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Why Germany Is Still A Commited Ally  
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

As far as the possibility of war against Iraq is concerned, I have frequently expressed my opposition to Mr. Schröder's categorical 'No'. So, I'm absolutely not surprised by criticism from the U.S. administration. Schröder's 'No' indeed lacks a perspective as well as a 'Plan B' for the disarmament of the Iraq.
Has Germany become 'irrelevant' to decision-making as far as Iraq is concerned? Frankly, I don't know; the term 'irrelevant' may be too strong but I understand that Germany has now less stature.

But at the same time I do not understand the generalization that regulary comes with the criticism:

"Schröder is making Germany irrelevant to global peace and security"
(Senator Hesse Helms)

"I wonder if Germany is still a commited and steady allly"
(the U.S. ambassador in Berlin).

Uh-oh, well ... over the last years, Germany showed growing readiness to participate in crisis management and peacekeeping operations as well as Germany is still increasingly involved in providing forces for multilateral military missions.

Financially, Germany continues to play a major role in supporting the democratization of Central and Eastern Europe, (as a result) advancing security and stability - regardless of the downturn of Germany's economy. After a little research on the net I found out that, in 1998 "the Defense Ministry budgeted over $23 million dollars on Soviet drawdown costs, bringing the total costs between 1991-1998 to nearly $13 billion". This is reportedly by far the largest amount of assistance.
Afghanistan's reconstruction costs another 2 billion Euro per year.
Furthermore, Germany contributes to the cost sharing for the deployment of U.S. forces.

Over the past decades, our military forces have been an army to foremostly defend Germany, but especially Schröder's government nevertheless has sent numerous troops to take part in peacekeeping missions, humanitarian assistance and police monitoring:

(www.bundeswehr.de)
With some 8.000 to 9.000 soldiers, Germany ranks second only after the U.S. (the British deployment of forces to the Gulf region still lacks an UN mandate).
Shortly after 9/11, Germany has offered to send some 4.000 soldiers (in addition to the KSK special forces) to Aghanistan to battle against the Taliban regime; German soldiers have secured U.S. airspace, they will likely do so again and they are now securing U.S. bases in Germany as well as in Kuwait. Furthermore, Germany provides defense weapon systems to Israel.
Germany, together with Italy, leads the new multinational brigade in Kosovo and, together with the Netherlands, has the lead nation function in Afghanistan, providing the second-largest military contingent.


German Fundamental Law (the Grundgesetz) bans all preparations for war of aggression. As soon as there is an UN mandate for war against Iraq, one could still argue that the participation would not fall within the Grundgesetz, as - for some people - this war would not fully be thought of as defensive.

Regards,
NoUFO


I support the right to arm bears
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1798 times:

NoUFO : German Fundamental Law (the Grundgesetz) bans all preparations for war of aggression. As soon as there is an UN mandate for war against Iraq, one could still argue that the participation would not fall within the Grundgesetz, as - for some people - this war would not fully be thought of as defensive.

"Not fully"? That hardly covers it!  Wink/being sarcastic

I´m not aware of any Grundgesetz commentator who would have agreed that a so-called "preemptive war" would not be an act of aggression.

Any participation in the attack would have the chancellor in breach of the constitution - with mandatory consequences. He could have been a bit more subtle in his public presentation. But there really wasn´t any other option.


The official US reaction has a lot more to do with an attempt to downplay the dangerous international role the USA are manoeuvering into than with their own perception. This is domestic marketing at work!


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1774 times:

On a general issue, the German refusal to ever send troops because of their constitution often irritates because Germany is clearly not the same nation it was 60 years ago, as we are constantly (and correctly) told. Therefore there is often the feeling that Germany is happy for others to get their hands dirty, but won't involve itself. It often comes across as a selfmade get out clause, whatever the intention behind it. Making a financial contribution is not the same. Having said that, I don't believe that is the rationalisation for German policy on Iraq, after all Germany sent troops to the Balkans only recently, albeit in a peacekeeping role, but that was still something new.

It is certainly true that Schroder would find it impossible to carry the German people with him on this one, and of course Germany is completely within its rights to disagree.

However, arguing that Germany remains a steadfast ally of the US in the current environment is unlikely to cut any ice in the States and that is understandable as well.

Klaus is correct, many of the comments emanating from across the Atlantic are domestic politicking, but every country does the same. Some of the Chancellor's comments are clearly intended for domestic consumption, particularly in terms of the strength of German opposition to military action.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1764 times:

Banco: Klaus is correct, many of the comments emanating from across the Atlantic are domestic politicking, but every country does the same. Some of the Chancellor's comments are clearly intended for domestic consumption, particularly in terms of the strength of German opposition to military action.

Absolutely!
And - except the partially clumsy presentation - rightly so.

I think there also was a major miscalculation involved on the part of Bush&Co: They really appeared to believe that Schröder´s opposition was just a campaign ploy which would be easy to "right" with a healthy yank of the leash.

That turned out to be incorrect: The leash broke.

And - once engaged - Bush felt compelled to increase the pressure further, in order to avoid appearing weak to his domestic constituency.

I can´t be certain, but I think it´s a reasonably probable scenario... After all, most really big screwups aren´t planned but based on blunders and mistakes...  Wink/being sarcastic

It just lets you wonder what Bush&Co still have in store for us in the blunders department...  Sad


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1760 times:

Banco,
Germany is not the same nation it was some 60 years ago, but nevertheless Maggie Thatcher heavily opposed to Germany's reunion. And countries like the Netherlands, Poland, as well as France would react .. er ... flabbergasted if a bigger Germany would see no problems in the deployment of troops all over the globe (I can hear Klaus' "'Flabbergasted' hardly covers it" from here  Smile ).

The holy Grundgesetz can not be changed overnight to fit a "New World Order".

NoUFO



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1737 times:

NoUFO, to slightly move away from the matter of the present argument over Iraq, apart from the inevitable response from those who view everything in terms of past history (and lip service does need to be paid of course), do you really think that the world at large would view German deployments overseas in "Nazi" or "Kaiser Wilhelm" terms? I would have thought that the likes of Bush and Blair would be delighted to see Germany shouldering some of the burden around the world.

German troops are well trained, and they would be an asset to any operation.

If Germany really does want to be seen as an entirely different nation to that of the early twentieth century, surely the time has come for Germany to act like a modern nation,and not be scared of its own past. Those responsible for the events up to 1945 are long dead.

I'm curious to hear your views as a German on this.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1735 times:

NoUFO: I can hear Klaus' "'Flabbergasted' hardly covers it" from here

Yay!

 Big thumbs up


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1730 times:

Your opinion too, Klaus!

Come on, Germany is a modern democracy. We're constantly told to stop referring to German history, should the same rules not apply to you??  Big grin



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1722 times:

Banco: If Germany really does want to be seen as an entirely different nation to that of the early twentieth century, surely the time has come for Germany to act like a modern nation,and not be scared of its own past. Those responsible for the events up to 1945 are long dead.

That´s exactly what Germany is doing right now. And it still doesn´t seem to be right...!  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1718 times:

Banco: Your opinion too, Klaus!

At your service! Big grin


Banco: Come on, Germany is a modern democracy. We're constantly told to stop referring to German history, should the same rules not apply to you??

So why do you think we couldn´t come to a different conclusion if we´re so fresh and free?  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1714 times:

No, Klaus, that's why I separated it from the current situation. Whatever the views of an individual about Germany's current position, it has nothing to do with a reluctance to commit troops. after all, even a Germany hugely in favour would still refuse to send troops to fight in the Gulf. My question concerns why it is that a modern, democratic Germany refuses to send fighting troops abroad, even when it agrees with other nations doing so. surely, that is a Germany telling the rest of the world that it still can't be trusted? It just seems strange to me, that's all.

Go on, give me chapter and verse....!  Smile



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1703 times:

Banco, Germany, along with other nations, does shoulders a lot of burdens and does not "only" provide financial support and I do consider Germany a "modern nation" (your words).
At the same time I still do not wish to hear another easily said "Germans to front" again. Deployment of troops should always fall within an international mandate, issued by either the NATO or the United Nations. Why shouldn't that be a "modern" approach? At the risk of repeating myself: I think, days should be gone when one or two countries can go in and battle against a certain part of the world without the world's approval.

As for "being scared" of our own history: our neighborhood is even more scared of our history and we have to deal with it. Reportedly, soldiers from the Netherland ISAF corps are notorious for painting swastikas on German vehicles, and not too long ago I argued with one woman (who spoke fluent English and yes, she was from the Netherlands but that doesn't really count) whether I too am responsible for what the Nazis did. Hello, I was born in 1967!

Personally, I'm absolutely pleased with the framework our Federal Constitutional Court set up before ECR-Tornados were sent to Kosovo. A brief overview:

Germany's constitution does not allow the government to start war against whatever country as long as neither Germany nor an ally has been attacked.

- After Gemany's reunification same was stated during the Two-plus-Four Treaty and guess what? The U.S. administration (Bush sen.!) signed the treaty.

- In the mid-90's the Bundesverfassungsgericht (the Federal Constitutional Court mentioned above) ruled that German armed forces could participate in operations within NATO or WEU activities in support of the implementation of resolutions of the UN. According to the judgment of the Court, the same applies to the participation of German armed forces in United Nations peacekeeping troops.
What you have here, is the framework German forces can (they can, they don't need to ..) join multinational armed forces.

With this framework the Bundesverfassungsgericht "expanded" the Two-plus-Four Treaty to the maximum extend possible, so care must be taken not to break the treaty. The Iraq is a threat but as long as there is any chance to ban this menace without military activities, it is clear that Germany will not start to prepare for war.

NoUFO

[Edited 2003-02-08 00:25:02]


I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1701 times:

"My question concerns why it is that a modern, democratic Germany refuses to send fighting troops abroad, even when it agrees with other nations doing so."

That's not true. That was the policy until the end of the Kohl government in 1998. After that, ironically a Red-Green government coalition was the first to send fighting abroad for more than 50 years. It was the end of the so-called "Scheckbuchdiplomatie" - we pay, you fight. In the Gulf war Germany paid more than 16 billion Mark to the US.

In 1999, the Luftwaffe was participating in the Kosovo war. They were involved since the first day.

After the end of the Kosovo war, German KSK special forces played a major part in the chase of escaping Serbian politics and catched several of them.

In 2001 and 2002 German KSK special forces fought along with American Delta forces and British SAS forces in the mountains of Aghanistan against the Taliban.

Also, Germany is the 2nd biggest contributor to UN missions - we have more Soldiers abroad for peace-keeping (what can be very dangerous as the permanent attacks in Aghnaistan show) - we have had more troops based outside our borderlines than any other european nation until the UK decided to wipe out Saddam.

[Edited 2003-02-08 00:23:16]

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13252 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1691 times:

I have no problems with Germany providing troops on extra-NATO/WEU operations if they want to.
If the situation in Iraq was a bit different, say Saddam HAD been caught out helping Al-Queda and/or clearly demonstrated aggressive intent towards it's neighbor's with a powerful WMD capability, with a clear UN mandate for action, it would be ironic to see German Panzer divisions operating alongside the British 'Desert Rats', a bit different to how it was in WW2!
But a positive demonstration of how far Europe has come in 60 years.
I totally understand Germany's reluctance though, some of their critics would do well to remember that there are many in Germany who have first hand experience of war on their territory, a bit different to only seeing the death and destruction in documentary's or Hollywood movies.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1688 times:

Banco: My question concerns why it is that a modern, democratic Germany refuses to send fighting troops abroad, even when it agrees with other nations doing so.

Your premise is already wrong.
German KSK forces have been fighting in Afghanistan for quite some time, already. Alongside Americans, Britons and the others.


Banco: surely, that is a Germany telling the rest of the world that it still can't be trusted?

See above...


Banco: Go on, give me chapter and verse....!

Okay, you wanted it, you´ll get it:

Grundgesetz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (our constitution)

Excerpt from this page:

Artikel 25
[Völkerrecht und Bundesrecht]

Die allgemeinen Regeln des Völkerrechtes sind Bestandteil des Bundesrechtes.Sie gehen den Gesetzen vor und erzeugen Rechte und Pflichten unmittelbar für die Bewohner des Bundesgebietes.


My translation:

Article 25 (international law and federal law):

The universal rules of international law are integral part of federal law. They override individual laws and are generating immediate rights and obligations for the inhabitants of the federal area.


An unprovoked attack on Iraq would clearly be in breach of international law and is therefore automatically in breach of the constitution.


But wait, it gets better:

Artikel 26
[Verbot der Vorbereitung eines Angriffskrieges; Kriegswaffenkontrolle]

(1) Handlungen,die geeignet sind und in der Absicht vorgenommen werden,das friedliche Zusammenleben der Völker zu stören,insbesondere die Führung eines Angriffskrieges vorzubereiten,sind verfassungswidrig.Sie sind unter Strafe zu stellen.

(2) Zur Kriegführung bestimmte Waffen dürfen nur mit Genehmigung der Bundesregierung hergestellt,befördert und in Verkehr gebracht werden. Das Nähere regelt ein Bundesgesetz.


My translation:

Article 26 (prohibition of the preparation of a military attack; arms control):

(1) Actions suitable or intended to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of the peoples, specifically preparations for a military aggression ("Angriffskrieg"), are in breach of the constitution. They are to be put under threat of punishment.

(2) Arms suitable for warfare can only be produced, transported or put in circulation with authorization of the federal government. Details are to be determined by a federal law.


(Phew. Next time, I´ll go searching for a translation, first... Wink/being sarcastic)

So if Gerhard Schröder had indeed followed GWB as Tony Blair did, you can be reasonably certain we´d have a major uprising around here. And I´d be in the middle of it.


You could be tempted to argue that our constitution is "a stupid document of fear of our own shadow". But it´s not as simple as that.

Actually, it is an expression of the determination to never again let international law be compromised or overridden by whatever despot and however convincing the excuses might sound.

And I do indeed prefer the rule of law to the rule of power.


Instead of actively wrecking the only institutions that could have the supranational legitimacy to put a dictator out of his job, I´m convinced it is imperative to strengthen the rule of law to the point where we would actually be able to do it properly - and with at least a chance of actually creating something constructive that lasts.

With post-soviet Russia being as cooperative as never before, China eager to be accepted into the global community, the chances would have been better than ever before to pull it off.

A strategic chance blown to hell by stupidity, greed and shortsightedness, with a generous helping of self-interest and bias.

War just breeds war. Plus terrorism, these days.


Just as an aside humiliating the emerging Europe, betraying one´s allies a few days after a common declaration - wow, what a performance! That one will surely be remembered for some time. (Of course, it´s just the proper response to disobedience on an issue!)


Next time either the USA or Britain are rising from their chairs and pleading for "democracy" and "rule of law" they definitely deserve to be laughed out of the Security Council.

Sorry for the cynicism; But I could go lose my dinner just about now.


User currently offline747-451 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2417 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

....war just breeds war. Plus terrorism, these days.

No, terrorism brings war, as does complaceny and appeasement.


User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1688 times:

this is about the fifth or sixth topic on Germany's reaction to the Iraq war. you guys are obiously pretty confused and self-conscious about it, so instead of wasting your time on this silly board, go do something proactive about it. wriite your lawmakers, research saddam's human rights history, reinterpret your constitution or engage in constructive dialogue with decision makers, becasue all your doing now is arguing yourself silly.

TNNH


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1674 times:

747-451: No, terrorism brings war, as does complaceny and appeasement.

If appeasement has suddenly become the only alternative to war then let´s hear it for WWIII - and IV and V and...

Propaganda had reached that point many times before.


"Do you want the total war?" I can hear them screaming, already.  Sad


User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1657 times:

I posted some of this in another thread, but it is also relevant here:

We must realize that most Germans, whether ordinary people, intellectuals, or political leaders, oppose the war. Since Germany is a democracy, doesn't it make sense that the governmnent would reflect the people's view in this matter? In other words, Germany is not behind this war in part because it is a democracy.

Our allies have no obligations to agree with us on every single issue -- or even major ones for that matter. They do have a moral obligation to be a part of the democratic world, and Germany does its best to spread the West's democratic values.

Being a much smaller power than the US, its contributions, particularly military ones, will always be more limited in scope and geography. However, you should not underestimate what Germany has done -- economically and politically -- to make Central and Eastern Europe democratic and prosperous.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1627 times:

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not having a go at Germany's response to the current Iraq situation - Germany is free to make any decision it wants to, I was just questioning using history (and only history) as an argument why Germany shouldn't send troops abroad. On the one hand, Germany wants to be seen as (and of course, IS) a modern deomocracy. On the other hand, German history is used as a justification for not taking action in any given area. I do accept that Germany has done so in recent years, but I often hear the 1940's used as an argument why Germany shouldn't get involved, which seems a bit silly to me.

All I'm saying is that many of us would welcome a German military free to work around the world without harking back to the Nazi era. I'm British, I know that some would say that it's just the Germans hell-bent on world conquest again, I just think we should have moved past all of that.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1610 times:

Banco,
I think there is no monocausal explanation why Germany doesn't want to go to war. As far as I can recall, the German government never mentioned our history.

NoUFO



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1607 times:

No UFO - I quote your own comment:

"Germany is not the same nation it was some 60 years ago, but nevertheless Maggie Thatcher heavily opposed to Germany's reunion. And countries like the Netherlands, Poland, as well as France would react .. er ... flabbergasted if a bigger Germany would see no problems in the deployment of troops all over the globe (I can hear Klaus' "'Flabbergasted' hardly covers it" from here )."

Does that not imply that German history is behind the reluctance to commit troops overseas?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, I'm not having a dig, I really do think that we should be beyond this now.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1606 times:

Banco: Don't misunderstand me, I'm not having a go at Germany's response to the current Iraq situation

Don´t worry; I don´t think that.

Banco: I was just questioning using history (and only history) as an argument why Germany shouldn't send troops abroad.

It´s the "(and only history)" where I think you´re wrong.

Germany has tried (with some success) to fundamentally change the way it operates in the world. What you seem to propose would basically come down to reverting back to the same old ways after an appropriate "period of shame".

In Germany´s case that would mean one of these:

- A scattered bunch of feudalist mini-states without real significance in foreign affairs.

- An absolutistic monarchy with a strong imperialistic tendency - the classic "rule of power" principle modeled after the other colonialist powers of the time.

- A weak democracy, torn apart by universal distrust and extremism.

- A fascist state under martial law, again aggressive and self-serving.

- An occupied territory with very limited sovereignty (several times, actually).

Germany has always been more than just a state, fortunately. But there has been no real alternative to completely re-invent our role in the world after world war II.

And although the immediate nazi past had a big influence on the creators of our Grundgesetz, it´s been more than just that.

Taking a page from the american book, the Grundgesetz was intended to be directed into the future, not just based on the past.

The constitutional articles I quoted express a fundamental distrust against the self-serving use of power to force one´s will on others (excuses have always been found - history has amply demonstrated that!); And, in parallel with the founding of the United Nations, the Grundgesetz made it very clear that the relations to other nations must be based on the rule of law - in this case, supranational law. It´s the reason why the imminent dismantling of the UN hits a lot closer to home for most germans than it does for others.

And it´s not just theory - in spite of the occasional spike of economical egoism, these principles have actually determined most of our foreign policy and are universally accepted by the population.


Banco: but I often hear the 1940's used as an argument why Germany shouldn't get involved, which seems a bit silly to me.

The question is what "involved" means. It has been mentioned before that Germany has more troops deployed in crisis regions than anybody else, only except the USA (although the british attack forces might currently change that; I don´t know the numbers).


Banco: All I'm saying is that many of us would welcome a German military free to work around the world without harking back to the Nazi era.

What´s looking so bizarre from my perspective is that you´re using the word "freedom" synonymous with the opportunity to breach international law whenever it´s in the way of a perceived domestic interest.

My (german) questions to that:

- What exactly do you want your freedom for? And would the freedom of others have any relevance in that context?

- Is the rule of law just strictly optional when it temporarily helps secure your flanks? Or would there be an actual fundamental value to it?

- Wasn´t the rule by power fundamentally flawed and didn´t it always ultimately lead to disaster, when not limited by laws and treaties?


Britain and other nations may not have the same reservations about reverting to past behaviour as Germany does; But I´m asking you: Is it really because their past would be a good model for our future - or could it be simply because those bygone wars had been won for the most part?

If so, what does that say about the upcoming world order?

"Vae victis"?

[Edited 2003-02-08 14:29:49]

User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1600 times:

I'm not suggesting any such thing Klaus. But to take the current Iraq situation, let me pose a hypothetical scenario:

If Saddam hussein was found by the UN to be in breach of UN resolution, and if a second resolution authorising action was approved, and if Germany agreed with that action (there are a lot of "if's" here I know, that's why it's hypothetical!), both in terms of government and people, would Germany then commit troops, or would it not?

If not, why not? Would that be because of German history leading to a reluctance to commit forces overseas to fight, or for another reason?

If the UN approval is forthcoming, the British and American forces would not be in breach of international law, and assuming that Germany was in favour of action - as it was in 1991, then I cannot see a reason why Germany shouldn't join in, unless it was for introspective, historical reasons.

Now, I know damn well that much of this is never going to happen, but if you follow the logic, can you see what I'm driving at?

Incidentally, the British commitment is for around 45,000 personnel in the Gulf. Just to let you know.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1586 times:

"If Saddam hussein was found by the UN to be in breach of UN resolution, and if a second resolution authorising action was approved, and if Germany agreed with that action (there are a lot of "if's" here I know, that's why it's hypothetical!), both in terms of government and people, would Germany then commit troops, or would it not?"

Yes. Examples? NATO war in the Kosovo and the war on terrorism in Afghanistan.

"If the UN approval is forthcoming, the British and American forces would not be in breach of international law, and assuming that Germany was in favour of action - as it was in 1991, then I cannot see a reason why Germany shouldn't join in, unless it was for introspective, historical reasons."

The behaviour of the Kohl government during the 2nd gulf war in 1991 was criticized by many, including the current government. Chancellor Schröder has said repeatedly that the time of the "Scheckbuchdiplomatie" (we pay, you fight) is over - if we agree, we also take the responsibility. Foreign Minister Fischer has just today said the same thing at the annual Security conference in Munich.

The only time I can remember history being mentioned as a reason was when there was a discussion about a possible peace-keeping mission in Israel/Palestine. And to be honest, if the peace-keeping forces were attacked by Israelians and had to shoot them, the israelian and american press would go mad.


25 Klaus : Racko has already answered to your immediate response, but I´d like to hear your opinion on the rest of my post as well, if possible...
26 Banco : OK, Klaus. I don't really like the quote and response technique, but I think I'll have to adopt it to go through what you've said: Klaus: It´s the "(
27 Post contains images Klaus : Banco: OK, Klaus. I don't really like the quote and response technique, but I think I'll have to adopt it to go through what you've said: It´s the cl
28 Banco : I don't think we're a million miles apart on this Klaus. I do think that the list of American "breaches" is a bit of weak case. All countries have int
29 Post contains images Klaus : Banco: I don't think we're a million miles apart on this Klaus. I agree. Banco: I do think that the list of American "breaches" is a bit of weak case.
30 747-451 : "If appeasement has suddenly become the only alternative to war then let´s hear it for WWIII - and IV and V and..." However, France and Germany conti
31 Klaus : 747-451: However, France and Germany continue only to choose appeasement even in full view that 1441 has been breached repeatedly even with ceaseless
32 747-451 : Klaus: Perhpas "appeasement" isn't the right word. It appears here that the appearance of not wishing to do anything "forceful" or "distasteful" is mo
33 Klaus : 747-451: Perhpas "appeasement" isn't the right word. It appears here that the appearance of not wishing to do anything "forceful" or "distasteful" is
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