Security zone in Syria: AKK on confrontation course


DThe excitement of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was to be noted on her appearance in ZDF's “Heute-journal” on Monday evening. Right at the beginning of her conversation with moderator Claus Kleber, the defense minister and CDU party leader from northern Syria made northern Iraq. Afterwards, she spent a lot of time looking over the camera.

Lorenz Hemicker

The deductions in the B-note should be forgotten in the coming days, in view of the security pegs that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer just seems to seek to beat and in the broadcast with statements to the point, which in the ears of most Germans downright brisk should sound like.

An unspoken agreement

Admittedly, in recent decades Germans have increasingly come to terms with the fact that leading politicians are calling for the assumption of more international responsibility and that the Bundeswehr is following its allies in foreign missions if their calls sound loud enough. However, until now the unspoken agreement was true that Germany on the one hand does not contribute more than absolutely necessary to such missions and on the other does not even call for such missions without having coordinated with the European partners or even within its own government.

That was obviously different on Monday. With backing from Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) but neglecting the SPD-led Foreign Office, Kramp-Karrenbauer advanced on Monday night. The fight against the terrorist militia “Islamic State” in northern Syria was quashed in view of the military offensive of the Turks and the withdrawal of the Americans. It wanted an internationally controlled protection zone in northern Syria, including Turkey and Russia, in order to be able to continue the fight against the terrorists and to be able to work for reconstruction. Why the initiative would have to come from Europe, to the same reason: “Europe can not only complain about what is happening in the region and give no answers.”

This broke Kramp-Karrenbauer with the restrained line of German Syria policy. Anyone who wanted to, could assess this step as a tip against Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD), the Kramp-Karrenbauer according to his own statement informed only by short message. Maas had recently stated once again that it was too early for such considerations. Kramp-Karrenbauer sees this obviously different. For this purpose, the Minister of Defense primarily asserted her own interests. The fight against the terrorists must be continued to prevent their resurgence. This also applies to new refugee flows.

For the possible use of German soldiers Kramp-Karrenbauer referred to the German Bundestag, which must be above. But the Bundeswehr will always provide what the policy demands of her. So far, the German armed forces are only phased in with reconnaissance aircraft and a tanker in Syrian airspace as part of Operation “Inherent Resolve”.

Kramp-Karrenbauer will present further details of her proposal at the meeting of NATO defense ministers on Thursday and Friday in Brussels. On ZDF she already showed that she considers a common approach with the British and French essential. She also referred to the German-French Defense Council. In addition, Chancellor Merkel plans to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The criticism of the thrust of the CDU party chairman was not long in coming. The Foreign Office sees discussion, reported the German press agency on Tuesday morning with reference to information from the resort. The SPD chairman in the defense committee Fritz Felgentreu said on Deutschlandfunk that the proposal had not been coordinated with the Social Democrats. The foreign policy spokesman of the Greens, Omid Nouripour, accused Kramp-Karrenbauer to contradict Maas. So they disavowed with unacknowledged announcements, the reliability of Germany in its alliances and solidify the impression that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could blackmail Germany.

The top of the Union faction, however, turned behind Kramp-Karrenbauer. It has often been lamented that Germany only watches international crises, said the parliamentary executive director of the Union faction in the Bundestag, Michael Grosse-Brömer. Now it would be necessary to wait and see what the British and the French would say about the proposal.

(TagToTranslate) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (t) Angela Merkel (t) Heiko Maas (t) Klaus Kleber (t) Claus Kleber (t) CDU (t) SPD


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