This is a German WDR TV video about sending German mercenaries to the civil war in Somalia.
From Der Spiegel in Germany:
‘Shadow Foreign Policy’
Somali Warlord Hires German Mercenaries to Provide Security Services
Politicians have reacted angrily to reports that a German firm has signed a deal with a Somali warlord to provide security services. Former members of German special forces and an elite police unit could soon be working as bodyguards and trainers in the lawless country.
For years, German politicians and pundits have been taking the moral high ground over the activities of the American private security contractor Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, in places such as Iraq. “The US government has allowed private security firms to develop into an omnipresent, uncontrollable apparatus in the war zones of this world,” wrote one German newspaper back in 2007.
That moral outrage is now looking distinctly shabby, however, in the light of revelations that a German security company is planning to supply mercenaries to a Somali warlord. On Monday, Thomas Kaltegärtner, CEO of Asgaard German Security Group, confirmed a report by the German public broadcaster ARD that his company plans to send former German soldiers to Somalia.
In a December 2009 press release, Asgaard announced it had signed an “exclusive agreement on security services” with Abdinur Ahmed Darman. Darman, a Somali warlord who styles himself as the country’s president, does not recognize the legitimacy of the United Nations-backed transitional government of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The agreement, the company said, would cover “all necessary measures to reintroduce security and peace to Somalia.” The country has not had a functioning central government since 1991.
According to Kaltegärtner, himself a former Bundeswehr soldier, Asgaard employees would provide security for Darman and train police and military forces. He stressed, however, that combat operations were not planned. He said that over 100 mercenaries could be involved in operations. Although negotiations were not yet complete, it was possible that Asgaard employees would be operating in Somalia in the near future, Kaltegärtner told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. Kaltegärtner also told the newspaper that his company employed former members of the German army’s special forces, the KSK, and Germany’s elite GSG-9 police force.
Privatizing State Violence
Several German politicians have reacted angrily to the news that former soldiers could soon be in action on the Horn of Africa. “In my opinion, this is not acceptable,” Rainer Arnold, the defense expert of the center-left Social Democrats, told the Tuesday edition of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper. He called for new legislation to “clearly limit” such operations, adding: “One cannot privatize state violence.”
Speaking to the same newspaper, Green Party politician Omid Nouripour accused the German government of not doing enough in the past to regulate private security firms. Paul Schäfer of the far-left Left Party and Rainer Stinner of the liberal Free Democratic Party, which governs in coalition with Merkel’s conservatives, also criticized the deal, with Schäfer talking of a “shadow foreign policy.”
Observers warn that German employees of the firm could be killed or targeted for kidnapping in Somalia.
German mercenaries have a sorry history. German princes used to put up their subjects for rent as mercenaries to warmongers in other countries.
The German armed forces have a history of anti-African racist incidents.
Der Spiegel suggests that German critics of US mercenary firm Blackwater should decrease their criticisms. Quite the contrary, critics of Blackwater, whether from Germany, from the USA, or wherever, should increase their criticism of those merchants of death.
However, the same goes for the German colleagues of Blackwater.
Asgaard is an ominous name for a mercenary business. According to ancient Germanic mythology, it was the abode of the gods. Germanic mythology was popularized during the nineteenth century by (anti-Semitic) composer Richard Wagner. During the twentieth century and later, especially Hitler’s nazis and neonazis tried to revive ancient Germanic religion (in a way that Germanic tribes of two thousand years ago would not recognize it, but that is another story). Neonazi skinheads often use the word Asgaard.
USA: A secret directive issued by Gen. David Petraeus empowers the US military to expand covert operations throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa: here.
UN revises DRC [Congo] ‘genocide’ report: Document detailing attacks by Rwandan and Ugandan troops against civilians toned down: here.