KW 47: German defense minister advocates more European responsibility in the world, Suspected Islamist employed by Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Ethiopian civil war threatens to spill over to Eritrea

SALUT

The EU watches helplessly: With the RCEP trade agreement, China, South Korea and Japan are creating a new economic region that comprises around a third of the world’s population and the global economy. Some EU politicians have recently shown concern – but it is much too late for that. RCEP is one of the facts that a new world order brings with it. Europe in its current way is dysfunctional and can only cling to the United States or China, but not shape relations constructively. As long as Germany and Europe are afraid of engaging in real power politics, they will lose a little more importance each year, each month and each day. Getting them back will be far more difficult than defending them. One has to at least want it – this is where Europe is already failing.

Warm greetings from
Christian Hübenthal
– Editor Defensio Briefing –

NEWS

German defense minister advocates more European responsibility in the world: German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Tuesday said it was an illusion to think that Europe could go it alone on security without the United States and NATO. It would take decades for Europe to build up its conventional and nuclear military forces to compensate for what the US and NATO currently contribute to the continent’s security, she added. Among other things, Kramp-Karrenbauer pointed out that Europe relied on the US heavily for its missile defense and nuclear weapons. However, she said that there was a general political consensus that Germany and Europe should take on more responsibility, and that the change of administration in the US provided new chances as well as new challenges. Her remarks come after French President Emmanuel Macron criticized an op-ed by Kramp-Karrenbauer in “Politico” earlier this month in which she espoused much the same viewpoints.
dw.com, reuters.com

Suspected Islamist employed by Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: An employee of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is suspected of showing an Islamist attitude, according to a government response to an inquiry by the Left party. Because of the “specific suspicion”, all employees of the agency would now be subjected to a security check. Concrete information about planned acts or a possible background of foreign intelligence services are currently not known.
welt.de

Turning point in migration office scandal: The Bremen Regional Court has rejected most of the charges in the so-called BAMF procedure and refused to open the main hearing. On Tuesday, the Bremen public prosecutor’s office let the deadline for a complaint against the court’s decision pass. The Bremen branch of the BAMF agency was accused of having issued unauthorized asylum and residence notices on a massive scale. The Bremen public prosecutor’s office then brought charges in 121 cases against the head of the agency and two lawyers.
rnd.de

Ethiopian civil war threatens to spill over to Eritrea: Ethiopia’s conflict with its regional government of Tigray is spilling into the wider Horn of Africa region, after militias in the state fired rockets at targets in the capital of neighboring Eritrea. Ethiopia is facing a brewing civil war between the central government and the defiant and heavily armed Tigray, a largely autonomous state in the northern part of the country that wants a bigger voice in national rule. The crisis, which has left hundreds dead and forced thousands to flee, is reopening fault lines across a volatile region perched on strategic waterways where a border conflict killed tens of thousands of people two decades ago. Tigray’s regional government has asserted that some 16 Eritrean military divisions are fighting alongside the Ethiopian government against Tigrayan soldiers, a claim both governments deny.
wsj.com

Arrests in dispute over Dannenröder Forest: The dispute over the planned deforestation of Dannenröder Forest in Germany is intensifying. The public prosecutor’s office in Giessen is investigating a police officer after a protester fell from several meters height, sustaining serious injuries. According to the environmental activists that had been protesting in the forest, the police officer had previously cut a safety rope, which led to the protester’s fall. The police justified the cutting of the rope by saying that demonstrators had set up traps at head height several times, which is why the officer cut the rope without knowing that it was a safety rope.
zeit.de

Afghanistan: German military drone destroyed spiegel.de
German police: Study provides evidence of racist structures rp-online.de
Espionage: Trial against Egyptians at the Federal Press Office berliner-zeitung.de
Western Sahara: Conflict between Polisario and Morocco nytimes.com
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia sign peace deal bbc.com

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

The leader of the Western Sahara’s independence movement has vowed to end a 29-year-old ceasefire with Morocco, citing recent Moroccan border operations as a provocation.
cnn.com

BACKGROUND

China signs huge Asia Pacific trade deal with 14 countries: China has joined forces with more than a dozen countries across the Asia Pacific region to sign a huge free trade deal nearly a decade in the making. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) spans 15 countries and 2.2 billion people, or nearly 30% of the world’s population, according to a joint statement released by the nations on Sunday, when the deal was signed. Their combined GDP totals roughly $26 trillion and they account for nearly 28% of global trade based on 2019 data. The deal includes several of the region’s heaviest economic hitters aside from China, including Japan and South Korea. New Zealand and Australia are also partners, as are Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia.
cnn.com

German police arrest suspects in Dresden museum heist: Police in Berlin have arrested three people suspected of taking part in the theft of priceless treasures from a museum in the eastern city of Dresden last year, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Thieves broke into Dresden’s Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) in November 2019, stealing three priceless sets of 18th-century jewelry within minutes. They then fled in a car that they later torched. The three people arrested are German citizens and belong to the “Berlin clan network,” according to authorities. Other high-profile robberies in past years have involved similar clan members.
dw.com

Covid-deniers protest in Germany: The Germany-wide protests against the government’s Covid lockdown measures are becoming increasingly radicalized. Last week, protests in Leipzig turned violent when right-wing extremists and people from the hooligan scene fought with the police. The following weekend, protests turned to rioting at an anti-Covid demonstration in Frankfurt. Antisemitism is also not unheard of in the circles of German Covid deniers. On Saturday, a young girl at a protest in Karlsruhe compared herself to Anne Frank because she had to celebrate her birthday at home.
bnn.de, faz.net, tagesspiegel.de

QUOTE

“Politicians must better explain to the population why German soldiers are deployed all over the world. Why it is in the interests of Germany as an export nation if sea routes are maintained.”
Jana Puglierin from the think tank “European Council on Foreign Relations” (ECFR) on the debate about an independent European and German security policy.
tagesschau.de

SECURE?

German minister mistook Belgian troops for Bundeswehr: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has been mocked on social media for mixing up his country’s armed forces with those of Belgium. Maas offered his congratulations to the Bundeswehr on the 65th anniversary of its founding on Thursday, thanking the troops for their service to “peace and democracy”. However, the image he posted to accompany his Twitter message showed him shaking hands with a Belgian soldier on a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.
thetimes.co.uk

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