From Socialist Voice, December 2006

Germany taking centre stage

The continuing drive by the ruling elites of the European Union to construct a highly centralised state continues to win backers. Kurt Beck, the new leader of the German Social Democratic Party, which is part of the “grand coalition” government, has called for a European army with a single command. He is only the latest in a long line of social democrats who are in favour of creating a new imperial army and superstate.
    Since the annexation of East Germany by West Germany the German establishment has been asserting itself and gradually claiming a leading role and gaining significant political ground in its own right. Beck stated that “Europe’s security and defence policy would have a single military command.”
    He is not the first German political figure to articulate this position. A few days previously the Chancellor, Angela Merkel, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, “I do not want to go so far as to demand a European army. We are going in that direction already. Five years ago there was not a single EU mission. Now there have been a dozen. That creates great pressure for harmonisation.”
    Also recently Joachim Wuermeling, under-secretary of state in the Ministry for Economic Affairs in charge of energy questions, demanded that the European Union play a “stronger role” in the “defence of the European energy interests around the world.” This will be a fight with “no holds barred.”
    Not alone is oil of strategic importance but the control of water supplies is also now assuming great importance. Insufficiency of water is a problem in the Middle East and northern China, the minister explained. Resources are now the subject of numerous government initiatives, at the national and international level, aimed at securing Germany’s energy supplies.
    The Chancellery Minister, Thomas de Maizière, announced at a symposium organised by the BND (Federal Intelligence Service) that German espionage service will reinforce its commitment to monitoring the worldwide infrastructure for the transport of energy resources. The BND is directly subordinated to de Maizière.
    An EU army and common military policy means EU nuclear weapons. Germany is forbidden by the post-war treaties to have nuclear weapons, whereas France and Britain have these; as part of an EU army Germany gets its finger on the nuclear trigger. Ambition for a Euro-bomb is behind much of the EU enthusiasm of the leaders of Europe’s most economically powerful state.
     The German espionage service is called upon to even more stringently supervise the global transport of energy resources. For this the secret service will co-operate closely with the private energy sector, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in charge of energy questions. This will be a fight with “no holds barred.”
    De Maizière went on to elaborate German thinking in relation to the security of oil shipments becoming more significant as, with increasing international competition, the country’s dependence on imports of oil and natural gas will increase. For German oil needs, says de Maizière, the Middle East in particular is “for a long time to come indispensable.” Iran and Saudi Arabia are the most important oil-producing states in this area that are organised within the Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC).
     De Maizière further stated that Germany and the European Union will be “particularly affected” by the expected increase in OPEC’s power, as “the USA and China have already secured a large part of the present increase in oil production from the non-OPEC states for themselves—particularly in Sub-Sahara Africa and in Central Asia.” He went on to state that “for the intelligence services this results in wide-ranging fields of operation in prevention and intelligence.” This also includes “information from enterprises in the energy sector.”
    According to de Maizière, extensive oil and gas deposits “right at Europe’s front door” are being bought up by their global competitors, for example in Libya and Norway (by the United States) and also soon possibly in north-west Siberia (by China).
    The minister’s analysis draws fault lines for future alliances, and war scenarios. Germany is planning its long-term energy and raw materials strategy. Several ministries, various working groups and numerous government advisers are dealing with this theme, extending it to include the supply of other industrial raw materials for Germany. Additionally, a “Comprehensive Raw Materials Economic Strategy” is to be announced in March.
    The question of the role of the “Rapid Reaction Force” and the EU battle groups, and Ireland’s involvement in them, takes on a new significance. The Irish establishment is now completely integrated in, and dependent on, its strategic interests with those of imperialism.
    The conflict over resources has the potential for significant competition, if not military conflict, between the various blocs now emerging—the United States, the European Union, China, Japan, and India—over future oil and mineral resources around the globe.

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