It’s not just the negative experience with Russia, but also with the US and China. As long as the three great powers got along, the Germans could lull themselves into the illusion and false security of being powerful and influential. The gossip about Merkel as „the most powerful woman in the world“ has shows this grandiose hubris very clearly. Now that the three major powers are fighting, this veil is falling away and it becomes clear how dependent Germany has made itself on all sides in this globalization madness and how powerless it actually is. Yes, centrifugal forces are now acting on all 3 sides, threatening to tear the country apart, while Baerbock apparently believes she is the new Merkel and „the most powerful woman in the world“. As long as she dances to the US whistle, she will be allowed to believe that she and Germany are. I advise that the Germans give some thought to how to navigate through the conflict between these 3 great powers. A plea for a flexible navigation concept that can never be a navigation strategy in the old sense. Not easy, but not wanted at the moment. America fans, Putin fans and China fans are trying to tear the country apart and I don´t like that.
The old pillars of German certainty are being called into question from all three sides: US nuclear protection, the EU and the EU internal market, the community of values, cheap raw material and energy supplies, cheap labour, free trade and globalization, the welfare state, as well as the entire recipe for success that Germany and the EU to be a triad of peace, prosperity and community of values, to be able to conjure up change through trade with a strong EU internal market. And it is also nonsense that one could now have a vision or a fixed strategy in the face of so many uncertainties and dependencies, but what is needed is a flexible navigation concept or at best a navigation strategy in a flexible sense. Although with the aim of preserving the best in order to still have a silver lining on the horizon , but also making it clear that there are no longer any certainties and that one has to navigate through these crisis modes in view of the changing parameters and one no longer returns to the old times of prosperity, but tries to keep the best. When I say navigate through, this is an entirely new concept – other than outright partisanship and polarization for one of the three great powers. It assumes:
1) First of all, an inventory: In which areas technologically, militarily, economically, culturally Germany and the EU is dependent and to what extent not and what is the navigation goal. To what extent can we reduce dependencies and to what extent not and what is the conclusion from this. As USA want to officially decouple themselves from China and Russia, but cannot do so either to the extent they often proclaim in their rhetorical and paradigmatic exaggerations.There is some space left to navigate. So keep a cool head, do an analysis of the dependencies, of your own potential for reducing them, and then formulate a strategy from this, also with already exiting projects like European and American New Silk Roads (Global Gateway and B3W) , Chips Act., EU conversion to hydrogen technologies, own defense potential, etc. In the case of Annalena Baerbock, it is more likely that she is more concerned with soft power and gender asterisks and value liberalism than with hard power, even if she promotes such important issues as climate protection. I don’t want to belittle soft power, but flooding the Global South with transgender issues explains why Wagner is getting more and more popular there. In the Sahel and elsewhere, it is not a question of democracy or authoritarianism, but increasingly of stability and that no failed state emerges.
2) There needs to be a central institution in the government that coordinates all of this, perhaps a National Security Council, which, above all, provides clear orientation after evaluating the data. But it’s just ludicrous when Altmeier explained in his digitization strategy at the time that you first had to get knwoledge of the technological companies and start-ups. It was always thought that this was routine and that decisions were made on this basis. Apparently you have market radical forces that announced that the market will fix it, you don’t have to make an industrial policy and leave everything to your free neoliberal free trade globalization madness as the basis of all decisions. They will fix it and so will the market. As we know now: Nonsense.. So first of all, an analytical inventory and a discussion about the consequences.
But it also needs a supra-ministerial, interdisciplinary navigation center for data collection, evaluation and the formulation of navigation targets, which could just be a National Security Council. On the one hand, one can take a role model from similar institutions worldwide or evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, on the other hand, such a National Security Council should not be primarily equipped with ministerial bureaucrats from primarily transatlantic, Sinophile or Russophile networks, not with scientists who have hitherto only wrote correct and boring descriptions, but rather forecasters who qualified themselves in the past with correct statements about future developments, which the bureaucratic and diplomatic mainstream of the time did not see coming due to laziness, incompetence or duty. An analytical comprehensive inventory first as a minimum requirement, what is given in this country at all and what must change and just by means of a National Security Council In all considerations, one has to see the main Achilles‘ heel in hard power. Germany, as the loser and cause of two world wars, was defined by arms restrictions as a state without weapons of mass destruction – by all the victorious powers. A navigation strategy can now try that Germany is also granted weapons of mass destruction, as the steel helmet wing of the CDU/CSU tried under Strauss and Dregger and as the AfD is now trying or in the AfD hope that Putin will concede weapons of mass destruction to Germany if Germany was a Eurasian ally under Russian nuclear and universal rule -but wouldn’t the USA or even Russia prevent this? Could Germany even have a n arseanl of nuclear weapons like the USA or Russia, or wouldn’t it be a smaller German Force de frappe, i.e. a nuclear strategic joke and paper tiger? It is more likely that the USA, like Putin, want a heavily armed conventional Germany in their favor, but not a nuclear one. But this constellation would only occur in the event of Germany leaving NATO and in the case of absolute hostility between Russia, the USA and China. Up until now, the victorious states and nuclear powers had agreed that they did not want a nuclear Taiwan, South Korea, Japan or Germany, although under the Kennedy administration there was some thought as to whether an Asian nuclear ring should be drawn around China, just as Nixon and Brezhnev thought about jointly bombing China to get rid of its nuclear facilities. But Brezhnev refused, and Nixon went to China and accepted China as a nuclear power. India, North Korea and Pakistan along with Israel are now also nuclear powers and the question is: how hermetically sealed is the nuclear non-proliferation treaty that Annalena Baerbock celebrated so much in her UN speech and so demonstratively emphasized Germany’s renunciation of nuclear weapons in favor of the utopia of a gloal zero non- nuclear world? Is there hope, like the AfD hopes, that Putin and China or Trump will allow nuclear weapons in Germany or not? Or are these just promises to win over Germany and then starve it on the long nuclear arm? Does one of the victorious powers have an interest in Germany becoming nuclear? Unlike Iran, with the exception of the AfD, it does not want this, but faces the problem that Trump has already questioned US nuclear protection for Germany and Europe within the framework of NATO. Long story short conclusion and question: Should one base one’s navigation strategy on an increase in German nuclear hard power, or focus on Germany’s more economic and technological hard power strengths, which are now also being challenged?
But there is also the question of how far one wants to go and whether there should be a consequence for Germany of what the Indian ex-general Asthana calls “strategic balancing”, which India, Erdogan and other sub-imperialsms are pursuing quite successfully. A kind of playing the great powers against each other, also for Germany. We are still in NATO and the EU, but this is being questioned from all sides. When the USA threatens Germany because of China that one orients itself more towards China in order to have a counterweight against this blackmail. If China intends to blackmail Germany or the EU, then the same navigational switch will be made and Germany under these conditions will side more with the Americans side. And vice versa, if American threats should be made against Germany or the EU, if Trump threatens not to grant US nuclear protection guarantee and to move US troops to Poland and Eastern Europe, that he is threatened that Ramstein would be closed, that he is happy to defend US interests alone with the Eastern Europeans, but the Western Europeans should build their own defense community, should Trump or any American do so and afterwards refuse to support the Eastern Europeans by means of a Putin deal. East Europe will then be the battlefield for Westeurope and its nuclear defense as Euroshima is at the moment for the USA. One should also be against those parts of US imperialism that see a dominance or division of Europeans into an old and a new Europe and thus dominance of the US-GB-Eastern Europe axis within the EU and NATO along the intermarum strategy against the Franco-German axis as the engine of the EU like Rumsfeld, therefore the old Europe should have the fallback option of dissolving the EU, maybe even letting the euro crash in order to establish a common currency that is optimal for the currency, threatening a Western European defence, economic and defense community as an option. Of course they want to keep the EU and NATO, but the question is whether the „old Europe“ compromises and appeases the foreign destroyers who will then destroy them precisely because of that. Therefore dark fallback options have to be designed that will show the destroyers what price they would have to pay. When Trump, who like Putin and Xi wants to destroy the EU, threatened a US trade war against the EU, then EU Commissioner Juncker made it clear to him that the EU would then cooperate more with China or take countermeasures, which was probably a warning enough and he gave in quite meekly. The same strategic balancing and navigating towards China and Russia, with Russia becoming more and more China’s strategic junior partner after the Ukraine war, and there is more and more of a bipolarity between which one has to navigate and achieve strategic balancing. Learning from Israel and Erdogan and India could mean learning to win.
We are also somewhat influenced by our conversation and interviews with the Indian ex-general Asthana, who mainly has the idea of strategic balancing, i.e. navigating between the great powers. The extent to which this can be transferred to Germany would have to be discussed. To be honest, we don’t know either. But it is a very holistic, realpolitik approach by the Indians, who analyze exactly where and with what they can navigate economically, technologically and militarily. And all of that is missing in Germany. And for the US, Europe is simply a nuclear battlefield for emergencies or for its expansions, which do not have as direct consequences for the US as they do for Europe. You could already see that during the Iraq war in 2003. The catastrophe that the USA under Bush jr. brought across the Middle East, the Germans had to absorb by means of the 2015 wave of refugees or the EU deal with Erdogan, along with all the human tragedies resulting from the Iraq and Syria wars. Bush jr should actually be brought before The Hague like Putin, but we know that this will never happen, especially since Kissinger also said: The first US GI who was brought before The Hague would be liberated by a US Seal Command or an atomic bomb over Berlin. But with all transatlantic friendship, which is only given by the US Democrats, one should make it clear that US interests and German interests diverge to the extent that Germany and the EU are always financially and have to be politically liable, while Big Brother always comfortably lays back across the Atlantic and follows the course of events from a distance. But what does Biden and the Democrats stand for? Admittedly NATO, EU, the questionable JOAPC, but also for dissolving the strategic ambuitiy towards China along with Pompeo’s recognition of Taiwan and thus war and Trump’s questioning of the one-China principle. How should we defeat Russia and then enter into a direct confrontation in the Indo-Pacific , so that the second world power is cleared and a Sino-American war will emegre, against which the Ukraine conflict is a detail- this open question remains. There is also the question of whether it is wise to make a stunk against North Korea. Do you want a regime change? That was already out of the question militarily, since North Korea was already able to destroy Seoul in the 80s and 90s with its conventional weapons, even without nuclear weapons, in such a way that the USA always shied away from the possible hundreds of thousands of deaths around Seoul, because their defense options in all of Asia would have been questioned. Now North Korea is a nuclear power, has also written that into the constitution and now again, but so far has only fired a few rockets into the sea and limited itself, yes also after Trump’s gentlemen’s deal after the „little fat rocket man on a suicide mission” makes it clear that “fury and fire” would come over him in such a limited way that Kim Yongun refrained from further international balistic missile and nuclear tests. Now Biden has resumed US maneuvers with South Korea and Japan, which were suspended under Trump, and now they are surprised that North Korea is responding. In addition, South Korea and Japan have switched their military strategy to kill chain and the elimination of decisive infrastructures, ramped up missile defense and are then surprised when North Korea responds when, after Japan and South Korea’s new offensive defense strategy, it claims that it is not just a nuclear power, but would also defend itself if it were no longer just a war of defense but prrepmtive strikes of unclear „national security interests“. In any case, Biden and the democratic USA could refrain from such provocations if they do not believe in a regime change anyway. Therefore, despite all NATO and EU support for Biden, German and European interests in Asia are not necessarily congruent with the Biden USA and certainly not with the Trump, Pompeo or Desantis USA in Asia. Therefore, Germany must neither rely on Biden Democrats nor the much more disastrous US Republicans, nor become a China fan as a result, but rather consider the option of strategic balancing and a navigation strategy similar to what India is doing.
So two things: Strategic balancing could be an option for Germany. Secondly, if you want to do that, you also have to be aware that Germany and its axes are threatening so-called „black options“, apocalyptic announcements of counteraction and as a deterrent option. Germany not always as the payer, the compromiser, the powerless, the tolerant, but as the black blackmailer of realpolitik concessions. Gone are the days of talking big and belittling Germany, but also analyzing its true power and its effects and possible influence with self-confidence. Like most countries, Germany will no longer be the Nice Germany, like the USA is said to have been the benign hegemon.