German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

 

German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

By
Johannes Stern

16 December 2017

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Bundestag (German parliament) agreed to extend a total of seven foreign missions of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces). Despite the ongoing government crisis, all parties are driving forward the militarization of foreign policy.

With a large majority and yes-votes from the ranks of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Social Democratic Party (SPD), Free Democratic Party (FDP), Greens and Alternative for Germany (AfD), military missions that would have expired in the coming weeks have been extended by three months initially. These concern:

“Sea Guardian”: The NATO mission in the Mediterranean, in which the Bundeswehr is participating with warships and a current maximum of 650 soldiers, officially serves “the fight against people smuggling” (Defence Ministry). In fact, it is about sealing off fortress Europe against refugees from the war zones in the Middle East and Africa as well as the preparation of new neo-colonial forays.

In the Bundestag debate, SPD deputy Karl-Heinz Brunner bluntly declared the entire region was part of the German sphere of influence: “Africa is on our doorstep, a few nautical miles from Europe. Stability and perspectives for the states of North Africa—if they have any perspectives at all—and the countries in the Middle East are already in our very own interest. Failed states in the immediate vicinity of the EU would also pose threats to us. Otherwise the whole thing could blow up in our faces.”

“Counter Daesh”: In the war effort in Syria and Iraq, the Bundeswehr is involved with up to 1,200 soldiers. The mission includes reconnaissance flights by German…

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