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28 mai 2014 3 28 /05 /mai /2014 07:50
Schaüble opposé à une hausse du budget militaire allemand


25/05/2014 journal-aviation.com (Reuters)


Le ministre des Finances allemand Wolfgang Schaüble estime qu'il ne serait pas judicieux d'augmenter aujourd'hui le budget militaire de l'Allemagne, en pleine crise ukrainienne, comme le demande l'Otan.


"Quatre-vingt-dix pour cent de l'opinion, non seulement en Allemagne et dans l'Union européenne mais au-delà, verraient cela comme une mesure d'aggravation de la crise", dit-il dans les colonnes de l'hebdomadaire Der Spiegel.


"Augmenter le budget de la défense à l'heure actuelle ne serait pas judicieux. Ce serait plutôt à l'opposé de ce dont nous avons besoin", ajoute-t-il.


Les dépenses militaires en Allemagne ont représenté 1,4% du produit intérieur brut en 2013, selon les données de l'Institut international de recherche sur la paix de Stockholm.


L'Otan estime que les actions prêtées à la Russie en Ukraine devraient inciter davantage de membres de l'Otan à augmenter leurs budgets militaires afin qu'ils se rapprochent d'un objectif convenu de 2% du PIB. (Alexandra Hudson; Jean-Stéphane Brosse pour le service français)

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25 mai 2014 7 25 /05 /mai /2014 17:50
Selcuk Yasar (left) and Thomas Homberg (right) signing the MoU on 70 mm guided rockets.

Selcuk Yasar (left) and Thomas Homberg (right) signing the MoU on 70 mm guided rockets.

23/05/2014 MBDA


MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Roketsan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a collaboration in manufacturing and integration of a 70mm guided weapon system.


Under the terms of the agreement signed at the ILA Berlin Air Show the two companies will initiate the exchange of business and technical information for a guided weapon system based on the 70mm rocket concept for the German UH Tiger. Both companies aim to provide a solution for an expected German Army requirement for this helicopter.

The MoU was signed by MBDA Deutschland GmbH Managing Director, Thomas Homberg and Roketsan CEO & President, Selcuk Yasar.

Thomas Homberg said: "The already existing cooperations between Roketsan and MBDA will be extended by this focused initiative. We are combining our competencies to jointly providing this required capability to the German Armed Forces."

Selcuk Yasar said: “We believe that with this cooperation we will be able to offer an enhanced weapon system to the German customer by bringing together the capabilities of Cirit, 2,75” Laser Guided Missile and MBDA Deutschland GmbH’s proven expertise on the platforms’ weapon management systems. We hope the result of this initiative will lead to a broader business cooperation between the two companies in the future.”


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15 janvier 2014 3 15 /01 /janvier /2014 12:50
March to The Top: Risky Opportunity for New Defense Minister

Visiting the troops in Afghanistan last week -- Germany's first female defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen.


December 30, 2013 Spiegel.de


Ursula von der Leyen has clinched the defense ministry and positioned herself as potential heir to Chancellor Angela Merkel. She's the star of the new cabinet, but she also has formidable rival in Thomas de Maizière, whom she ousted to get her new job.


Ursula von der Leyen smiles the smile of someone who made it. Relaxed, almost nonchalant, she approaches German President Joachim Gauck, who has in his hand the document officially naming her Germany's first female defense minister. Gauck gives von der Leyen a firm handshake. Von der Leyen smiles. Both turn to face the photographers.


The cameras click for four seconds, she holds the pose longer than any of the other ministers. Von der Leyen thanks Gauck. Next, she turns to Angela Merkel who says, "I look forward to working with you." Soon after, she's standing in front of Thomas de Maizière, her predecessor as defense minister.


De Maizière wants to simply extend his hand and offer brief congratulations -- for him, that would be enough. But von der Leyen is faster: She takes him by surprise, opening her arms and enveloping her colleague in a hug. De Maizière is startled, but then plays along, valiantly smiling as the cameras click away. A kiss on each cheek, then von der Leyen moves on.


It takes quite an amount of chutzpah to hug a man after you've just taken away his beloved job. But von der Leyen is capable of doing whatever it takes to get a good photo op, and did so at the Bellevue presidential palace, in Berlin on December 17, when she was officially appointed to her new post. Von der Leyen has always had a talent for easing the bitter taste of her ambition with a sweet coating of harmony. It's a method that has brought her far.


Germany now has a new government -- it has a few surprises in store, and one of them has been Ursula von der Leyen. Not only has she battled her way up to become the first female defense minister in German history, she has also managed along the way to reorganize the hierarchy of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).


Within the CDU, two women are in charge now. Merkel at the top, and von der Leyen as her second in command. Then there's a considerable gap between them and the next in line. De Maizière, who had been all set to slip into the role of crown prince, was forced to make way so that von der Leyen could receive a ministerial post. That step fits in with her ambition and her desire to invent a new story for herself.


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31 octobre 2013 4 31 /10 /octobre /2013 18:50
NSA Blowback: German Counterespionage Pushed to Step Up

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution faces growing pressure to step up its counterespionage measures.


October 31, 2013 By Jörg Diehl – Spiegel.de


Amid the continuing NSA scandal, the German intelligence community is being pushed to do more to counter US spying. But with limited resources and a complex bureaucracy, that may not be easy.




Fragmented System


The assertion on the part of Germany's counterintelligence agencies that they knew nothing of the US' spying has met with disbelief. Some are now calling for these authorities to step up their counterespionage efforts and take a close look at what their allies' intelligence agencies are doing. This begs the question, however, of where exactly to find the staff and funding for such measures. Budgets are limited and there is already a high priority -- also a result of considerable political pressure -- placed on the target areas of terrorism and right-wing extremism.


Another aspect that experts find problematic is the fragmented, federal structure of German counterintelligence. In addition to the BFV, the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD), the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) -- Germany's foreign intelligence agency -- and the country's 16 state-level counterparts to the BFV likewise have areas of nominal jurisdiction. But these latter organizations in particular rarely have enough personnel to put up much resistance to enemy agencies.


German federal-level counterintelligence agents have tried to deal with this chaos by holding regular conferences. In late 2012, the various agencies agreed to meet and make joint decisions four times a year, either at the BFV's headquarters in Cologne or at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in nearby Meckenheim. So far, though, not much has come of that plan, says one person who was present when the agreement was reached.




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21 avril 2013 7 21 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
After ISAF: Germany Commits Troops for Post-2014 Mission

German soldiers in Afghanistan: Will other countries follow Germany's example after most Western troops withdraw?


April 19, 2013 – By Matthias Gebauer - spiegel.de


In a surprise move, Germany's government announced on Thursday plans to keep up to 800 military trainers in Afghanistan after NATO combat troops withdraw in 2014. Though perhaps bold and symbolic, the move is also tactical in terms of upcoming elections.


For some time now, the secrecy adopted by the German government on anything related to the country's deployment in Afghanistan has been so extreme that it sometimes borders on the conspiratorial. The government is stating very little publicly, and its decisions appear to be tightly choreographed.


Given these circumstances, an almost hour-long meeting around noon on Thursday between Chancellor Angela Merkel, Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Development Minister Dirk Niebel at the Chancellery in Berlin seemed almost like a state secret. Not a single one of the ministers wanted to even confirm that the meeting had taken place. When pressed by journalists, they only revealed that they would make an important announcement about Afghanistan in the afternoon.


What Westerwelle and de Maiziére would later announce was, in fact, astounding. Although there have been several declarations of intent, on Thursday, Germany became the first NATO country to announce its firm intention to participate in a training mission for the Afghan army after the current ISAF mission ends in 2014.


Berlin also announced concrete figures for its commitment. For the first two years after the end of 2014, the ministers said Germany could imagine leaving 600 to 800 soldiers in northern Afghanistan -- although they stressed that these would be deployed as trainers and instructors rather than as combat troops. According to Berlin's vision, the contingent of Germans assisting the Afghans would then be reduced to around 300 starting in 2017. Germany currently has 4,135 soldiers stationed in the country.


A Bold and Perhaps Symbolic Move


With Thursday's announcement, two things are certain. One is that Germany's armed forces, the Bundeswehr, will continue to play an important role in the Hindu Kush region, even following the withdrawal of NATO combat units. After the Americans, it appears the Germans will be the second-largest supplier of troops for the post-ISAF mission, which NATO has been dubbed operation "Resolute Support."


And, second, the announcement indicates that the German government has accepted the request by the United States that Germany maintain its leadership role in northern Afghanistan even after 2014. It had been precisely this point that had led to months of arduous internal wrangling in Berlin, especially given the fact that such a role would require the presence of considerably more soldiers than Germany had initially intended to provide.


The surprising naming of numbers is tightly linked to these concerns. Berlin had actually wanted to wait for the US, as the largest military power present in Afghanistan, to set the tone. So far, Washington has only hinted that it might provide up to 5,000 soldiers for the training force. Washington would like to see the rest of the planned military-training units, which are to be collectively comprised of 8,000 to 12,000 personnel, to be staffed by troops from other countries.


With Washington unable to decide and postponing a detailed plan until the fall of 2013, Berlin has opted for another solution. The number of troops it is proposing to deploy is designed to encourage smaller nations -- such as Sweden, Norway and even Mongolia -- to support the German mission in northern Afghanistan. If that works out, one could soon muster the 1,500 soldiers presumably needed for the mission in the north.


Berlin's efforts to push ahead within NATO could be viewed as bold. In recent years, NATO countries have generally been slow to commit to the framework for a new, post-2014 Afghanistan mission that was endorsed by defence ministers from NATO Allies and ISAF partner nations in October 2012. Talks on troop deployment were more like games of poker, with participants playing their cards close to their chest, than discussions among allies. Given Germany's abstention in a 2011 UN vote on authorizing the use of force against Libya, which led many to accuse Germans of being shirkers, Berlin's decision to move forward on this issue alone might also be highly symbolic.


A Matter of Precise Timing


Germany is planning to launch its bid to drum up support for its Afghanistan mission as early as this week. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will be in Brussels and Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière will be in Luxembourg broaching the issue with European partners and encouraging them to follow Berlin's lead by coming up with detailed pledges for "Resolute Support" -- and, ideally, for areas in which German troops are deployed.


But there are still many unanswered questions regarding the mission. The US has still failed to negotiate the size of its military presence after the ISAF combat mission ends in 2014. The sticking point continues to be the US demand that any American troops remaining there be granted immunity from prosecution in Afghan courts -- a demand that other countries will also make for their trainers.


For now, Washington is hoping that it can reach an agreement with Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's intractable president, this summer. Only then will NATO countries be able to begin talks. The start of the mission in Afghanistan should be a "welcome" one, said de Maizière cautiously.


Berlin's somewhat hasty announcement of its new troop deployment can primarily be attributed to the current election campaign. Ahead of the vote in September, both Westerwelle, who put troop withdrawal from Afghanistan at the top of his agenda, and de Maizière are keen to keep heated debate over any future mission out of the public arena.


They are now hoping that the announcement of a major Bundeswehr mission after most troops return home in 2014 will be more or less forgotten by the time the campaign enters its critical phase.

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