The Bundestag’s budget committee is expected to vote on the EU’s largest military project to date, the so-called Future Combat Air System (FCAS), on 23 June 2021. That this is taking place shortly after the end of NATO’s “most extensive exercise since the end of the Cold War” – Defender 2021 - draws attention to the framework of all major military projects.
The US-led maneuver Defender 2021 is aimed at the use of the military machinery up to the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as the Balkans. NATO spokesmen justify this with the reference to what they consider “aggressive behavior pattern of Russia”. Here, the double standards of the black-and-white image of value-oriented NATO apply, as if there were no Guantanamo, no Cyprus occupation of Turkey and no extrajudicial killings by US/NATO drones, as if the Yugoslavia, Libya and Iraq war had never existed.
The EU militarisation that FCAS is part of is targeting Russia, as expressed in the action Plan agreed by the EU and NATO in 2016. In keeping with this, the USA, Canada and Norway have entered into cooperation with the PESCO-baptized military pact of Western European States. Thus, it turns out that European arms projects such as FCAS also have NATO references-the thrust against the nuclear powers Russia and China is worrying in this context.
FCAS is planned as a comprehensive high-tech air force system that can detect and attack so-called enemy forces in real time and it is planned by strategists for a battle or war event in Europe, as it was currently rehearsed in the Defender 2021 maneuver. With a volume of approximately 500 billion euros, it is planned to be the largest military project on our continent in the coming decades. The General Works Council of Airbus Defense and Space speaks of “one of the largest industrial policy projects in Europe” for the “foreseeable future”. In concrete terms, it is about several innovative leaps in warfare, which further soften the boundaries between war and peace and lower the threshold to resort to military force.
FCAS is intended to process large amounts of data in the shortest possible time and thus also stands for the digitization of war on the way to its automation and autonomization. The war, which the peace forces have to prevent, would not be waged in Europe with tanks, artillery and drop bombs, but via satellite through sabotage programs on the net.
FCAS in particular highlights the danger this poses to civilisation in Europe:
At the center of the FCAS is a high-tech fighter jet accompanied by armed and unarmed drones. This flagship project of the EU armaments under construction under German-French dominance with industrial control by the French Thales Group and with strong influence of the German Airbus Defense Group gives hope for high returns. The resources that are used for this purpose open up immense holes for the development of a sustainable society, whether in education, health, ecology, social policy or infrastructure; how expensive FCAS will be in the end, however, hardly anyone knows so far – least of all some media such as the Deutsche Welle or the FAZ. The FCAS fighter jet planned by Airbus and Dassault will replace the Eurofighters and tornados from 2040.
The newspaper for the Public Service “Der Behördenspiegel” describes the large-scale project, which breaks many ideas of armament products: “FCAS will become a platform, a system of systems, as we have never seen before,” said the CEO of Airbus Defence, Dirk Hoke, in an interview with Dr. Florian Taitsch at the Berlin Security Conference. The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is to become the future weapon system of the air forces of Germany, France and Spain. To see in him only a Eurofighter successor or a fighter aircraft with drones, however, is clearly too short.
“FCAS is not just a 6th generation fighter jet in conjunction with drones. But it is also about connectivity with all other systems, be they on Earth, at sea or in space,” Hoke described. This connectivity, the communication link and the exchange of data between the actors and systems of the battle, is a core element of future armed forces. New and additional infrastructures are necessary for this real-time data transmission, and space is of particular importance. “The focus is also shifting towards space in the military sector. Whether we like it or not, it happens,” Hoke described. Capabilities for building satellites and their transfer into space are now just as essential for the security of a state as classic weapon systems. Accordingly, new approaches in which a project such as FCAS is designed and implemented should be considered comprehensively.”
Specifically, FCAS is first about:
“The focus in Phase 1A is initially on the most important technological challenges in the various programme areas.
Development of the Next Generation Fighter (NGF), the core element of the Future Combat Air System, with Dassault Aviation as Prime Contractor and Airbus as main partner,
Development of unmanned systems / remote – controlled drones (Remote Carrier-RC) with Airbus as Prime Contractor and MBDA as main partner,
Development of the Combat Cloud (CC) with Airbus as Prime Contractor and Thales as main partner
Development of the engine with Safran and MTU as main partners. The companies involved are also jointly developing a simulation environment.”
The EU armaments are worn by a spectrum of parties, which includes the Union, the FDP and Greens as well as the SPD. In the Green election program it says:
“Instead of channelling more and more money into national, parallel military structures, the enhanced cooperation of the armed forces in the EU should be expanded, military capabilities bundled … be”
The election party congress decided on 13.6.2021 the drone armament: The party the Greens / Alliance 90 " revises a long-standing position. It no longer categorically rejects the procurement of drones for the Bundeswehr if they are to protect soldiers in operational areas.”
It has been sufficiently proven that killer drones lower the threshold to wars and even put so much strain on the actors in control centers on control sticks that they become victims of post-traumatic stress syndrome until they are at risk of suicide.
On " a position paper on the Europeanization of the armed forces, which the defense policy spokesman of the Bundestag faction, Rainer Arnold, … Rainer Arnold said: “A largely nationally oriented arms industry is no longer viable.“Wolfgang Hellmich (SPD) and chairman of the War Council,” has expressed confidence in the success of the European armament project FCAS. It is central to Europe. The Bundestag is to vote on the project in this parliamentary term – so there is time pressure …”
The dangerousness of the project is also made clear by a paper from the French Senate: It is about an improved ability for electronic warfare, ECoWAR is about FCAS capabilities for collaborative warfare, i.e. warfare carried out jointly in cooperation, it is about a paradigm shift in system-based combat capabilities, the combat cloud is important here.
Artificial intelligence integrated into the system is supposed to multiply the efficiency of the pilot in collaborative combat (p.85). At FCAS, there is also the competition of corporations that is common in capitalism, which led the Senate to think about how to prevent German friends from being badly served; German companies are involved in all pillars.
Here, finally, capital interests are once again taken into account in preparations for war, which once again prove that capitalism carries the war in itself, like the cloud carries the rain. Or in the words of Karl Liebknecht: “For capitalism, war and peace are business and nothing but business.”
This business must not destroy civilization. Therefore, Bert Brecht warned:
“The great Carthage waged three wars. It was still powerful after the first, still habitable after the second. It was untraceable after the third.”
The Forum Demokratische Linke in the SPD draws a clear conclusion from all this, as do other forces of the left and the peace movement:
“22 June 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the German Wehrmacht’s attack on the Soviet Union. 27 Million citizens of the Soviet Union fell victim to the war of robbery and extermination of the Third Reich. Striving for world power was the driving force of the First World War. The 22nd of June warns us: war must never again start from German soil! History gives rise to a special responsibility of the Federal Republic for a policy of disarmament and détente, especially with regard to the successor states of the Soviet Union, and a policy of understanding towards Russia and between Russia and its neighbours. We are therefore concerned about the historically forgotten and arrogant policy of strength through NATO’s eastward expansion, air exercises with strategic US bombers and Nato maneuvers to the border with Russia, verbal saber rattling and rearmament. The planned European armament with the … future combat air system FCAS…. FCAS is planned as a weapon system designed for offensive warfare against sophisticated military systems, consisting of nuclear-capable warplanes and swarms of combat drones.”
The only thing to add here is this wish: may the forces of survival be stronger than the military-industrial complex.