Germany is moving into the role of key mediator in some of the world’s toughest problems. Just over a week after the September 11 terrorist attack on America, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder told the Bundestag (Germany’s parliament), “We must create the foundations for such a political and economic stabilization and stability plan for the crisis regions of the Middle East and Central Asia.”
This will not be an easy or inexpensive task. But it is a job that Germany is increasingly assuming in the world’s “trouble spots.”
On October 28, Germany gave Pakistan us$68 million (150 million Deutsch marks) in economic aid and debt relief. It also stated that more than $1 billion of debt owed to Germany could be converted into a grant if Pakistan initiated humanitarian projects.
Why this generosity toward Pakistan? Because that country is a vital part of the current military conflict in Afghanistan. Such “gifts” are but an effort to woo Pakistan to lean to the will of the West as this conflict with terrorism unfolds.
But why is Pakistan so important? Stratfor explains, “The heart of the problem is not in Afghanistan. It is in Pakistan. That is not just because the United States needs Pakistani territory for its military campaign or because of Pakistan’s political influence inside Afghanistan—although both of these are extremely important. Rather, it is because the Taliban cannot survive a protracted struggle without protected sanctuary and a source of strategic supply. Pakistan is the center of gravity for the Taliban’s military machine” (Oct. 25).
The determining factor, that article points out, is “whether Pakistan will supply the [Taliban the] wherewithal to resist the United States. If the United States manages to cut off that support and deny sanctuary, the Taliban’s future will be much bleaker—even hopeless. But if Pakistan does keep providing the needed resources, the Taliban could win.”
This is why Germany is working with Pakistan. It is in direct support of their goal of creating “the foundations for such a political and economic stabilization and stability plan for the crisis regions of the Middle East and Central Asia” (Agence France Presse, Sept. 19).
The critical factor in the military campaigns and in the peace process is national will. A lack of national will is what, for example, resulted in a lack of U.S. resolve in the Vietnam War. It is why the Balkan conflict was fought by the U.S. from 15,000 feet above the ground rather than on the ground, where loss of life was a risk.
For the United States, the support of the populace will be essential throughout this Central Asian ordeal. That is why the Taliban feels it can win. It is working to draw the U.S. into a situation from which extraction is difficult. The result would most likely be a weakening of national resolve, as happened in Vietnam.
Based on the recent history of the Balkan conflict, the longevity and strength of U.S. national will may soon wane. This will be the case, in particular, if U.S. casualties mount on the ground. The U.S. would then quickly find itself in a position where it desires another stable power to move in and take over where it leaves off—to bear some of the burden.
Germany has strategically positioned itself as the one to step in as the natural peace broker. As the leading nation in the European Union, it has already acted in this capacity in the Balkans, and is now heavily involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Noteworthy is the fact that the EU is also showing an interest in becoming increasingly involved in the Irish peace process.
Germany’s resolve in these matters is solid. They are working to institute a plan to bring stability to Central Asia and the Middle East, while using these fragile situations as an impetus to further unify EU nations.
Being viewed as a bringer of peace and stability adds not only to Germany’s national creditability in the field of diplomacy, but, more importantly, it increasingly pushes Germany to the forefront of the EU. This is the real motive behind Germany’s actions. Germany is positioning the EU to be the world’s next superpower, and it desires to be in the driver’s seat (see article, p. 25).
Another important factor in the Central Asia crisis is the influence and strategic location that Russia and the former Soviet Union republics hold. Russia, still struggling to survive financially, is looking not only for continuing economic aid, but also for investors in its industries.
According to an Interfax CIS Daily News Brief dated September 25, “The Russian State Statistics Committee has said that the stock of German investment in Russia stood at $6 billion as of April 1 this year, or 18.9 percent of total accumulated foreign investment in the country. … The Economics Ministry said Germany is the third-largest foreign investor in Russia.”
On October 5, Russia made a strong economic move forward when its top taxpayer and the world’s largest natural gas company, Gazprom, began production at one of the Earth’s ten largest natural gas fields. Europe is poised to supply most of the demand for this commodity, with Germany having the largest natural gas market (www.stratfor.com, Oct. 11).
The ties between Germany and Russia serve to strengthen Germany’s influence in the former Soviet Union republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. These ex-soviet nations of Central Asia are still somewhat culturally and politically affected by Russia. Germany, then, by virtue of its level of investment in Russia, may be able to lean on the Russian administration to influence these strategically important nations in their orientation in the Afghan conflict. This will be of great value as it seeks to influence the carving out of the new makeup of this region.
On September 19, Chancellor Schröder told a special session of the lower house of parliament, “We Europeans must strengthen our cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Precisely now Europe must speak with one voice.” This cry for EU unity, once a seemingly impossible task, is now well on its way toward becoming reality.
Germany, backed by the EU, the most powerful economy in the world, brings a wide array of bargaining chips to the negotiation table. Notice carefully what the chancellor said in that same speech to Germany’s parliament, “We must and we want to develop a comprehensive plan for the prevention and management of crises. This plan must be founded upon political, economic, cultural and security cooperation.”
Germany is already dedicated to, and continues to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to, these goals. This clever positioning of Germany is intriguing. It places the country in a powerful position of world leadership: leadership of an emerging superpower, the European Union—a viable replacement for the weakening U.S. as global policeman.
Germany has declared Pakistan “the priority-partner country” and is backing that country financially. Germany has a powerful precedent as “peace broker” through its veritable reshaping of the Balkans into a European Union dependency. It has been instrumental in tying Russia economically to the EU, and more importantly to its own economy. And it is working to obtain a firm grip on the Middle East peace process. These events thrust Germany into a position as a natural peace-broker for Central Asia—a job they greatly desire, as replacement to the increasingly unpopular U.S. in the field of global diplomacy.
Future of the “Peacemaker”
Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986) is often quoted in this magazine. In his later life, he came to be recognized by many world leaders as an “unofficial ambassador for world peace.” He often wrote on the prophecies that foretold Germany’s rise to dominance and its role in leading what will ultimately be a united Europe.
Even when this seemed impossible—less than ten years following World War ii—Mr. Armstrong reinforced his pre-war claims of a German revival to lead to a united Europe. “In February, 1945—just a few months before the end of the war—President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill announced the joint American-British policy on Germany. This was the solemn policy and warning for the future. Listen.
“Quote: ‘It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to insure Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world. We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces; break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism ….’ And now, a short nine years later, behold the spectacle of Washington and London making every possible diplomatic effort, backed by American dollars, to do two things: create a United States of Europe, and to rearm Germany” (Plain Truth, Nov./Dec. 1954).
In the same issue of the Plain Truth, Mr. Armstrong forecast that this still disunited Germany “inevitably would emerge as the leader of a united Europe.” This, he said, “will require some spiritual binding force to inspire this confidence—to remove these fears—and that spiritual binding force must arise from inside Europe!” (ibid.).
Germany will shortly play an even greater role in events soon to unfold in the world. For a more comprehensive understanding of these events, please request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.