German militarism in the Middle East and Africa

This video is called Causes of World War 1 – Militarism.

By Ulrich Rippert in Germany:

German government steps up military operations

17 February 2014

The German government is fiercely promoting an aggressive imperialist foreign policy. At the beginning of the year, it declared an end to the previous policy of military restraint. Shortly thereafter, it announced plans to develop a new strategy for Africa.

Last Wednesday, this was followed by the announcement that the German Navy was to be sent to the Mediterranean to fulfill a “robust mandate”. Official statements revealed that the frigate Augsburg is to aid in securing the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons on a US vessel, Cape Ray. The use of combat forces is not ruled out in the operation.

This decision is in line with US President Barack Obama’s announcement that he reserves the right to militarily intervene in Syria. At a joint press conference with French President François Hollande in Washington on Tuesday, Obama stressed that a military option in Syria was not off the table.

At the same time, Berlin is toughening its foreign policy offensive in the Ukraine. In his first official visit to Moscow last week, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Social Democratic Party, SPD) warned the Russian government against escalating the Ukrainian power struggle. “Nobody should seek to ignite the fuse to that powder keg”, said Steinmeier.

In fact, Berlin itself is fanning the flames of conflict in Ukraine. It supports the opposition and co-operates closely with Vitali Klitschko and his UDAR party, which is strongly supported by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Via the Adenauer Foundation, the German foreign ministry also has links to Oleh Tyahnibok, chairman of the far-right anti-Semitic Svoboda party.

The foreign policy offensive for more robust Bundeswehr (German army) operations abroad are high on the agenda of the first meeting of the CDU-SPD coalition committee early next week. Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) and Development Minister Gerd Müller (Christian Social Union, CSU) will meet afterwards to discuss details and coordinate procedures.

Foreign office spokesman Martin Schäfer emphasised that a future focal point of the new foreign policy will be Africa. He added that a new Africa strategy was overdue, but its deliberation and development had been underway in the interior ministry for a long time. “Africa is much more than a continent of crises. There are also a lot of opportunities there”, said Schäfer, adding: “Several African countries show growth rates that are significantly higher than those in the European Union.”

Schäfer went on to say that Germany wanted to significantly expand economic cooperation with a number of African countries. He revealed that the German economy is looking to profit from both the market opportunities and natural resources available in Africa. However, the foreign office prefers to keep its own interests in the background, claiming that it is mainly motivated by humanitarian and security concerns. Schäfer said the goals of German “economic support” were to stabilise African countries and avoid further conflicts.

Immediately after the Munich Security Conference two weeks ago, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen travelled to Senegal and Mali to announce the expansion of the Bundeswehr’s training contingent in Mali from 180 to 250 soldiers.

During her visit to barracks on the Niger River, where a vanguard battalion of approximately 100 German soldiers is already stationed, she rejected criticism of the expansion of Bundeswehr missions abroad. “There have been times when 11,000 male and female soldiers were serving abroad. Currently, there are 5,000 because operations in Afghanistan are drawing to a close”, she said. She declared that the Bundeswehr had the capacity to undertake additional operations.

On Monday of last week, Berlin also confirmed that there is discussion of renewed Bundeswehr participation in the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in the crisis-torn East African state of Somalia. Until the end of last year, Germany had been involved in training Somali military units in Uganda, deploying about 20 soldiers there. When the mission moved into Somalia early this year, the Bundeswehr initially terminated its engagement, because the security situation was considered to be too unstable. This assessment has apparently now been revised.

At the end of January, the n-tv news channel reported on what lies behind the humanitarian arguments currently used to propagate the new Africa strategy.

Titled “Uranium, gold, diamonds, minerals: Germany discovers Africa”, its report examined German business interests regarding the country. It began with a quotation from Wolfgang Ischinger, who heads the Munich Security Conference. Ischinger said Germany had a lot of catching up to do and “Africa should not be left to the Chinese.”

This 2013 video is about the UK and France waging war ‘for democracy’ only in countries with gas, oil and gold.

Another video used to say about itself:

The War on Mali. What you Should Know: Uranium, Gold, Petroleum and Diamonds

31 Jan 2013

Mali‘s natural resources

Gold: Mali: Africa’s third largest gold producer with large scale exploration ongoing. Mali has been famous for its gold since the days of the great Malian empire and the pilgrimage to Mecca of the Emperor Kankou Moussa in 1324, on his caravan he carried more than 8 tonnes of gold! Mali has therefore been traditionally a mining country for over half a millennium.

Mali currently has seven operating gold mines which include: Kalana and Morila in Southern Mali, Yatela, Sadiola and Loulo in Western Mali, and mines which have recently restarted production notably Syama and Tabakoto. Advanced gold exploration projects include: Kofi, Kodieran, Gounkoto, Komana, Banankoro, Kobada and Nampala.

Uranium: encouraging signs and exploration in full swing. Exploration is currently being carried out by several companies with clear indications of deposits of uranium in Mali. Uranium potential is located in the Falea area which covers 150 km² of the Falea-North Guinea basin, a Neoproterozoic sedimentary basin marked by significant radiometric anomalies. Uranium potential in Falea is thought to be 5000 tonnes. The Kidal Project, in the north eastern part of Mali, with an area of 19,930 km2, the project covers a large crystalline geological province known as L’Adrar Des Iforas. Uranium potential in the Samit deposit, Gao region alone is thought to be 200 tonnes.

Diamonds: Mali has potential to develop its diamond exploration: in the Kayes administrative region (Mining region 1), thirty (30) kimberlitic pipes have been discovered of which eight are show traces of diamonds. Some eight small diamonds have been picked in the Sikasso administrative region (southern Mali).

Precious stones consist of the following and can be found in:

Circle of Nioro and Bafoulabe: Garnets and rare magnetic minerals
Circle of Bougouni and Faleme Basin: Pegmatite minerals
Le Gourma — garnet and corindons
L’Adrar des Ilforas — pegmatite and metamorphosing minerals
Hombori Douentza Zone: quartz and carbonates

Iron Ore, Bauxite and Manganese: significant resources present in Mali but still unexploited. Mali has according to estimates more than 2 million tonnes of potential iron ore reserves located in the areas of Djidian-Kenieba, Diamou and Bale.

Bauxite reserves are thought to be 1.2 million tonnes located in Kita, Kenieba and Bafing-Makana. Traces of manganese have been found in Bafing — Makana, Tondibi and Tassiga.

Other mineral resources and potential in Mali

Calcarous rock deposits: 10 million tonnes est. ( Gangotery), 30 million tonnes est. ( Astro) and Bah El Heri ( Nord de Goundam) 2.2 Million tonnes est.

Copper: potentialities in Bafing Makan ( Western Region) and Ouatagouna ( Northern Region)

Marble: Selinkegny ( Bafoulabe) 10.6 MT estimated reserves and traces at Madibaya

Gypsum: Taoudenit (35 MT est.), Indice Kereit ( Nord de Tessalit) 0.37 MT est.

Kaolin: Potential estimated reserves ( 1MT) located in Gao (Northern Region)

Phosphate: Reserve located at Tamaguilelt, production of 18,000 t/per annum and an estimated potential of 12 million tonnes. There are four other potential deposits in the North of 10 million tonnes.

Lead and zinc: Tessalit in the Northern Region ( 1.7 MT of estimated reserves) and traces in Bafing Makana (Western Region) and Fafa (Northern Mali)

Lithium: Indications in Kayes (Western Region) and estimated potential of 4 million tonnes in Bougouni (Southern Region)

Bitumen schist: Potential estimated at 870 million tonnes, indications found in Agamor and Almoustrat in the Northern Region.

Lignite: Potential estimated at 1.3 million tonnes, indications found in Bourem (Northern Region)

Rock Salt: Estimated potential of 53 million tonnes in Taoudenni (Northern Region)

Diatomite: Estimated potential of 65 million tonnes in Douna Behri (Northern Region)

The Ulrich Rippert article continues:

The programme warned that, compared to China, Germany was lagging behind. Since the early 1990s, China had been engaging in a “veritable spending spree”, acquiring strategic resources and increasingly winning favour in many African countries. The secret of Chinese policy towards Africa was seen to lie in the fact that, in exchange for raw material supplies, Beijing was building “schools, hospitals and stadiums for the common people.”

The n-tv report cautioned that a new German strategy with respect to Africa should not be perceived as a neo-colonial venture. However, it also suggested that, “if Germany engaged with France, for example in central Africa, one would be able to speak of a European instead of a German raw materials policy.”

The television report went on to propose that the Central African Republic (CAR) could develop into a testing ground for this kind of cooperation. Although the landlocked African country north of the Congo is almost twice the size of Germany, it has virtually no infrastructure. Some 60 percent of the population is illiterate and very poor. However, the former French colony possesses great economic advantages: it is rich in gold, diamonds, uranium, timber, coffee and numerous other commodities.

It was also speculated that other mineral resources would likely be available in the country; these included copper, graphite, iron ore, kaolin, lignite, limestone, manganese, quartz, salt and tin. “And by no means can it be said that the Central African Republic has yet been fully explored”, the n-tv report enthused.

The “new Africa strategy” has nothing to do with safeguarding humanitarian aid, as Steinmeier and von der Leyen claim. Rather, it recalls the “scramble for Africa” that occurred at the height of imperialism on the eve of World War I—when Germany colonised what is now Namibia, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Togo. The current deployment of combat troops in Mali also serves the imperialist interests of the German economy. Geostrategic interests, like those pursued by the German Africa Corps (DAK) during the Second World War, are also part of the strategy.

A series of European Union (EU) discussion papers and meetings have made it clear that the European powers are pushing for a more assertive militarist policy. The unfolding of this aggressive imperialist foreign policy takes place amid concerns that these powers are, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, losing influence in the scramble for vital energy resources and markets in Asia and Africa: here.

The government plans to expand Germany’s military engagement in Africa. Earlier this week, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Germany would be supporting the fight against Boko Haram: here.

EU Africa summit plans increased European military intervention in Africa: here.

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