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Bundeswehr bound for Libya peace mission

The Local · 8 Apr 2011, 08:15

Published: 08 Apr 2011 08:15 GMT+02:00

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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition and opposition parties alike have indicated they will agree to send Bundeswehr soldiers as part of a UN humanitarian mission. The troops would protect humanitarian workers.

The centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the environmentalist Greens accused the government, however, of flip-flopping on the issue of sending troops to the strife-torn country, where rebels have been battling the regime of dictator Muammar Qaddafi since mid-February.

Last month, Germany abstained in a United Nations Security Council vote to authorize military intervention in Libya, which annoyed traditional allies France, Britain and the United States.

Philipp Mißfelder, foreign policy spokesman for the parliamentary wing of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung Germany had a moral duty to get involved.

His counterpart from the junior coalition partner, the Free Democrats (FDP), Rainer Stinner, told the same paper: “We are open to the participation of the Bundeswehr in a military protection of a humanitarian mission.”

Stinner said Germany’s participation would help dispel questions among allies about Germany’s commitment to the NATO alliance.

“I don’t want there to be any doubts at all on the question of alliance solidarity,” he said.

The centre-right coalition came under heavy criticism for the Security Council abstention with claims it was avoiding an unpopular entanglement in the Middle East because of looming state elections. The ruling parties performed badly in those elections anyway.

FDP general secretary Christian Lindner denied that the new plan was in any way a reversal of the previous position. He told Friday’s Passauer Neue Presse that the humanitarian contribution plan was consistent with the government’s position all along. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had indicated last month that humanitarian help would be considered, he said.

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“We are ready to accept our responsibility in the humanitarian consequences of the war,” he said. “But the Bundeswehr will not intervene militarily in Libya.”

Deputy chairman of the Greens’ parliamentary group, Frithjof Schmidt, said in Friday’s Ruhr Nachrichten that the government was “see-sawing from one position to another.”

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:52 April 8, 2011 by auniquecorn
Cool, and its only 3000 KM away, they can come home on weekends.
09:07 April 8, 2011 by Gilly58
On the bus, off the bus...and now your going to send a contingent of presumably armed Bundeswehr troops to assist with the humanitarian effort in Libya, so Frau M and Herr W, what do think will happen when they get there?
09:18 April 8, 2011 by The-ex-pat
What will happen, they will be shot at, but under strict rules of engagement, they will only be allowed to shoot back if it can be confirmed 100 % that aggressing parties have their birth certificates with them, have fully paid up in health and dental insurance, are union members of Terrorists Are Us, their library cards with them, have had a background check to ensure they were not abused as children and have both sets of grandparents with them. Then and only then can they be shot back at. I just pity any trooper that does and kills one as he will still probably be charged with murder, not to mention the compensation money that you and I collectively will have to pay out!
11:31 April 8, 2011 by tallady
I think it is a positive move to help reenforce their commitment to NATO and their allies,albeit political.
11:45 April 8, 2011 by adipk

Probably Mr. Westerwelle want his seat safe. and Govt is playing political game. Anyway its a wrong decision.
11:54 April 8, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:13 April 8, 2011 by auniquecorn
Wow, that was way to cool.

The chinese did have a good pholosophy though.
12:23 April 8, 2011 by zeddriver
I think fundamentally @way2cool is right. Although, I have to say that being moral is a good thing. But, One has to have the balls to finally say. Enough is enough. No matter how many times one pulls a thorn from the lions paw. It is, in the end a lion. And will try to eat you.

On the up side. Just think. With all the local small revolutions in the MidEast. If the RADICALS in Islam do finally establish their own country. They then would be a very easy target.
12:31 April 8, 2011 by Gilly58
double Wow, that was way, way to cool!

I agree auniquecorn, those Chinese dudes did have a cool pholosophy though...;-0!
13:06 April 8, 2011 by LecteurX
Yeah Way2Cool, that's great. When your neighbour's house is on fire and you hear women and children screaming inside, why would you bother trying to help and save innocent lives? Even when it's not your neighbour's house but rather any house btw. When you see someone dying on a road after a car crash, why would you bother to help? Just "look inwardly", it's the way to go.

That's exactly what you're saying.

FYI your post is horribly uninformed. Bosnia??? as far as I'm aware, in Bosnia the muslim Bosnians were suffering atrocities and ethnic cleansing mostly at the hands of Christian Serbs and Catholic Croats. So that's for you and your "those peace loving BS people dealing with each other". Ever been to Mostar or Sarajevo. There, people who are today in their early 20s suffered more horrors that you could dream of, and demonstrated much more courage than you will ever do in your entire life, sitting in front of your laptop, foaming with hatred, comfortably protected by Internet anonymity. Sarajevo was besieged by Serbs for 4 years with snipers shooting passers-by just like that, for Christ's sake. 1,500 children died, just like that (in Sarajevo only). Too bad we didn't "look inwards" and let more of them be murdered.

Yeah, let's do like the Chinese, let's throw 2,000 years of Western morals into the gutter to do just like them. Let's ignore what JESUS told us, btw. Oh, that was some loony from "the Middle-East" so his teachings are probably irrelevant for the West, according to you... So let's ape the Chinese, like poisining our own children with tainted milk for a few dollars' profit. The scandal is just coming back - yet again.


You've shown your ignorance. Now, please, talk on behalf of your love of money and power, on behalf of whatever skewed "values" you have, but not on behalf of "the West", whose true Christian values have nothing to do with yours.
13:50 April 8, 2011 by Johnne

character spreads like smoke, you see now? you´ve poured out your destructive, miserable,devilish, racist mind here again. So you still have the guts to call Muslims "BS people" ?? after all I´ve taught you boy?? to be tolerant and to always use that your tiny brain? MY GOD! racism is such a terrible disease. Instead of you to just comment on the article! how will you learn boy? how will you learn? do you want to be kicked out of this forum before you change you insane bigotry mentality? hmmmm? Oh God help this boy!
15:14 April 8, 2011 by Major B
@ Johnne

You were kinda of tough on way2cool but your points are well taken. Comment on the article.

Am surprised by this turnaround. As a sovereign government, Germany gets to decide what is in its national interest. Its decisions can be criticized, sure, and they do seem to be cynical. But it gets to decided and despite what the naysayers are saying, the German government has been developing its OWN path. And I for one am glad that aren't playing patsy to NATO or its allies decisions(despite what some same)

Overall, I agree with Tallady's short simple point.

And the decision definitely shows how very very weakened Westerwelle is, the man who hamstrung Germany in Afghanistan in the first place. He should go.
16:18 April 8, 2011 by Bob Hawkins
Once again Germany's efforts are too little,too late,and just enough to try and placate it's NATO allies,I think people here in the UK would admire the Germans philosophy more if they said they would leave NATO because they have problems with the military role it plays,and leave it to others
17:14 April 8, 2011 by msparida
There are so many alternative ways to make peace and avoid to war, if world wide governments really want to do so.We the people of existing era, and infront up us thousand and thousand people and theirs family members are suffering by repulsion intelligence brutality in the name of so called leadership, and we are worshiping to God (as per own community ritual) in all communities "Holy centre" for peace human civilization ,and physically and morally silence towards annihiliation and massacre in any country of world.Then what should be the moral and physical duty of world wide governments and religions is highlighted through below link to establish balance socio-economy permanently.

18:24 April 8, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:26 April 8, 2011 by wenddiver
Feel free to go wandering all over the filthy third world, as an idea it is really working out for us in the United States, but US taxpayers are fast putting a stop to this type of spending. I don't know with the areas current religion if peace and prosperity will ever come to the Middle east and North Africa.
20:34 April 8, 2011 by mintu
hey bundeswehr ! be cautious ! dont forget that you've foes among friend ( friendly countries ) too. anything extreme if found, Germany is held liable, though others too do it without having criticism. The brain-wash project made the whole world a critic against Germant. dont forget once Budeswehr was termed an extension of US 6th Army. be cautious plz.
20:40 April 8, 2011 by brigand
Hey! Wh is "B Monkey"??? I read all the comments and haven't seen any made by "B Monkey"! ;-)

Way2cool, with this kind of passion and emotion, your head could explode.
20:43 April 8, 2011 by Expat IV
I admire Germany's stance on sending troops to Libya to protect humanitarian workers. In spite of Germany's recent turn-abouts on Libya, it is now willing to put its military in harm's way more directly than those doing the flyovers. This shows a great deal of courage even if some see it as a political move.

Over the last 4,000 or so years three of the world's great religions have developed in the Middle East. While Judaism, Christianity and Islam have had profound effects on the western world, they seem to have made little progress toward creating humanitarianism in their birthplace and the surrounding areas. I fear I must agree with wenddiver's observation that there will never be peace in this area.
21:20 April 8, 2011 by Englishted
When the troops go in I hope they don't want air support ,if they do then d.i.y..

¦quot;I don¦#39;t want there to be any doubts at all on the question of alliance solidarity,¦quot; he said.

We have no doubts ,but you have no solidarity.
21:49 April 8, 2011 by Frenemy
Englishted, you really don't wanna see us go back to the days of "doing things ourselves", do you? (the last two times we did that, it took the entire world banding together against us to prevent world domination).

Anyway, if we need it, I'm sure the Frenchies will provide CAS... (not that I would trust them with danger-close missions)
02:55 April 9, 2011 by ronasch
The West should be grateful that it's enemies are busy killing each other. Note that Gaddafi is not going anywhere but the price of oil is thus makeing the rich richer and the poor poorer. Obama will probably move them to the USA where those who still have jobs can support them while they kill each other here and complain about how mistreated they are. This is not Germany's concern and Germany should stay out.
05:17 April 9, 2011 by Major B
regret the typos in previous post - quick typing

In a way the decision to "protect humanitarian missions" is profound. Wow!!! From where did this significant decision come? From forward thinking Bundeswher NATO staff officers staff officers embarrassed by their isolation and ready with a quick plan to save face? (Sorry, don't mean to cynical) From a foreign ministry with a freer hand after Westerwelle's fall? This effort will be no small thing.

CAS from the French and overall allied support isn't an issue. That is technical and can/will be worked out now that the German NATO staff is free to act and plan.(from previous comments that German NATO officers were being shunned)

The real story is can a German Army, a freshman in Afghanistan in 2001 and now hardened by the realities of modern post national military conflicts, fully prepare for the dangerous mission for which it has committed itself?

No Westerwelle/Rumsfelt "half steppin" can be tolerated on this commitment. This is dangerous and the troops must given the maximum resources and logistics. Oh yeah, we had a "smart" German American who ignored anoter German American, Gen Norman Schwarzkopf, who along with Gen Colin Powell instituted a doctrine of "overwhelming force" in modern conflicts. Rumsfelt"s decision to ignore the military and "go light" in Iraq failed. Westerwelle's limitation's in troop numbers did the same thing.

A commited effort for humanitariamn protection in these conditions "MUST" allow for the worst case.

Bundeswher, welcome back to Libya. Can a "special" Afrika Battalion be created?
15:22 April 9, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
@Major B

First volunteer, right here.
02:54 April 10, 2011 by LecteurX

Obviously you're a bloody ignoramus, your command of English is very poor, your knowledge of History is appalling and you don't even know why I'm talking about Jesus in the light of your previous post, which speaks volumes about how well you understand Christianism.

I don't need to waste one more second trying to enlighten you, you're a lost case. Keep rabidly frothing with hatred on forums, it's seems that's the only thing you're good at.

And FYI, even if the tainted milk culprits were executed, it doesn't seem to stop more of these scandals popping up every 6 months or so with another chemical in the milk...

Hey, the house of Europe is on fire, why don't you go on a Crusade to fight the infidels in the Holy Land? By all means just go, come on, stop being a coward once in your life, show us how to be a fighter, who knows, maybe you don't come back to tell us the tale, and I'm sure the world would be a better place.
22:36 April 10, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
01:06 April 11, 2011 by Ich
How on earth can anybody send troops to anywhere without getting "militarily involved"? Aren't military units supposed to "military" things? Or, are they going to help the Libyans fill out their income tax forms, or something like that? Do we actually have military units, anymore? They look kind of like military units, I guess. But, somehow, we spend tons of money and just never win anything. It just keeps going on and on because, according to our governments, it's all our fault, somehow. So, why are we fighting them if it's all our fault? Why don't we just surrender? Is there really anything wrong with just saying Gadahif is a known terrorist sponsor and he has to go? Oh, yeah-I guess we did say that. Nah, I don't get any of it.
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