KW 48: Turkey protests German search of Libya-bound ship, Trump administration officially authorizes Biden transition, Australian army admits war crimes in Afghanistan

SALUT

Turkey protests German search of Libya-bound ship: Turkey summoned top diplomats representing the European Union, Germany and Italy on Monday after a German frigate that is part of a EU mission enforcing an arms embargo against Libya intercepted a Turkish freighter in the Mediterranean sea and carried out what a senior Turkish official dismissed as an “illegal” search. Germany’s Defense Ministry said Turkey ordered a halt to the search, forcing the German personnel to depart before completing their work. During their search, the German team had found no cargo that contravened the arms embargo, German Defense Ministry spokesman Christian Thiels told reporters in Berlin. The spokesman said the decision to search the vessel had been taken by the “Irini” mission command in Rome. The search was ended when word came from Turkey that it refused permission.
apnews.com, dw.com

Trump administration officially authorizes Biden transition: After weeks of delay, the head of the General Services Administration (GSA), Emily Murphy, informed US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that the official governmental transition process has been approved. Trump and the GSA had faced increasing pressure as a growing number of Republican lawmakers began to publicly call for Biden to be granted access, citing national security concerns. Democratic lawmakers had also begun calling for Murphy to testify before Congress. The ascertainment letter was sent Monday after Michigan formally certified its election results earlier in the day and more Trump lawsuits were dismissed. Meanwhile, Biden made official his picks for a number of high-level administration and cabinet positions, including former Secretary of State John Kerry to be his special presidential envoy for climate and Antony Blinken as secretary of state. Alejandro Mayorkas will be nominated as homeland security secretary, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US ambassador to the United Nations and Avril Haines as director of national intelligence. Jake Sullivan will serve as Biden’s national security adviser. Biden also plans to nominate Janet Yellen to be treasury secretary. Kerry, a longtime senator who was the 68th secretary of state, helped to bring about the Paris Climate Agreement, which Biden has pledged to rejoin once he takes office in January. “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry tweeted.
nbcnews.com, cnn.com, nbcnews.com

Tigray leader rejects Ethiopia’s ultimatum: The leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, has said that his people are ready to die defending their homeland, rejecting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s ultimatum that they surrender within 72 hours. Abiy launched a military campaign against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on November 4, accusing it of attacking two federal military camps in the northern region, as well as defying and seeking to destabilize his government. The UN Security Council held informal talks Tuesday on the ongoing conflict in Tigray, a sign of growing international concern. Michelle Bachelet, UN high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement that all sides should give clear and unambiguous orders to their forces to spare civilians, in line with international law. Bachelet expressed alarm at reports of a heavy build-up of tanks and artillery around Mekele, the capital city of Tigray province.
france24.com, dw.com

German parliament criticizes inadequate fight against right-wing extremism: A draft report by the parliamentary control body of the German army has criticized the lack of prosecution of right-wing extremism in German security authorities. Despite security checks, „individual employees with right-wing extremist – including violence-oriented – ideas“ continue to work in the security authorities. Although there is no uniform, fixed network, the report speaks of „worrying digital networking“. Many of the soldiers and police officers classified as right-wing extremists have „a strong affinity for weapons.“
spiegel.de

Wiesbaden: A new command and another star faz.net
Study: The warrior in the Bundeswehr soldier rp-online.de
German army reform: How the FDP envisions the army of the future rp-online.de
Data: Did the US military buy location data from a Muslim prayer app? stern.de

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

The British government plans to invest 16.5 billion pounds in its military over the next few years to expand the use of artificial intelligence.
mixed.de

BACKGROUND

What happens after the US troops withdraw from Afghanistan? After the partial withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban began to set up parallel administrative structures in the country. In many places there are Taliban courts and rebel education and finance commissions. If the US administration under Donald Trump has its way, these structures could soon be incorporated into the country’s official administration. The government in Kabul is currently negotiating a power-sharing with the Taliban, but talks have stalled. Scott Smith, an advisor on Afghanistan at the US Institute of Peace, believes that they have „understood that they need popular support if they are to achieve their military goals.“ Corruption in the country’s public institutions, which has robbed people of confidence in the state, and poverty, which continues to rage, play into the hands of the Taliban. In the last four years alone, 15 billion dollars in funds came into the country, but up to 70 percent of Afghans still live below the poverty line.
taz.de, tagesschau.de

How the Berlin Christmas market attacker managed to escape: For years, the Schwerin Office for the Protection of the Constitution had information about Anis Amri, the assassin from the Berlin Christmas market, which the authorities had not passed on. Apparently, a source in the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania town of Schwerin had given the state’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution a hint on how the terrorist escaped after his attack. However, the information was not passed on to the responsible Federal Criminal Police Office. The question of Amri’s escape raises questions to this day. His escape finally ended in Italy when he was shot by police officers. A source for the Schwerin Office for the Protection of the Constitution had pointed out that family members talked about Amri’s attack. Among other things, it was apparently discussed that Amri was paid money for the attack. However, the head of the Schwerin Office for the Protection of the Constitution did not consider the source to be trustworthy and did not pass on the information. The information only became known to the Federal Criminal Police Office in 2019. An employee of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution contacted the Federal Criminal Police Office on his own.
zeit.de

Australian army admits war crimes in Afghanistan: There is credible evidence that Australian elite soldiers unlawfully killed 39 people during the Afghan war, a long-awaited report by the country’s military chief Angus Campbell has found. It found credible evidence of instances, at various points from 2009 to 2013, of serious unlawful actions by members of the Australian Defense Force. It also detailed other instances of war crimes committed by soldiers. It said 19 current or ex-special forces soldiers should be investigated by police over killings of prisoners, farmers or civilians in 2009-13.
npr.org, bbc.com

QUOTE

„Saudi Arabia has made it very clear that it will do everything it can to protect its people and to protect its territories.“
Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, said the kingdom will consider arming with nuclear weapons if Iran acquires them.
timesofisrael.com

SECURE?

US formally withdraws from Open Skies Treaty: The United States on Sunday formally exited the decades-old Open Skies Treaty, some six months after President Donald Trump first announced the decision. The treaty provides for inspection flights over member countries’ territories to monitor military activities. The Trump administration claims that Russia violated the Open Skies treaty by blocking surveillance flights around certain areas, including the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and the border with Georgia. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany regrets the US decision and that Berlin still regarded the agreement as an important part of the arms control architecture that contributes to mutual trust and thus security in the northern hemisphere.
cnn.com, dw.com

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