Against Germany funding the army over peace

While hundreds of thousands of people protested on the streets of Berlin, and all over the world, against the war in Ukraine, the government coalition under the leadership of the Social Democrats and the Greens, which emerged from the country’s peace movement, agreed on the massive armament of the German army. This is a breach of policy and values in German post-war history and a particular indictment of the Green Party.

Joint statement of the board of MERA25 in Germany and the German National Collective of DiEM25 on the break in Germany’s arms policy in the wake of the war in Ukraine:

The government coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals has decided to push ahead with the armament of the German army, together with the conservatives. It is as if the arms industry was just waiting for this opportunity and wrote the chancellor’s speech itself. This coalition opts for armament instead of fighting the pandemic and climate crisis, favouring the start of a new (cold) war instead of a Green New Deal.

The German army has a similar annual budget (52 billion euros) to Russia (60 billion euros), France (52 billion euros) and the UK (60 billion euros). The German government is quite clearly using the war in Ukraine as a cover to now assume a military leadership role in Europe in addition to an economic leadership role. This represents an awful breach of German policy.

We support financial sanctions against Russian oligarchs, as well as the comprehensive reception of refugees. The fact that refugees from other regions and banks from other countries involved in wars are treated quite differently must be corrected immediately. We demand that everything be done to end the war and to leave the people in the region in peace.

Olaf Scholz talks about the “strength of NATO” and the “new strong” capabilities of the army, one that wants to “build the next generation of fighter planes and tanks in Europe” and purchasing new drones. This is to be financed in the 2022 federal budget via a special army fund of 100 billion euros and secured by changing the constitution. In addition, annual expenditure is also to be increased to more than 2% of GDP.

This policy is completely appalling for three reasons:

  1. Armament and threatening policies are not an approach to conflict resolution
  2. The armament of the German army is extremely worrying in historical context and very unnecessary
  3. We are facing the historically unique challenge of climate change, which we must counter with all available means

Scholz’s statements on the rapid expansion of renewable energies and CO2 neutrality by 2045 are hypocritical when at the same time a massive increase in the arms budget is announced. In addition, further infrastructure for fossil fuels is announced, building up a coal and gas reserve and the creation of liquefied gas ports.

In view of this breach and the worrying path taken by the federal government, we demand a shift away from violence as a means of politics and a turn towards a policy of common prosperity and peace. We demand:

  • No new infrastructure for fossil energies and further integration of the continent and its neighbouring regions within the framework of a European Green Energy Union
  • The development of diplomacy that unites people and a pan-European security architecture that includes all European countries. The core goals are joint disarmament, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and lasting peace on the entire continent
  • The start of a new peace movement with MERA25, DiEM25 and Progressive International

Julijana Zita, Chair of MERA25:

“100 billion euros are just pulled out of thin air to be invested in the dirtiest industry in the world, in every sense. An industry whose product is exclusively destruction, death, massive pollution and theoretical “security”. Likewise, many seem to miss the historic tidbit that for the first time since World War II, Germany is receiving lavish praise from experts and primarily NATO partners for military build-up on an absurd scale. Instead of dealing with how we can help achieve lasting peace, they are starting an arms race.”

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