German defence minister advocates German-European war policy


Munich Security Conference

German defence minister advocates German-European war policy

Johannes Stern

16 February 2019

In her opening address to the Munich Security Conference yesterday, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen declared that “the most prominent characteristic of the new security landscape” is “the return of competition between the major powers.” She followed this up by adding, “Our American friends recognised this early on. We also recognise and see, whether we like it or not, that Germany and Europe are part of this competitive struggle. We are not neutral.”

Von der Leyen’s entire speech made very clear what this means. Almost 75 years after the end of World War II, the imperialist powers are openly preparing for a new round of military conflicts. In front of over 600 politicians, military personnel and intelligence service operatives, including 35 heads of government and 80 defence and foreign ministers, von der Leyen appealed for an independent German and European defence policy to enable Berlin and Brussels to play an independent role in the coming struggle.

“We Europeans have to step it up a gear,” stated von der Leyen, who also vowed to increase military spending. There is a clear plan: “The white paper and capability plan shows how we will modernise our army by 2025. But we are also realistic,” she added. “We know we have to do more. Especially we Germans. We are firmly committed to the 2 percent goal. Just like how the federal government recently reassured NATO, and how it is included in our coalition agreement.”

NATO’s 2 percent goal, which the federal government together with other governments agreed at the NATO Wales summit in 2014, amounts to at least a €35 billion increase in the German defence…

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