Army, Parliament and Science: CDU and CSU want to intensify the alliance with the US – regardless of US President Trump. At NATO they distance themselves from the SPD.
The Union’s parliamentary group wants to expand the transatlantic partnership, regardless of all disagreements with US President Donald Trump. “We need to better experience, promote and work on the value, benefits and importance of the transatlantic partnership,” said a motion for a resolution before the meeting of the head of the Union Group on Wednesday. The transatlantic partnership is and will remain indispensable. “That is why we want to reinforce the bridge over the Atlantic Ocean again.”
German-American Friendship Day
It is proposed to greatly expand exchanges between parliaments, armed forces, science and civil society. The union calls for the creation of a German-American youth agency and the doubling of the Bundestag’s youth exchange program. October 6 should be the day of German-American friendship – in memory of the first German emigrants to land in the US on this day in 1683.
In the newspaper, of course, unlike the coalition partner SPD, the Union commits itself to arms cooperation with the US and to nuclear participation, i.e. participation in nuclear deterrence. For Germany, it remains “of the utmost importance that US forces remain stationed in Europe and Germany with strategically relevant capabilities and scope,” writes the head of the Union faction. “Not least because of our own safety, we will continue to adhere to Germany’s nuclear participation and ensure that this commitment is safeguarded by modern capabilities in the future.”
SPD demanded the withdrawal of nuclear weapons
This determination is likely to cause new problems for the coalition partner SPD – and at the same time be a deliberate delineation in view of the federal election campaign in 2021. SPD group chairman Rolf Mützenich asked about the withdrawal of the estimated 20 US nuclear weapons left in Germany , warmed up.
This is probably one reason why Mützenich questioned the armaments projects with the US. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) wants to replace some of the obsolete tornado jets with 45 F-18 jets from the American manufacturer Boeing. Some of them will be equipped to drop US atomic bombs in Germany in an emergency.
“We must remain transatlantic”
The top of the Union Group now writes: “It should remain a matter of course that we procure equipment for our armed forces in the US, just as we supply equipment to the US and always try to launch armaments projects together.” However, together with the US, tools for non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems need to be strengthened and disarmament policy given a new impetus.
The Union demands: “We must remain transatlantic and therefore become European.” Europe must be “enabled for global politics” and take more responsibility and share more burdens. For this reason, the Union is committed to the NATO 2% target.
Swipe to the US President
Trump justified his decision to partially withdraw US troops from Germany on the grounds that Berlin is under-spending on defense and clearly falling short of NATO’s spending target of two percent of gross domestic product. The grand coalition has significantly increased military spending, but is still well below the NATO benchmark at 1.38 percent.
Without mentioning Trump, the top of the Union faction also writes, “First, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic must refrain from questioning the value, strength and unity of NATO.”
Against the background of the rise of China and an aggressive power policy of Russia, the Union warns against “equality between Germany and China or Russia and the US”. In particular, a discussion is required on a common transatlantic strategy in dealing with China. “In essence, we need to work more closely with interested partners around the world who share our values and interests,” the draft said.