Opposition warns German government on militarization

Opposition warns German government on militarization
# 20 February 2015 20:26 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Germany’s main opposition Left Party has criticized plans of German government towards a new assertive defense and foreign policy and warned over new confrontations in the region, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The senior Left Party lawmaker Alexander Neu told The Anadolu Agency on Thursday that plans for a new strategy for German armed forces involves great risks.

"A further militarization of German foreign and defense policy would be counterproductive. It is the last thing the world needs. I am very worried about this politics of confrontation pursued by Germany, NATO, EU and in particular by the U.S.," Neu said.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced Tuesday that from 2016 onwards the German armed forces, or Bundeswehr, will act under a new strategy, which would have 'no taboos,' marking a formal end to the limits imposed on German armed forces since the end of World War II.

She argued that the recent conflicts in Syria and Ukraine have shown the need to change the current strategic guidelines of the Bundeswehr, and said Germany would take more responsibility for international "peace and stability."

‘Can set Europe on fire’

German opposition lawmaker Neu warned against increased militarization of German foreign policy and argued that such a policy would not address the recent security challenges, neither in Syria, nor in Ukraine. He particularly warned about the escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine.

"We are on the brink of a new big war in Europe. If the U.S. seeks to deliver weapons to Ukraine, I am sure Russia will act. And this can set Europe on fire," he said.

Neu also argued that military-focused strategy in security and foreign policy would not successfully end the conflict in Syria, nor would it eliminate the threat by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

"ISIL and al-Qaeda are also the products of the West, especially of the U.S. They were promoted, and now they are being fought because they are out of control. It is always difficult to fight these kinds of structures with armed forces once they become independent,” he said.