Muslims. “You are in the truest sense of the word fascists,” Erdogan said at an event in Ankara, insulting them as “links in the chain of the Nazis. Erdogan has been singling out Emmanuel Macron – questioning his mental state and suggesting he needs treatment – after the French president outlined measures which he said would protect his country’s secular values against radical Islam. Erdogan reiterated on Monday that the French president needed “mental checks,” even after his previous similar comments prompted France to recall its envoy to Turkey on Saturday. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described Erdogan’s verbal attacks against Macron as a new low. He said the German government was standing in solidarity with its European neighbor in the fight against Islamist extremism. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called Erdogan comments unacceptable and urged Turkey to stop this spiral of confrontation. Meanwhile, the German government has confirmed close ties between Erdogan and his ruling party, the AKP, to Islamists. In France, hackers have attacked several websites and placed Islamist messages on them.,,,,

NATO exercise Heidesturm: The Nato maneuver “Heidesturm” started Monday at the Klietz military training area near the state border with Brandenburg. It will last until November 6th. 600 soldiers and 150 vehicles take part in the exercise. 1,100 soldiers will then conduct an exercise for a Nato mission in Lithuania at the Altmark military training area. The transfer of troops to the Baltic states is planned for 2021.


„We continue to stress at the highest levels that the S-400 transaction is the subject of ongoing CAATSA sanctions deliberations and it remains a major obstacle in the bilateral relationship and at Nato. We are confident that President Erdogan and his senior officials understand our position.“
The United States continues to object to Turkey’s purchase of Russian missile defense systems and is deeply concerned with reports that Ankara is continuing its efforts to make the weapons operational, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told Reuters on Monday.


Film ban for AfD politicians: The German AfD party is already in trouble, even before the publication of its movie about the country’s armed forces. AfD defense policy spokesman Rüdiger Lucassen had visited the barracks in Rheine while filming and had himself filmed with soldiers, which stirred up criticism. CDU State Secretary Peter Tauber has now written to the parliament’s defense committee, saying the AfD had violated the requirement that soldiers may not be recorded without their consent. Furthermore, the recordings were „used for party-political advertising purposes without the approval of the Bundeswehr.“

Newsletter subscription
Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter with a compact overview of security policy:
Previous editions

Other political briefings

Our digital news briefings