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GERMANY, THE RE-ENGINEERED ALLY


Part 2: Everything is bro en By Axel Brot

!ro en "a#hinery The American political class seems to have drawn all the wrong conclusions from the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union !ts leisurely stroll towards permanent global hegemony "ust did not happen Thus# frustration and the craving for revenge have become main drivers of US policies The events of September $$ focused their common dysfunctionality# but they are not its root cause !t is from this vantage point that arises the resigned and poignant expectation that the US will permit neither a stable %ussia nor a non&cataclysmic accommodation of China's rise American politics now have "ust enough flexibility to negotiate the short&term priorities of whom to put under the pressure of regime&changing demands( but the system is rigged not to reward persuasion or accommodation but toward increasing confrontation# deadline diplomacy# and grandstanding on principles that carry the load of broken credibility )otwithstanding the worthy efforts of the !ra* Study +roup or the ,rinceton ,ro"ect on )ational Security to get some means&to&ends rationality back into US policies# politics are impaired by the lack of discipline and prudence that come with the reinforcement of the imperial mind&set of official Washington by the media and think tanks Unfortunately# this mind&set is not only the defining attribute of the present administration but of both parties & and abundantly so# of the serious contenders for the next US presidency They are already competing in burning the bridges to a somewhat more patient approach to imperial policies while berating the present administration for its weakness -ifferent combinations of bombing !ran# breaking .e/bollah# confronting the %ussians# sanctioning the Chinese# s*uee/ing the Saudis and ,akistanis# pressuring the !ndians into a subordinate relationship# installing an 0accountable0 dictatorship in !ra* 1and2or taking it apart3# are on the menu of the main candidates & plus unfettering US 0soft power0 and hitching the allies more effectively to whatever load is to be pulled !t is therefore all too easy to see in the current travails of global diplomacy efforts to adapt to the implicit American choice of 0either the US or chaos0 But the lessons are not only !ra* and Afghanistan# but the failed attempts of Serbia 1$4443# !ran 156673 and Syria 1ongoing3# to bow to US2Western demands while keeping a measure of independence and dignity !n fact# looking at the last $8 years or so# at the fate of the former Soviet Union in the $446s# of the former 9ugoslavia# and of !ra* or Afghanistan# they may come to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose even in a military confrontation And since the march of empire is tuned to the racial & alias 0civili/ational0 & superiority 1of the 0Anglosphere03# non&Western elites may interpret this choice as 0the US and chaos0 !f it is their ambition "ust to loot their countries and then to set&up shop in one of the Western tax&sheltered playgrounds or to turn into sharecroppers of their countries: resources# the choice is a good one !f they are at all attentive# reasonably patriotic# and have a measure of pride# they cannot but resist it !t is# in the last analysis# also a *uestion of self&esteem and a sense of historical accountability Can elites in their right mind bear to be the butt of a sardonic witticism like the one going around among Anglo&Saxon officials# targeting the Saudi combination of immense corruption and paying immense protection money; the Saudis 0prefer to suffocate on their knees instead of dying on their feet0

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But contempt and the lust for chaos 10creative destruction03 have become the coin of the realm They are heated by fantasies of a global caste society where 0The Shield of Achilles0# 0!mperial +runts0# 0>eft Behind0# and 0The -iamond Age0 are busy cross&pollinating the imperial imagination ?ne might add that a ,entagon 1?ffice for )et Assessment3 study of the conse*uences of climate change provides a window into the darkest# survivalist corner of this mind&set and implies# in addition# an answer to the *uestions 0who is the West@0 and 0who is superfluous@0 The return with a vengeance of the 0covert operations approach0 to US international policies# therefore# has much more to do with this sinister self&fictionali/ation than with the nature of threats or the simple availability of the instruments While for most periods of the Cold War# concerns about exposure# blowback# and provoking war with the Soviets kept it somewhat under control# it has slipped the leash Averyone who can has gone into business !t is not only the White .ouse that is exceedingly liberal in its use of privateers# fre*uently retreaded intelligence and military officials who should have been disposed of out of harm's way There is the evolution of a huge gray /one of private 0consultancy0 enterprises of former government officials who parlay their international contacts with state and sub&state actors# with insurgencies in search of upscale sponsoring# and policy&lobbying groups# as well as their international business contacts & in particular with the energy# financial# arms and security industries & into business and influence ?n returning to government service# their pet pro"ects# policies and money&spinners don:t "ust go into hibernation# they are continued as government policies The merchandising of imperial policies and the mercantili/ation of military violence have become the hallmark of this strange combination of militarism and venality ?ne of the new breed of temporary# parvenu officials demonstrated its bottom&line aspect with the pithy *uestion; 0What is the use of empire when you can:t make money out of it@0 ?n the policy level# the concern about blowback and exposure has all but disappeared# except as a weapon of bureaucratic bloodletting when the hunt for the scapegoat is on !t can only operate as a restraint if a sense of moderation can be imposed and if its conse*uences have a deterring effect )one of this pertains US policies# instead# gestate in the world of the much&*uoted Belian -ialogue where a sense of impunity and omnipotence have destroyed any regard for prudence Since the tyro&days of retired Air Corce Ba"or +eneral %ichard Secord's rubbing shoulders with the cocaine mafia in order to finance the )icaraguan Contras# this state of affairs has given a completely new meaning to 0unleashing covert operations0# 0plausible deniability0# and# of course# to %onald %eagan:s famous 0boys will be boys0 mentality The more vicious side of the problem# though# exposes the meltdown of the firewalls between the branches of government# between the executive branch and Congress# between public and private# between business and government & in a witches' brew of pro"ects and interests And no government agency has the clout or the will to turn off any of the cross&married pro"ects of policy&lobbying# intelligence and black operations that ac*uired godparents in government# in Congress# or with one of the powerful lobbying outfits They may sink# perhaps# below the awareness threshold of the principals# but move they will unstintingly# metamorphosing# mutating and spawning descendents in the fetid swamp of subcontractors# public&private intelligence outfits# mercenaries# fundamentalist missionary organi/ations# security firms# to reappear someday as 0operation in place0# and thus renewing the cycle The Sudanese troubles are a prime example of how this itinerant ecosystem produces and reproduces ever increasing mayhem in weak states cursed with strategic significance But all of that does not even begin to address the destructive effects of its fre*uent connection to the underworld# of the illicit trade in weapons# raw materials# etc# or to the globally operating crime syndicates and their economic infrastructure !t is only logical that the selection of policy&making personnel seems now to follow the !sraeli# !talian# and Dapanese model# moving ever deeper into the world of clan loyalties 1the neo&conservatives are only the most self&consciously 0family&oriented0 clan3 where the distinction between loyalty to office and loyalty to clan disappears completely at the level of deputy assistant secretary

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And it is starting to infect +ermany )ot only because many corners of the +erman foreign intelligence apparatus are# by design and tradition# bespoke to US and !sraeli intelligence# and its political control mechanisms are slick even by Western standards !t is the osmosis of bad habits via the demands of Western solidarity !n a moment of unguarded candor# the Berlin correspondent of the conservative Swiss daily )eue EFrcher Eeitung bemoaned the unrestrained recruiting of "ournalists and )+? representatives by +erman intelligence as far worse than spying on "ournalists to plug leaks This comment illuminated for a short moment one of the rooms in the sub&basement of +erman foreign policy ?f even greater salience for the shape of things to come is the introduction into +ermany of the linkage of intelligence and business# and of both to covert operations A story is floating around in the international media that the former head of +erman intelligence and current member of parliament Bernd Schmidbauer is allegedly the facilitator for an !sraeli intelligence agent turned businessman who is deeply involved in !sraeli pro"ects in !ra*i Gurdistan Using Schmidbauer's contacts among the leadership of the !ra*i Gurds# the !sraeli agent reportedly secured land contracts worth many millions of dollars to give the Gurds a greater share of the 1disappeared3 billions from the oil&for&food account !t is probably "ust an interesting# albeit rather disingenuous cover&story But whatever the details# it is a fact that Schmidbauer is using his former office for that kind of purpose# and that is the message And it is hard to "udge what is worse; Schmidbauer involved in !sraeli shenanigans that connect covert operations to business profits( or a private venture doing the same The $is#ontent %ith Ger"an "i&itary invo&ve"ent Bore immediate# however# are concerns that +erman soldiers are already being sent into open&ended missions in potentially casualty&rich intervention environments & environments where American 1British and !sraeli3 policies have publicly# contemptuously# and irreversibly debauched $66 years' worth of international law that tried to regulate the use of military violence The +erman allies are running a kind of social&-arwinian selection experiment in their militaries# to weed out the conscience&ridden# the susceptible# and the whistle&blowers and to breed back the mind&set of colonial warfare against 0enemy populations0# with all the repercussions on civil society that this entails The resulting mercenary habits and 0warrior ethics0 & moral inhibitions restrained in favor of racial contempt as part of unit bonding & cannot but infect and then corrode and turn the once restrained professional soldiers into the 0citi/en&soldiers0 of a parliamentary army The more they are committed to operations in the 0war on terror0# the more they will encounter the desperate hate of those who have been exposed to the American ways of pacification !n other words; there is fear that +erman forces will absorb this mentality by participating in these society&destroying operations whose results can already be seen in !ra*# Afghanistan and ,alestine & and in future campaigns that have the potential to deteriorate into annihilation warfare The fear is not far&fetched; one might look at the doctrinal evolution with regard to warfare in the 0global ghettos0 or# by way of example# scrutini/e the strategies considered and the fervor for a war against !ran Those with legal training and some historical awareness cannot but see parallels between what is happening now and the "udicial and propaganda preparations during the run&up to the +erman attack on Soviet %ussia; imprinting on the soldiers' minds that they are going to confront a sub&human# vicious# cruel# and cunning enemy( then denying whole categories of enemy combatants any legal status# depriving others of the protections of the .ague Conventions# and limiting the protection of civilians by the code of military "ustice to the bare bones of maintaining combat discipline and preventing the army from turning into a raping# looting# murdering mob 1which it did anyway# more often than not# especially after the expected short road to victory turned into the long slog towards defeat3 Thus# classifying anyone as a terrorist who fights# or as a supporter of terrorism who could harbor hostile intent against# or support organi/ations "udged hostile to Western interventions and interests#

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wards and dependents# simply extends the +erman experience of how to create a perverted ius in bello from Soviet %ussia to the whole globe !t aims# of course# to delegitimi/e all armed 1and increasingly unarmed3 resistance to Western military expeditions and occupation# even trying to get international law to proscribe it because there is a population in the way 10human shields03 of killing the terrorists >ess concerned with finding a way around the +eneva Conventions or the "urisdiction of )uremburg is the innovative !sraeli concept of 0terrorist population0 !t "ust puts a new title over an old dictate; 0Axterminate with extreme pre"udice 0 !n the meantime# getting around the +eneva Conventions provided a challenging occupation for the lawyers of the Bush Administration They decided the Taliban were 0unlawful combatants0 & though they were the soldiers of a country the Clinton administration exercised heavy pressure on +ermany to recogni/e & because Afghanistan was a 0failed state0 Aven if Afghanistan under the Taliban would "ustify the term 0failed state0# it is useful to keep in mind that the West bears a heavy responsibility for making it thus ?ne has only to look at the textbooks and instruction material provided to the mud"ahedin by the US and its co&workers in the $4H6s ,articularly disturbing# though# is the deliberately transparent hypocrisy that does not cover but flaunts a kind of violence that elementary common sense 1not to mention a sense of shame3 would keep sporadic and isolated But there are now tens of thousands of victims of the institutionali/ed global archipelago of black torture prisons and camps They have been sub"ected by a select and trained force to the result of decades of research into techni*ues of torture and sexual humiliation# as a way# one is led to believe# of 0searing defeat into their minds0# to spread the message that there is no recourse# no redress# no defense( any resistance will "ust hasten the transition to the violent dissolution of society# of the underpinnings for a functional state Boreover# the right to kill at will outside this system in covert free fire /ones# to keep the subcontracting domestic security apparatus of dependent states on torture and assassination standby# cannot but herald the willful surrender of any credible claim by these governments to legitimacy or capacity for creating order The United States and its allies are setting the stage for the kind of massive violence last seen in the 0pacification0 campaigns in colonial Africa and Asia This time# however# it is for everyone to see & and for *uite a number of its strategists# this seems to be part of the purpose The +erman political class and the media make all efforts to keep the scale and ramifications of this system as far as possible from public debate and from itself( if it deals with it at all# then it is as the unavoidable# though ugly# battle scars on the face of Western values The contortions involved in refusing its connection to +erman military commitments and the ever more drastic# networked security measures are nothing if not remarkable There is# nevertheless# a black thread connecting +ermany to the explosion of fundamentalist terrorism# buried in files and memories that reach back to the late $4<6s At that time# +ermany sought to assure the ascendancy of !slamist right&wing organi/ations over its large Buslim community# to neutrali/e the influence of left&wing organi/ations The conse*uences of this kind of social engineering are still in evidence today# and much bewailed by the political class +ermany hosted also a substantial emigre community of fundamentalists from secular Arab countries & especially from Syria Since !sraeli intelligence had the free run of +ermany# and parts of +erman intelligence 1as well as its Bavarian godfathers3 were at the beck and call of the Bossad# recruiting among the Syrian Buslim Brothers in +ermany for a terrorist campaign against the government of Syrian ,resident .afe/ al&Assad could have been called a "oint operation Co&financed by Saudi money# !srael and its South >ebanese mercenaries trained them in camps in south >ebanon# adverti/ed at that time as the top&of&the&league graduate school offering instruction in all these interesting techni*ues which make Western life now so thrilling This operation led# of course# to serious bloodletting in Syria The survivors either returned to +ermany# possibly as recruiters for the anti&Soviet "ihad in Afghanistan# or transferred their talents directly to this new theater of Western endeavors %ecruiting for subversion and terrorism re*uires screening# interrogation of the bad apples and of the

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doubtful cases# and holding them for future use +ermans helped in the screening but avoided the other procedures 1at least# one may hope so3 The Ghiam prison in south >ebanon was used for these purposes & for torture and prisoner&breaking beyond the !sraeli rule&book 1high&value kidnappees# though# are still kept in the 0black wings0 of !sraeli prisons# also designed to be beyond the reach of the already exceedingly permissive rule&book3 The +erman connection to !sraeli operations reached the awareness of some senior +erman bureaucrats and exposed them to the meaning of 0black prison0 via Ghiam & which can be taken as one of the models for the American system The horror and revulsion of the susceptible ones had at least the effect of making life difficult for former +erman foreign affairs minister Doschka Cischer when he had to assert piously that there were 0no violators of human rights0 among the 766 >ebanese torture& and rape&artists +ermany accepted from !srael The will to ignorance that dominates the +erman debate makes it all too easy to sideline concerns about the myriad ways this system has begun to infest +ermany; via its special forces# trained in the US# !srael# and +reat Britain( or the officer exchange program with the US Army general staff college 1where its ideological underpinnings are taught in the writings of !sraeli Arabist %afael ,atai3( via the busy network of itinerant torture specialists# bent psychologists and B-s# interrogation trainers# and anthropologists The political principals are colluding with it behind the back of the less controllable members of parliament# and fre*uently against the better "udgment of senior career officials What began in 5665 as a way to show solidarity with the Americans and went into high gear in 5667 to rebuild bridges to the US# transmogrified the enthusiasm of former Social -emocratic interior secretary ?tto Schily 10if they want death# they can have it03# the cravenness of former foreign minister Doschka Cischer# and Berkel:s impeccable 0pro&American0 credentials into an ideological program to make +ermany 1and the AU3 fit for eternal war against the enemies of the West Cor decades# +ermany# like the )etherlands# Sweden# and )orway# managed to be regarded as more of a global social worker than as one of the closest American allies !ts role was well served by keeping aloof from military interventions# sticking scrupulously to its commitments# striving to coopt the moderni/ing elites of developing countries into the Western system# even at the price of high politics keeping itself ignorant of its netherworld's doings# and of sometimes diverging from US policies +ermany:s good name was a net provider of legitimacy for the West But under the new dispensation when the netherworld has become the main show and the compensatory human rights rhetoric an ever more strident exercise in hypocrisy# legitimacy seems to come from impunity And the American political class has no more patience with divergent interests# claims of independent "udgment# or 0decent respect for the opinion of mankind0 The $is#ontents %ith Ger"an-Israe&i 'ointness >ast year# +ermany inserted itself militarily into the Biddle Aast's troubles with a naval s*uadron off the >ebanese coast !ts mission; to prevent the replenishment of .e/bollah armament stocks from the ocean !t has openly taken sides# notwithstanding its sub rosa alliance with !srael for decades# thus becoming part of a problem without a solution )ot only a ma"ority of the population refuses to support the +erman commitment( it is also accompanied by the misgivings of *uite a number of professionals & for good reasons ?ne of them is rooted in the conviction that the pounding the US and !srael are inflicting on the Biddle Aast is locking the West into an unending cycle of violence -riving it is !srael's inability to consider peace more desirable than keeping its con*uests Though it would be a real career killer to admit to fears that !srael might use# or ignite itself# another conflagration in the Biddle Aast to resolve its ,alestinian problem once and for all & and# at the same time# to destroy all challenges to its hegemony & it is impossible not to be aware of this prospect !t informs concerns about the impact of the 0war of civili/ations0 rhetoric that +erman 1and Auropean3 opinion leaders are spreading in the media( a rhetoric#that can turn any moment into a free ticket for the !sraeli leadership to get serious about what it has prepared its allies to expect and what a ma"ority of its population demands !n fact# indicators that the !sraelis might limit their ambition to establishing a Bantustan&like system run by the -ahlan&Balusha goon s*uads of Catah appears to be taken by official +ermany as

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testimony to admirable and forward&looking !sraeli restraint & to be encouraged# legitimi/ed# and paid for to keep the !sraelis from 0acts of desperation0 The use of the term 0Bantustan0 in this context has nothing to do with an anti&semitic slur; when former South African premier and )a/i sympathi/er Dohn Jorster visited !srael in $4<8# Shimon ,eres# Benachem Begin# 9it/hak %abin# !srael Shamir# et al# lauded the South African system of racial separation as a role model for dealing with 0their kushims0 10niggers03 And the conservative part of the +erman political class 1especially in Bavaria# where the rather incestuous relationship between +erman intelligence and the Christian Social Union had sired its own foreign policy priorities3 was deeply involved in the strategic cooperation between !srael and South Africa Axamples include support for the Bo/ambican )ational %esistance 1%enamo3 & also dubbed the 0Ghmer )oir0 for starting the African plague of recruiting small children by traumati/ation & to WBresearch# to the illegal transfer of blueprints for a new class of cruise&missile capable submarines !n the $446s# by the way# +ermany donated several of these submarines to !srael -uring the $4<6s and $4H6s !srael and South Africa were "oined at the hips in their common fight against the kushims 1and against the still numerous Dewish communists# hated by the !sraeli political class more than the remaining +erman )a/is3 And from some +erman conservative nooks and crannies# there was always facilitation# scientific support# or co&financing available But the above&board +erman support for !srael has also a tradition of unconditionality & since the $4<6s especially & in co&financing the !sraeli ways of occupation and never holding !srael to its obligations under the +eneva Conventions -uring the Schmidt and Gohl governments it was tempered# nevertheless# by their commitment 0to facilitate dialogue0 Buch of the reporting from the +erman embassy served to gauge where and when discrete +erman assistance could make a difference in encouraging contact between official !srael and chosen ,alestinian interlocutors Under +reen neoconservative foreign minister Cischer# though# not only context had changed .e threw the principle of differentiation out of the window .e chose himself as the main propagandist of !sraeli claims that ,alestinian violence had nothing to do with the occupation but with the failure of ,alestinian leadership and institutions# with foreign instigation 1led by !ran and Syria3# and that !srael is under 0existential threat0 by a tide of anti&semitism rooted in cultural and political retardation As rumor has it# he even forbade any in&house discussion that went counter to his view of the world# valuing !sraeli 1or US3 instruction much higher than the briefings of his desk officers At any rate# 0unconditional support0 came to mean no more in&house dissonances in analysis or "udgment from the 0solitary0 interpretation of !sraeli policies# motivations# and their conse*uences The Berkel government then screwed tight Cischer:s proactive approach towards unconditionality & not only in supporting audibly and energetically last year's efforts to destroy .e/bollah# but working up toward military involvement on the !sraeli side( its precise meaning will become much clearer with the next round of war The direction of +ermany:s involvement# though# is unambiguous; +ermany colluded avidly in preventing an early end to the !sraeli campaign 1during the %ome Conference3 and left no doubt about its underwriting the !sraeli right to kill and kidnap in >ebanon at will !n addition# in a gauche effort to rally public support for intervention on the !sraeli side# Berkel dubbed +ermany:s naval detachment in >ebanese waters 1as well as the expanded United )ations !nterim Corce in >ebanon's presence on the ground3 as an 0!srael ,rotection Corce0 !t goes without saying that +ermany's assistance for !sraeli operations in >ebanon# !ra*i Gurdistan# and !ran 1in all three +ermany has a heavy intelligence presence3 has grown in scope and risk )ow# support for !sraeli pro"ects appears not any longer to be limited to coordinating policies and information# or providing +erman passports for !sraeli undercover work in !ran 1as had been reported in -er Spiegel3# or a pipeline to agents in >ebanese +eneral Security 1tracking .e/bollah leaders3 or# for that matter# to taking the lead in poisoning the initial investigations into the assassination of >ebanese prime minister %afik .ariri 1which was not the beginning but a second spike in a series of assassinations & the first one being the 5665 bombing of former >ebanese militia leader and Syrian politician Ali .obeika# who allegedly intended to testify in Brussels against Ariel Sharon concerning the $4H5 Sabra and Shatila massacre3 +ermany seems to have "umped with both feet into the

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sectarian violence game# not 1yet@3 with hits but by slaving at different levels of regional engagements to the commands of !sraeli and# to a more limited extent# to American operations !f !srael's ambassador in Berlin# Shimon Stein# had not reckoned with the domestic constraints on official +ermany's solidarity with !srael# he could claim for +ermany what Dustice Binister .aim %amon and -aniel Ayalon# !srael's ambassador in Washington# asserted blandly for the US last year; 0K even if our army should commit a 'mass massacre'# the United States will still support us0 1*uoted in >e Bonde -iplomati*ue3 !n fact# in earlier days official +ermany would have looked discreetly away or apologi/ed 0off the record0 for the !sraeli penchant for atrocities such as the Gfar Lana massacre in south >ebanon & which !srael never made a real effort to hide under its peculiar doctrine of deterrence As +eneral Botta +ur said as long ago as $4<H; 0 the !sraeli army has always struck civilian populations purposely and consciously K the army K has never distinguished civilian Mfrom militaryN targets0 1*uoted in .aaret/3 )ow !srael is demanding that official +ermany demonstrate the correct attitude against 0terrorist populations0 & and it does# in the name of the 0struggle against terrorism0 and of preventing 1O3 0a war of civili/ations0 Cor obvious reasons# +ermany's original economic support for !srael could never have been considered leverage But over the decades# its dimension and its aggregate impact contributed decisively to the fact that !srael had never to make hard choices( it subsidi/ed the built&in maximalism in !srael's approach toward its neighborhood and the pretension that its wars of choice were wars for survival Separate from the meager individual recompensations# restitutions# etc# as managed 1very badly for the destitute3 by the Dewish Claims Conference or the !sraeli state# +erman transfers up to now amount to at least $I6 billion euros 1USP$47 5 billion3 from the federal government in cash# goods# weapons and patents# another 56 to 76 billion euros in public&private partnership arrangements# plus billions more via AU mechanisms !t is not surprising# therefore# that there is an uneasy awareness of +erman co&responsibility in fostering the combination of economic dependence# foreign funded militarism and the peculiar and exceedingly corrupt nature of the !sraeli ,raetorian state The permanent state of siege and its steadily more powerful racist undercurrents have become the source of its cohesion and define its relationship to the world As anyone knows who is ac*uainted with the !sraeli debate# the old mantra that !srael will make the 0concessions necessary for peace0 if it feels sufficiently secure and supported# is good for public consumption and perhaps self&hypnosis# but nothing else Since !srael managed to persuade the Western political classes 1the most fragile and corrupt Arab regimes need no convincing3 that ,alestinians' aspirations & as well as their rights under the +eneva Conventions & are unrealistic and therefore basically illegitimate# they have become a sideshow Aspecially Aurope appears resolved to stabili/e it in limbo with lip service and sporadic shows of activism & but with hard support# of course# for those !sraeli measures designed to break the last strands of ,alestinian political and social cohesion As any undergraduate in coercive social engineering knows# destroying the social and economic infrastructure of a society to the extent that there are no more sources of independent social authority that could regenerate organi/ed resistance# leaves the field to the broken# the cynics# the corrupt# the self&haters# the fantasists# and the criminals & and inflicts them on a dispirited# disposable mass of humanity The !ranian ascendancy# in contrast# is billed as the main show And it was Cischer 1ably assisted by Crance and +reat Britain3 who took the lead in navigating the Auropean negotiating position between the American&!sraeli push for war and the need to avoid it in view of the to&be&expected domestic repercussions( between the resolve to deny the !ranian right to close the nuclear fuel cycle and to hide the bad faith of their negotiating approach Cischer made the issue repeatedly clear; the !ranian nuclear program signals the will to achieve 0regional hegemony0 to the detriment of the !sraeli & and for him# the only legitimate one & claim to regional predominance

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When the government of then&!ranian president Bohammad Ghatami offered in 5667# practically hat&in&hand# to negotiate with the US all outstanding bilateral problems & only to be refused# as he was part of the 0axis of evil0 & this was absorbed in a Auropean proposal# that offered vague promises and no security guarantees# for the dismantling of the whole !ranian nuclear complex 1including the courses and training in advanced nuclear engineering3# plus the hobbling of its missile program Through the subterfuges and permutations of these negotiations# the +erman commitment to a peaceful resolution was always highly conditional# and !srael ac*uired something like a behind& the&scenes veto on the limits of the +erman position !t could 1and can3 well appreciate that for +ermany & praised by !sraeli ,rime Binister Ahud ?lmert as the best !sraeli ally & to "oin a war against !ran would at that time have destroyed Cischer:s +reen ,arty as well as the government 1and it still might do so now3( not to "oin it would have created another trans&Atlantic rift# much deeper than the one caused by the !ra* war Such rifts have a logic of their own and the potential to deeply fracture the +erman 1and Auropean3 political landscape The +erman political class is hamstrung and duly embarrassed over the lack of martial spirit in its population But under the banner of 0anything but war 1now30# it maneuvers and waits for the right constellation that frees its hand; a Western uproar over a +ulf of Tonkin&type incident# a ma"or terrorist event in the US or +ermany# which will have nothing to do with !ran but could create the right popular mood !t compensates in the meantime with +erman overt and covert involvement for !srael's willingness not to put *uite yet +erman domestic politics to the test )evertheless# after so many aborted moves toward war# the 0war now0 party in the US may any time push the Bush administration over the brink and tell the +ermans to deal with it or even make it a test of the Berkel government:s survivability and pro&American stance Dis#ontent %ith the see$ing o( ()t)re #on(&i#ts ,aul Wolfowit/ noted with satisfaction in $444 1in The )ational !nterest3 that his >one&%anger position of $445 had turned into the bi&partisan consensus of US grand strategy; never to permit again a power# or combination of powers# on the Aurasian landmass to achieve the capacity to act as a 0peer challenger0 to US interests And it is this principle that the Auropean political elites are about to underwrite# too !ts apologetics are tried out in working& and study&groups; democracy and free markets can only take root when the %ussian state is deprived of the economic# social# and demographic resources for its reconstitution as a viable 10imperial03 power( and China# for the same reasons# has to be dissected into five independent states And all of this by the right combination of applying hard 1overwhelming military3 and soft 1dissolving elite and regime cohesion3 power These are# of course# "ust fond hopes or selling points !n reality# it is a prescription for decades of chaos and violence# with a deep impact on Aurope and Asia But even these & one might call them ,lan B & prospects may have much to recommend themselves from the American perspective# and they offer even an absolutely convincing# though difficult to pitch# strategic rationale for developing a global ballistic missile defense network !t is this consensus# nevertheless# that provides the only reliable guide to the course of US policies towards %ussia and China & and insight into the nature of the 0hedges0 against the worsening of relations be it with %ussia# be it with China# or both Since being tougher on national security than the next guy 1or girl3 or the sitting administration# is the coin of national strategy debates between %epublicans and -emocrats as well as the ultimate arbiter of the career prospects for elected office# 0hedging0 has not much to do with taking out insurance !t has# instead# everything to do with being able to initiate confrontations 0.edging0 with regard to China highlights this approach The massive building of depth into the American military dispositions in the Western ,acific# the pressures upon Taiwan to get on with its USP$5&$H billion arms buying program# the success in integrating the Taiwanese as well as the increasingly offensive Dapanese posture into American operations plans# enticing !ndia into sharpening its strategic profile against China# are sold as measures for Asian stability This is# however# everything that the hawks of the 0confront&China0 lobby ever demanded# minus the damage to US&Chinese economic relations

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These 0hedges0 are not designed to work as an insurance mechanism but as the rock slide overhanging China's continuously narrowing path between a sheer cliff face and the abyss Bore prosaically# whenever America's internal bargaining comes up with the ace of spades for China# 0full spectrum dominance0 should be in place ?r so one might think The problem# however# is the destabili/ing conse*uences of the effort in getting there The Chinese cannot but react to what they surely appreciate as the tailoring of a strategic strait"acket to immobili/e them for vivisection# ie# 0soft0 regime change Similar considerations hold with regard to %ussia The expansion of )AT? to members of the former Warsaw ,act and to the Baltic countries# as well as the anticipated one to the Ukraine and +eorgia# are e*ually sold as a "oist of Aurasia's security architecture !ronically enough# the same rationale is given for the +erman&led efforts to draw the Central Asian and Caucasian republics & and# in particular# the Caspian resources & out of the %ussian into the Western orbit !n this# %ussia's 0true# legitimate interests0 are being served because this process encourages democracy# accountable government# respect for human rights# and the non&violent resolution of territorial conflicts The tongue&in&cheek character of the 0stability0 rhetoric reveals itself most clearly in the hasbara about the 0missile shield0 installations in ,oland and the C/ech %epublic# ostensibly directed against incipient threats from )orth Gorea 1which is in the process of denucleari/ing itself3 and !ran 1whose threat potential against the US is as phantasmagorical as its supposed intentions are fictional3 They are sold to mass media consumers as insurance against the familiar 0madmen0( to the more discerning audience as not directed against %ussia 1and %ussian complaints are sold as %ussian mischief&making3# and to the more worried western Auropean insiders# in classified briefings# as a 0hedge0 with growth potential to dissuade the evolution of a greater than expected %ussian or Chinese threat !n reality# as even the more godfearing observers of US policies cannot help but notice# it is a provocative move designed to trap the %ussians into easily denouncable# but helpless gestures of protest and to put the onus on them for burdening further the AU&%ussian relationship And %ussia has no way to evade the trap; retch or spit# down it will go At the same time# it increases the political weight of America's main allies in Aastern Aurope !t provides the substance for aligning ,oland and the C/ech %epublic 1plus their Baltic retinue3 ever closer with US policies & a US&dependent sub&)AT? within a sub&AU !n the short term# this issue cannot but further weaken the already fragmenting will of the western Auropean part of the AU to negotiate 1in good faith3 a successor to the partnership and cooperation agreement between the AU and %ussia !n the longer run# the substantial American military presence these two installations re*uire# will tighten the strategic noose around %ussia's throat !n addition# if the US should really place an additional installation in +eorgia# this move would deliberately put the detonator for a US&%ussian confrontation into the hands of the reckless and irresponsible +eorgian leadership !n this context# US Secretary of State Condolee//a %ice's slip of the tongue in terming %ussia 0the Soviet Union0 is not only Creudian but a declaration of intent The Gac/ynski twins# ,resident >ech and ,rime Binister Daroslaw of ,oland respectively# also let everyone have a peek at the cat in the bag !n high dudgeon that its partners in )AT? and the AU as well as the %ussians might want to have a say in such a momentous decision# they maintained that the missile shield should not worry any 0normal country0 But %ussia# obviously# is nothing if not an 0abnormal0 country for the right&wing ma"ority of the ,olish political class; still indignant that %ussia spoilt the imperial dreams 1,oland from the Baltic to the Black Sea3 that led +eneral Dosef ,ilsudski to attack %ussia in $456# only to be defeated by the treacherous %eds( still resentful that World War !! did not begin and end differently than it did( resenting that it has not yet managed a place at the Western high table# they expect the United States to procure them# at least# a special role within )AT? 1it recently blackmailed for itself a special position in the AU3# and further down the line# a /one of ,olish influence & from the Baltic to the Black Sea & and the right of first look for any territorial bits that may be on offer if or when %ussia dissolves further 1eg# the region of Galiningrad3

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Jiewing these efforts in their full scope while keeping in mind the incessant din of media hostility against %ussia 1not forgetting the provocative mixture of subtle and crass intelligence operations3# all of this is looking less like a hedge than moving the pieces for the endgame ?ne recent report of the well connected# US&based# private intelligence agency# Strategic Corecasting# !nc or Stratfor# on 0The )ew >ogic for Ballistic Bissile -efense0# spells it out rather bluntly; 0K MTNhe US is not yet finished with Boscow from a strategic perspective Washington wants to pressure %ussia until its will# as well as its ability# to pose a viable threat completely disintegrates 0 And the %ussians are *uite aware of the vector of US policies %ussian ,resident Jladimir ,utin's speech at the security conference in Bunich# even Bikal +orbachev:s recent interventions as well as Jalentin Calin's widely discussed somber analysis last year# tell the same story They are up against the wall and have neither time nor good options As +ermany's ,eter Struck# the Social -emocratic former secretary of defense and current parliamentary whip# rather smugly# maintained; 0The %ussians would lose another Cold War0 This in response to the 0gobbledygook0 of ,utin's list of grievances at the Bunich conference in Cebruary A flash&poll# by the way# did show that a ma"ority of +ermans seems to have grasped its import and a ma"ority even supported ,utin's sentiments# in spite of the exceedingly derogatory chorus of the +erman media There is some worry that all of this might push the %ussians into the arms of the Chinese !t touches# though# the outer limits of what is considered a legitimate worry But there is the comforting notion that for such a rather fundamental revision of its foreign policy# %ussia is neither strong and reliable enough to perform it# nor are the %ussian elites ready to support it Working toward a closer %ussian&Chinese relationship & and knowing that China will turn out to be the stronger partner 1however carefully the Chinese may defer to %ussian sensitivities3 & for a measure of security and independence# would re*uire not only despair# but a sea&change in attitudes of the loot&corroded# fantasist and cynical ma"ority of the new %ussian elites As the wag says in !nfluence $6$; 09ou can always get to the elite %ussians( half of them hate Bother %ussia because ,etersburg and Boscow aren't ,aris or >ondon( the other half hate her because she spawned the first half 0 !t helps# of course# that Western intelligence and *uasi&)+?s are keeping the %ussian leadership worried about domestic stability To enrich its options# the West maintains influence also with the xenophobic right# anti&Chinese liberals# with the fighters for Chechen independence and others interested in ethnic strife games Beanwhile the 0new %ussians0 hope# against all odds# that Aurope might still come around to provide the kind of safe anchorage against hostile policies +ermany and Crance seemed able to offer in 566525667 and thus rescue their rent&funded# cosmopolitan dreams All of this is close enough to reality to foster the illusion the %ussians can be managed( it "ust needs a little less obvious contempt and hectoring and a little bit more cooperative rhetoric to satisfy their craving for respect This is more hope than reality# though & hope that will be disappointed# especially since Western politics and the venomously %ussophobe media will make sure that the %ussians are always aware of the stake which is to be driven through their collective heart There is# of course# also the Chinese perspective Those Western China analysts from which its +erman section takes its cue seem to draw some satisfaction from observing China and %ussia hands wondering whether the %ussian leadership is still in thrall to its Western hopes and whether it is not continuing to commit slow suicide These *uestions are not unreasonable %ussia is investing everywhere while it has not yet even restored its economy to the levels of $4H4 !ts industries# infrastructure# research# education# and health are still suffering from catastrophic underinvestment Since the West organi/ed and oversaw the li*uefaction of Soviet assets and their hemorrhaging out of %ussia to the tune of about USPH66 billion worth of cash# goods# and patents 1including Boris 9el/in's gift to the US of the crown "ewels of Soviet military and space technologies3# as well as tens of thousands of its best engineers and scientists# one might think it would do all to recover from a disaster at least as bad as what +ermany did to the Soviet Union in World War !!# and form a peace worse than the one of the Brest&>itovsk Treaty of $4$H But even here# Western policies make sure that %ussians and Chinese cannot but perceive the beginnings of the mobili/ation for economic warfare against both of them All of a sudden investment

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barriers against Chinese and %ussian capital appear in the US and in western Aurope There are substantial efforts devoted to coordinate the rolling&back of Chinese encroachment on the Western right to African raw materials & in the name of human rights and good governance 1which is like Bluebeard# still gnawing on his latest virgin's femur# complaining about a peasant who sullies his next lunch with exploitive marriage proposals3 And there is the hue and cry raised about the %ussian and Chinese doing what the US is doing excessively; marking certain industrial sectors as 0strategic0 The Chinese Western analysts are *uite astute observers of where their Western counterparts are coming from But educated under the all&encompassing need to gain time and strength to be able to survive gloomy geopolitical weather# the Chinese debate about %ussia and the West "ust echoes the more salient debate; whether they are able to influence American 1Western3 perceptions and reactions to China's rise# at what price# and for how long There are still those# fre*uently highlighted in Western workshops# *uoting %ussian voices about the impossibility of %ussian&Chinese strategic cooperation# referring obli*uely and with the due amount of nostalgia# to the golden age of Chinese& American strategic cooperation against the Soviets# and wondering audibly whether its resurrection might not promise another dawn in Chinese relations with the West But one does not need to carefully examine these debates Though there is no audience for bad messages# it has not escaped the attention of the professional worriers that %ussian and Chinese decision&makers seem to have concluded that they face a similar and geopolitically connected future They may expect to be able to delay or blunt it but cannot evade it The continuous Western efforts to leverage elite dissent as well as to force&grow and groom alternative elites 1with their typical mixture of venality and blind idealism3 in an increasingly worsening security environment# have hardened the conviction that they are up against a strategy to enable repeats of the Soviet collapse !ndicators for the expectations of %ussian and Chinese decision&makers are percolating through their foreign policy and military bureaucracies and are being picked up; the elimination# defeat# or terminal neutrali/ation of the one will be the beginning of the same fate for the other And they seem to feel that this is being imposed on them( it has not much to do with their choice of policies The beginnings of a co&evolution of their strategic doctrines# therefore# has to be taken seriously They don't care about facing the full range of American military power but think about how to stymie and defeat its deployment in the incipient stages of operations .ow to develop a posture capable of inflicting massive losses on US air power and carrier groups without re*uiring a hair&trigger posture seems to draw a lot of attention There appears to be even a debate about preemption With regard to nuclear deterrence# it appears to be moving toward a marriage between massive retaliation and different options of 0technological decapitation0 1ie# destroying selectively the netspace of military command and control as well as its fallback operations# plus regime and elite continuity functions3 !n order to get a better understanding of its present strategic predicament# the %ussian military has even begun to approach# very gingerly# the causes for the erosion of Soviet deterrence in the $4H6s# especially the reasons why it could not react by increasing its force readiness to what it perceived as indications of Anglo&American maneuvering towards war But whatever the scenarios for the future or the probings of the past# %ussia as well as China are for the foreseeable future much too weak to compete militarily at eye level with the West Both have to struggle uphill "ust to make their militaries credible defenders of the integrity of the state And there is almost no military backup for the political task of preventing a further deterioration of their strategic environment They can neither rely on their ability to deflect the US from efforts to control it nor could they compete for control without mortgaging the survival of the state !t is the paucity of their military and political choices that drives them together( but the need to avoid the hair trigger of American confrontation renders an explicit military alliance impractical The %ussians know it# the Chinese know it And strategy&minded Americans count on the fact that a thin mattress makes bad bedfellows But they also know that American politics are not strategy&minded( they generate their own stimuli for action After the %ussian $446s & and the Chinese $I4 years after $HI6 & no illusions are possible about the

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fate either of them should the West again gain control over their polities This plus their weakness# however# should assist not only the credibility of a defensive nuclear posture but also give the Auropeans or the Dapanese reasons to think about the conse*uences of strategic desperation Below this threshold# though# it is all coercive bargaining & be it under the guise of common interests or in the open# 0"ump# or else0 There are no common interests# there is "ust "ockeying for position and deferred hostility When .enry Gissinger and 9evgeny ,rimakov established their "oint working&group of American and %ussian elder statesmen to deal with 0the threat of nuclear terrorism and proliferation0 1as Gissinger described it3# there is# therefore# a subtext; 0Work with us regarding !ran 1or the eventual 0securing0 of ,akistani nuclear warheads3 because the first instance of nuclear terrorism could take place in %ussia 0 ?ne does not need to be of a wildly paranoid cast of mind to see the possibilities# eg# in view of the very close relations the British maintain with the Chechen resistance# and the do/ens of tons of Soviet warhead material still waiting to be reworked into nuclear fuel rods The point is# there is no need for even an implied specific message The awareness of so many fingers on so many operational triggers is *uite sufficient for the prudent assumption; 0What is thinkable# is possible( what is possible will happen# sometime# somewhere 0 !n the meantime# one has to act as if some sort of reason and predictability might yet return to the exercise of American power Part *: Hoisting the A"eri#an (&ag The +erman educated middle classes# still hung over from their half century of ideological debauche and from +ermany's role as a genocidal ogre take great satisfaction in their country's reputation as a mostly harmless global social worker They are reluctant to subscribe to an ideology of global mayhem and a 0defense of Western values0 But the +erman media are working overtime to change their minds Axel Brot is the pen name for a German defense analyst and former intelligence officer.

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