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The transatlantic gangbang

“Dare you!” This is how they address you now, dear readers - or you, young people, who will shape our future. And you, these transatlantics, do not hesitate to speak straight away: “The Federal Republic needs leadership, political will, ideas and a plan – based on the vital interest of Germany that America remains a European power.”

Again: “… starting from the vital interest of Germany that America remains a European power.”

Really, America – which of course means the USA-should remain a European power?

The occasion was perfectly timed

The invitation to the perfectly timed event, January 20, the day Joe Biden was sworn in as the new president in the United States, read as follows:

“‘Transatlantic? Dare you!’ it is a recommendation to the Federal government and the Bundestag, developed by a group of experts for America policy. The paper calls for the great opportunity to repair and realign the eroded transatlantic relationship and to reach a new agreement with the American government. With the swearing-in of Joe Biden, the moment has come to act. The Federal Republic needs leadership, political will, ideas and a plan – based on Germany’s vital interest in America remaining a European power.”

A linguistic detail: it is not about a new agreement, it is about a “New agreement”. The program already has a fixed name: “New Agreement”. The invitation was signed by several think tanks: Atlantik-Brücke, Aspen Institute, German Marshall Fund, Brookings Institution, European Council on Foreign Relations, German Council on Foreign Relations, Federal Academy for Security Policy, Institute for security policy, Munich Security Conference, Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation? Heinrich Böll would turn in the grave, he would learn about it. Heinrich Böll, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1972, was a clear opponent of war. He supported the anti-NATO peace movement and personally participated in a sit-in blockade of the missile base on Mutlanger Heide in 1983 to protest against the stationing of Pershing II missiles with nuclear warheads there.

Today, the Heinrich Böll Foundation is THE foundation of the party"Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen". And the German Greens, in contrast to the Greens in most other countries, for example in Switzerland, have been vociferously advocating for weeks and months a stronger militarization of Germany and demanding more money for the Bundeswehr and for NATO. The Green leader Annalena Baerbock even made public attention to the fact that “guns for shooting” are there!

Mind you: The German Greens and their Heinrich Böll Foundation are not only co-signatories of the “New Agreement” like others, with Ellen Ueberschär, a board member of the Heinrich Böll Foundation is one of the authors of the call for a “New Agreement” between the USA and Germany.

What is the task of the “New Agreement”? Quotation:

“This also means that Germany must adhere to nuclear participation and implement necessary modernization steps. The US nuclear shield is indispensable for all non-nuclear NATO states in Europe. It should exist as long as there are nuclear weapons and the threat persists. Nuclear participation expresses the special willingness to share risks and burdens and to greatest solidarity among allies. It is a core element of the strategic link between the Transatlantic partners, which is underlined by the New Agreement.

A significantly improved military capability alone is not enough. A political effort is necessary: initiatives with which Germany should increase its contribution to burden-sharing.

This applies above all to the periphery of the EU and NATO. From the Far North to the Baltic Sea, Belarus and Ukraine, the Western Balkans and the Caucasus to the Mediterranean region of the Middle East and North Africa: crises or even actual conflicts exist everywhere, which could be alleviated by greater commitment, more targeted and better coordinated action. More German creativity and leadership would not only contribute to a further relief for America, but would also make Europe safer. There is also considerable potential for better interaction between the instruments of the EU, NATO and the individual Member States.

To increase the usefulness of the Alliance for all member States, Germany is working to strengthen NATO, not only as a military, but also as a political Alliance. Two proposals of the Reflection Group on “NATO 2030” led by Thomas de Maizière and Wess Mitchell are particularly noteworthy. On the one hand, Germany should support the NATO Secretary General in adapting the Strategic concept of 2010, in which Russia is only mentioned as a partner and China is not mentioned at all, to the new circumstances. On the other hand, the North Atlantic Council should become the actual venue for the political and strategic debate of the Transatlantic partners – on all regional and global developments concerning their common security.

Last but not least, Germany should encourage NATO to intensify partnerships with liberal democracies all over the world, but especially in the Indo-Pacific. Instead of a passive offer, NATO needs tailored, proactive programmes to tie strategic partners such as Australia, Japan and South Korea more closely to the core of the West. In these measures, too, mutual usefulness should be striven for, not just fine expressions of friendship.

In Germany too many have understood NATO as an American institution for too long. We Germans should understand: This NATO is our NATO; the NATO of all member states. More than any other nation, Germany has it in her hands to shape the alliance through more initiative and increased contributions in such a way that it is called the Glowkern (!) of the West and provides sustainable answers to the security policy questions that Germany is asking itself.”

The future policy of Europe should be made at NATO?

As a reminder: NATO was founded in 1949 for deterrence and security against the then Soviet Union. In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and Mikhail Gorbachev released the GDR for reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany, NATO could also have dissolved, its enemy no longer existed. But the Americans wanted it differently: the Russians should feel that they are the losers, as can be well documented in the studies of the American historian Mary Elise Sarotte. And soon the red carpet was rolled out to the former Warsaw Pact states in order to encircle Russia with NATO’s eastward expansion.

The list of countries “from the Far North to the Baltic Sea, Belarus and Ukraine, the Western Balkans and the Caucasus to the Mediterranean region of the Middle East” in the declaration of the “New Agreement” clearly shows: here too, it goes against Russia. The fact that the troops of the German Reich were defeated by Russian troops in Stalingrad and Kursk in 1943 and forced to turn back was obviously still unbearable in Germany.

Joe Biden, the new president of the USA, mentioned Russia in his first speech on US foreign policy after the welcome in the second sentence and announced what his priorities look like. “As I said in my inaugural speech, we will repair our alliances and engage with the world again, not to face the challenges of yesterday, but those of today and tomorrow. The American leadership (!) must confront this new moment of progressive authoritarianism, including China’s growing ambitions to rival the United States and Russia’s determination to damage and disrupt our democracy.”

Two questions will have to be answered as soon as possible

Do the other 26 countries of the EU agree that the EU is more and more dominated by Germany – by Germany, which in turn intends to move even closer to the US?

Are Germany, the EU and the US aware that with this NATO course they are achieving one thing above all else: a cooperation between Russia and China?

It is to be hoped that the young, who are now addressed by the Transatlantics via “you”, will still remember what Germany achieved in Hitler’s time with the Second World War: around 50 million deaths worldwide. The Soviet Union suffered the most casualties of the war: around 24 million, more than half of them civilians. Other estimates even assume 27 million war victims. Is it really time to stand up for greater militarization? And this from the Greens, of all people, who will most likely be part of a governing coalition after the elections in autumn 2021?