posted by Jonathan Potts at
The German people don't want their military deployed anywhere at anytime, which is convenient because since 1991 THEY HAVE HAD NO MILITARY. What, exactly, would the provide to CENTCOM in the event of a miraculous decision to help out? No more than what the Danes, Dutch and Czechs already have provided, and far less than what the primary victims of German aggression, the Poles, have donated.Please remember that the French, again, had to borrow a Russian troop plane just to get their paratroopers to Cote d'Ivoire as a lightly-armed peacekeeping operation.These countries no longer have any force projection, which strongly calls into question why the French are even on the Security Council other than tradition.In a few years, this might also be said of Russia.Not that anyone is asking me, but wouldn't it be wiser to reconfigure the Security Council to reflect actual military power and economic power, which is the entire point of the permanent membership?How about a regional agreement? Say, Brazil, U.S., U.K., Russia (for now, Poland in three years), Nigeria, South Africa, China and India (Japan would decline to join because of Constitutional requirements).At least these countries can project regional power!
I can't argue with your logic. Unfortunately, I'm guessing that the current Security Council would have to approve such a change.
which is convenient because since 1991 THEY HAVE HAD NO MILITARYThat's interesting? I guess the conscription of those 75,300 men between 18 and 30 years of age in Germany last year just sends them to someplace other than the Bundeswehr and it's 290,000 soldiers! I guess Peter Struck has another title than the Minister of Defense of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland. I guess the 1,900 German troops as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) of NATO in Afghanistan can now go home! Considering they are the largest NATO nation to provide troops for the ISAF, and provide 30% of the NATO presence in the country, I don't think that would make much of a dent.If logistics is your determination for membership upon the Security Council, which is what your complaint about the French seems to be, why don't we take the Chinese off as well? Considering they needed to use other UN peacekeeping nations to transport their troops to Liberia and their transport to East Timor was even worse with fewer troops.The only nations in the world with the true logistical support available to transport troops anywhere in the world is the US and Russia and they are getting worse by the minute.I agree that member nations on the Security Council should be changed. You might not be happy though because the Germans could replace the French using the criteria you mentioned. That’s the same reasoning Gerhard Schroeder has been using for being on the Security Council.
It's also interesting to note that despite Germany's past--actually, because of Germany's past--the German populace is much more pacifistic than the French, even though Americans associate France with cowardice. Keep in mind that it was the Gerhard Schroeder who first used anti-American sentiment--more specifically, anti-Bush sentiment--for political gain, back in 2002, and who lobbied the French to oppose the war in Iraq.
In response, I would say that (duh) being able to move your troops out of your region of typical operations would be a major factor in sending troops anywhere. While you mention numbers in the German military structure, please recall that Germany does not have either the inclination or the ability to project power past its borders, a fact painfully obvious to NATO since the very limited air war over Serbia six years ago.To argue otherwise is to admit you don't regularly study military affairs.My point about reorganizing the Security Council along regional lines is, of course, pie-in-the-sky dreaming, but it makes since. While we could never expect China to project force in, say, Bolivia, we could expect a few Red Army divisions to cross into Cambodia or Bhutan in the event of an emergency.You forgot to mention that UK has a fairly good logistics system (although not even a fraction as good as the American one), which might explain why the British won the Falklands War, and Argentina didn't. It's nice to have a Royal Navy and enough Harriers to control theatre air space.
oops. Sense. Duh.
On another note, one should add that it's odd to see Kerry crowing about U.S. troops rotating out of Germany and S Korea, which is a reform long overdue and something Kerry, himself, suggested should be done DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE COLD WAR.Of course, he also won election as a Senator from MA on the platform of freezing nuclear re-armament and stopping U.S.-sponsored anti-communist forces in Central and South America (even going so far as to travel to Nicaragua and meet with Ortega, days before the Sandanista met with his new Soviet partners).Don't get me wrong, I deplored the Contras in the 1980s, the counter-revolutionary death squads helped by the CIA throughout the region, and the arms-for-hostages diversions during Iran-Contra.But I was wrong about some of it (building nukes that were never going to be used to help bankrupt Moscow ultimately was good), I'll stand by my dislike of the brutal realpolitik south of the border and in southern Africa.That said, it is important to note that as the Americans were paying the people who killed communists in Afghanistan, Angola and El Salvador, German troops were sitting on their asses waiting for an enemy who never came. And once they realized they were never coming, did Germany say, 'OK, U.S., you can leave now.'Oh, no. They want to suckle of the American tit as long as they can. I say they're done sucking. Maybe they and the French can build a modern airforce, scrape together some armor, build a navy and at least pretend to back up their sermons.
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