BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel discovered in 2013 that the National Security Agency had been snooping on her countrymen, and even tapping her own cellphone, through the media leaks by former agency contractor Edward Snowden. Soon after, she famously remarked, “Spying between friends, that’s just not done.”
Now, in something of an ironic twist, Germany is coming to terms with its own spy agency’s surveillance tactics and cooperation with the NSA. Continue reading
Image: Flickr/UK Ministry of Defense
In Germany, defence and military policy is rarely a subject of great interest to the general public. The pacifist mainstream view and the “friendly disinterest” in the Bundeswehr means that military matters are seldom discussed in detail by the general media.
There is one military topic, however, which has been discussed repeatedly and heatedly over the last few years: whether the German Bundeswehr should procure armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called ‘drones’.
The Bundeswehr has been using drones – the unarmed types – since the 1970s and, until recently, had five different UAV models in use in Afghanistan. German firms produce smaller military surveillance UAVs and sell them to both the Bundeswehr as well as abroad. Until recently, however, the general public did not show a particular interest in these aircraft. Continue reading
It’s not that Putin is so strong, it’s that the world is weak. Putin’s recent actions have been nothing less than outrageous, but that’s because he can see that weakness very clearly
Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, the evidence for that weakness goes on and on. The U.S. and Europe compete to see who initiates more sterile discussions in the U.N. or other useless international organizations. Putin can see the big picture and acts on it. The atmoshpere of “Russia can do anything” peaked two days ago.
The leading anchor of Russia’s national TV station described Russia as the only country that can turn the U.S. into “radioactive ash” – a comment which led to increased tension between the two in light of recent events in the Crimean Peninsula.
“Russia is the only country in the world who can really turn the U.S. into radioactive ash,” said Dmitry Kisliyov in his weekly report on the Rossiya 1 TV channel. He argued that America and Barack Obama are afraid of Putin and Russia in light of the Ukraine sitation. Continue reading