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Maas reprimands "SMS Diplomacy": AKK's Syria Initiative: Liberation Strike or Pipe Breaker?

2019-10-22T13:27:28.749Z

TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates



Berlin (AP) - It may be a liberation for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as Crown Princess of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Or a piper, who further damaged the ambitions of the controversial CDU boss.

In the Union, their poor popularity in opinion polls continues to be of concern - after all, it is AKK's chancellor candidate. Kramp-Karrenbauer can really use a big job as defense minister.

In the end, the outcome will be decisive: Will the Minister of Defense's push for an internationally controlled security zone in northern Syria become a practical policy that will pacify the region? Or does the Defense Minister, who seems to be largely single-handedly, have to collect her plans in the end because she can not find any allies on the international stage and the Bundestag may refuse to mandate another foreign deployment of the already heavily used Bundeswehr?

Their demand has surprised many, and has offended many. Because Germany has been in international crisis situations usually ask and then the allies followed militarily - or after long debates not. Always in the luggage of German policy but: concern and words of warning. Does the AKK credo mean that one no longer wants to be just "Zaungast" in international politics, is there a fundamental shift in German foreign and defense policy?

Above all, the already shaky coalition partner SPD is piqued on Tuesday. There are many who find that in the three-and-a-half-hour session of the coalition committee on Sunday evening, when it came to the details of the situation in Syria after the Turkish invasion, AKK has lost no sense of its far-reaching plans. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) may not have been amused when he learned from Kramp-Karrenbauer on Monday that he was briefed by sms that she is planning a Syrian push.

On the following day, Maas reports that the Minister's initiative causes irritation among the Allies. "The questions that are there are numerous." And the info via a short message, he commented with the words: "From SMS-diplomacy I hold little. This quickly becomes an SOS diplomacy. "

The Chancellor was basically privy to her minister of defense working on a plan for Syria, can be heard in Berlin. However, Kramp-Karrenbauer informed Merkel about the exact date on which she would go public with the proposal at a very short notice. Asked whether the initiative was coordinated with the Chancellor's office, Kramp-Karrenbauer told the German press agency on Monday: "First of all, my proposal as defense minister and also as party leader." She informed the chancellor on Monday.

But out of the blue the initiative Kramp-Karrenbauer did not come. Thus, on Saturday at the CSU party congress she had vented her dissatisfaction with Germany's foreign policy restraint. "When do we have as Germany, and when, as the CDU and CSU, did we actually make a very important suggestion on these international issues last time," she called to the CSU delegates. "I can not hear anymore that we are worried that we look with great anxiety that we are looking."

In the CSU the words were rated as top against Maas - but also Merkel may have felt addressed. After all, as Chancellor, she is also responsible for German foreign policy in the fourth legislative period. After it has always crunched between AKK and Merkel, it is now exciting how the Chancellor positions herself to the thrust.

In doing so, Merkel is likely to be very open to the plans of her defense minister. Just since US President Donald Trump whistles for a common international crisis solution, the Chancellor is pleading for more German and European responsibility on the international stage.

The civil war in Syria has been raging for more than eight years. Hundreds of thousands dead, millions are on the run, peace efforts have failed due to international disunity. Now the withdrawal of US soldiers and the military offensive of Turkey against Kurds in the north of the crisis state, who were previously allies in the fight against the terrorist militia Islamic Stat (IS). An end to the conflict is not in sight.

One of the sticking points in the Kramp-Karrenbauers initiative is the possible deployment of Bundeswehr soldiers in the context of such an international mission. It is clear that the partners who have been selected for such an initiative also expect Germany to make a significant military commitment. Kramp-Karrenbauer refers to the Bundestag, which has to decide. The CDU foreign politician Roderich Kiesewetter has called in the Inforadio of the RBB an order of magnitude: 30 000 to 40 000 soldiers must send an alliance in the use.

Foreign missions of the Bundeswehr

Source: zeit

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