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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 – The German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel is changing its outlook on the use of the military with a greater emphasis on arms sales to Arab countries and military force modernization as Germany appears to be shifting from the choice to handle conflicts only through a peaceful resolution, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Analysts say that Merkel is undertaking this shift in policy that has existed since the end of World War II despite its lack of popularity with the German electorate and the fact that the German constitution – which the United States helped craft – forbids arms transfers to countries involved in armed conflict.
Over the past five years, Germany has become the third largest weapons exporter despite a culture that has forbidden foreign intervention or permitted arms sales in war zones.
Under these circumstances, it was somewhat of a stretch when Merkel approved German troops to join other soldiers under the aegis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
While Germany undertook this effort under the NATO mantle in which there are multi-national forces involved, Berlin nonetheless stipulated that the troops would only be involved in non-combat roles. However, there have been instances in which German troops were involved in firefights in Afghanistan, resulting in one case in which German aircraft bombed a gasoline truck that killed a number of innocent civilians.
This episode prompted an outcry from the German people for their troops to be removed from Afghanistan. However, Merkel overrode such calls.
Now, Merkel sees an opportunity to expand arms sales to those countries that have the cash, particularly Middle East countries, since its sales largely to European customers have diminished considerably due to defense budget cuts because of the economic crisis in Europe.
In 2012 alone, Germany sold some $2 billion in arms to the countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC members are Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2011, Germany sold Saudi Arabia some 260 Leopard-2 tanks and 100 Boxer armored personnel carriers, with the prospect for the sale of another 270 more Leopards and more Boxers. The Saudis also purchased more than a $1 billion in patrol boats from Germany.
Germany also has been supplying arms to Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, Bahrain and Israel.
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