To view Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg at work in parliament, on the hustings, being interviewed by the press, or just enjoying himself socializing is to see a consummate politician in action.
Bright, articulate in both his native German and in English, witty and sharp, Guttenberg is a politician for the moment given Germany’s present political turmoil. Even as politicians around him see their careers in tatters, or, in other instances, their popularity on the wane, Guttenberg seems to thrive on the controversy swirling in the current melee of German politics and to come up shining through crisis upon crisis.
Through all of the tumultuous eight months’ lifetime of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s currently very shaky coalition government, Guttenberg has managed to stick with his own chosen agenda and, in the face of all opposition, come up trumps.
Determined to raise the profile of Germany’s security and defense portfolio, and to bring the matter of German defense into the public arena as an acceptable point of public discourse for the first time since World War ii, Guttenberg has more than succeeded at achieving this goal.
He used the Kunduz bombing affair to clean house in his own department, at the same time currying favor with the troops, in particular those serving in Afghanistan. He is now doing something similar with the controversial issue of military conscription, first arguing for a shorter duration of service of conscripts, then even appearing to argue for its abolition.
Guttenberg has a clear strategy in mind in all this—the raising of the caliber and technical expertise of Germany’s professional soldiers and giving them a clear mandate to engage the enemy in foreign theaters of particular interest to German elites intent on expanding the German imperialist vision.
In a recent interview with Spiegel magazine, Guttenberg did not mince words as to the goals that he has in mind for Germany’s defense forces.
Asked how the German Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr, will look in 10 years, Guttenberg responded:
Different. … In 10 years we will have caught up on the backlog of necessary reforms. The army will be smaller and trained for the challenges of asymmetrical threats. It cannot be, with 252,000 soldiers, that we have already reached the limits of our abilities when only 8,000 soldiers are deployed at the same time. In 10 years we will be more professional, faster and more flexible. We will have the potential to deploy our soldiers around the world and still not neglect our own defense.
Spiegel: In 10 years, what portion of the military’s activities will consist of national defense?
Guttenberg: Less. The necessity of defending our borders has already shrunk to a minimum. The Bundeswehr’s structures, though, still reflect to an extent the spirit of the Cold War. There have been attempts to change this, calling the process “transformation,” but so far this has brought too little progress. I’ve created a structural commission for this reason. That seems to me the more fitting word—we need to change structures as well.
Guttenberg’s goal as articulated by him to Spiegel is for Germany to field a “highly professional, exceptionally equipped and flexible operational army.”
In his own masterful way, Guttenberg is using Europe’s sovereign debt crisis as a catalyst to ramrod through his vision for a high-tech, professional German defense force par excellence. In this context he declared to Spiegel, “It is very clear that the structures of the Bundeswehr need to be changed. The implementation of these changes is simply being sped up by the current need to cut costs.”
What is of real concern as Germany’s current defense minister beavers away at developing the most outstanding national defense force in Europe is another report from that excellent source of German intelligence, German-Foreign-Policy.com.
We have often pointed to those shady elites in Germany who wield political, economic, financial and religious power behind the offices of elected government. These are the true power brokers in Germany. They are the aristocratic, practicing Roman Catholic personalities who pull the strings behind German industry, politics, banking, commerce and the military officer cadre. Their heritage is that of the historic Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
German-Foreign-Policy.com notes there have been recent reports that among such there have been certain “Foreign policy specialists from Berlin’s establishment … discussing possible advantages of dictatorial forms of government. According to the current issue of a leading German foreign-policy review, some observers see the West as being currently in a ‘state of democratic fatigue with an erosion of democratic institutions.’ Simultaneously there are ‘diverse discussions of dictatorial powers and measures’ even if usually in terms of a temporary dictatorship” (June 15).
German-Foreign-Policy.com refers in particular to an item which appears in the current edition of Internationale Politik, considered the most prestigious periodical in questions of foreign policy in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is published by the German Council on Foreign Relations. Specific reference is made to an article in the most recent edition of that periodical by Herfried Münkler, a political science professor in Berlin and one of Berlin’s most prominent political advisers, serving on the advisory board of the Federal College for Security Studies in Berlin.
Münkler poses what he terms the key question in German politics today: “‘Is there a reservoir of legitimacy lying beyond the legal order that can be tapped and claimed to rejuvenate the elderly order?’ Münkler’s question plays on terminology that had once been used by the key Nazi jurist, Carl Schmitt, to justify the suspension of the democratic constitution. During the last years of the Weimar Republic, Schmitt [proposed] that to protect the legitimacy, a dictatorship may be necessary; [thus] he helped pave the way for the Nazis to come to power” (ibid.).
In other words, one of Germany’s foremost geopolitical thinkers is musing on whether—with democratic government in complete disarray as it is in Berlin—the time is ripe for a temporary dictatorship!
These twin trends—Guttenberg’s ramrodding through changes in Germany’s defense structure so as to enable a “highly professional, exceptionally equipped and flexible operational army” and Münkler’s postulating that the time may be ripening for a “flirt with dictatorships”—are highly dangerous signs of changes happening to the political order in Germany. Changes of a nature that should send chills up the spine of any realist who comprehends the German national character, German history and especially Bible prophecies for the nation of Germany for the very times we are living in today.
You need to read our booklet Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany and our latest, most-arresting booklet, He Was Right. Together they will explain what is actually happening in Europe’s most powerful nation today—events that are destined to affect every human being on this planet in the not-too-distant future! •