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Germany exporting arms, not soldiers

Posted By F. Michael Maloof On 08/11/2012 @ 9:02 pm In Front Page,World | No Comments

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

WASHINGTON – As a result of lessons learned from Afghanistan – where Germany sent troops despite domestic criticism – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to revise the country’s current arms export control policy to allow more shipments to countries to provide stability in crisis regions, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

However, there are skeptics to the plan.

German policymakers have been under constant criticism by the German population for sending troops to Afghanistan as part of a commitment undertaken by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

With foreign troop departures beginning, Germany now is looking for ways to assist in maintaining some stability in crisis regions without having to commit troops.

A re-evaluation of Germany’s arms export policy comes despite official policy to press for human rights and nuclear disarmament.

Yet, another effort appears to be under way to push arms deals for German foreign policy reasons as a way to lessen domestic political opposition to undertake efforts to meet global crisis situations.

The export of weapons to crisis regions has long been opposed inside Germany. Even advocating a change in this policy in an effort to forgo dispatching troops to troubled regions still could cause an internal uproar.

Some of the countries that would benefit from this German arms export policy change include Saudi Arabia, which just got approval to acquire some 200 of Germany’s most modern tank, the Leopard 2A7.

Germany also is looking at similar tank sales to Indonesia and Qatar, with Eurofighters destined for India and patrol boats to Angola.

Even countries such as India and Pakistan, which have deep-rooted disputes, could receive German weapons as a way to bring about stability, according to the Merkel strategy.

The idea is that Germany would refrain from foreign intervention but rely more on allies to have upgraded militaries to defend themselves.

Analysts say there is some mystery why Merkel is linking human rights to this change in export policy. They point to Saudi Arabia, for example, which is said to be among the most repressive countries in the world.

Qatar, which wants tanks, also is known to be exporting arms to assist the Syrian opposition which is increasingly backed by Salafist radical elements. However, the tank deal for Germany with Qatar would be more than $2.5 billion, suggesting that foreign capital is of paramount importance, since Germany’s economic survival relies mainly on its export markets, including arms.

Sources point out that Indonesia also has human rights issues, as well as West Papua, where Christians are increasingly being subjected to abuse. Such a condition recently resulted in The Netherlands rejecting a proposal by Indonesia to purchase Dutch tanks.

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