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British Defence Chief: NATO Absolves Germany Of Nazi Past

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But even the alliance of 28 European and North American nations, consisting of three members with nuclear weapons in Europe (which include American tactical nuclear bombs in Germany) and most of the world's largest and most lethal armed forces, are not enough for Hammond and for NATO.

The bloc must expand its already existing partnerships around the world, to date with no less than 40 countries in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the South Caucasus, the South Pacific and Central, South and East Asia, to yet broader stretches of the planet.

In Hammond's words, "Both Libya and Afghanistan have shown how agile NATO can be in incorporating the contributions of outsiders." In the second instance with troops from 50 nations.

He also cited "The new Northern Group of nations, which includes Germany, the Baltic and Nordic countries (including Sweden), Poland and the Netherlands, as well as the UK," in reference to the initiative of Hammond's superior, Prime Minister David Cameron, last year to launch an Arctic-Baltic "mini-NATO" aimed against Russia.

German F-4F Phantom II fighter-bombers were deployed for NATO's Baltic air patrol in a four-month rotation ending on April 25, where they were within a three-minute flight from Russia's second largest city, St. Petersburg.

The British defence secretary praised the role of Germany in Afghanistan, where with 4,900 troops (and another 400 held in reserve), exceeding parliamentary limitations on the number of soldiers permitted to be deployed abroad, it is the third largest troop contributor for NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

He also hailed German military deployments to the Balkans, where the nation has the largest number of troops serving with NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR), almost twice as many as the next biggest contributor, the U.S. The last three KFOR commanders - Erhard Drews, Erhard Buhler and Marcus Bentler - are German generals.

NATO has sent reinforcements to Kosovo, 550 German and 150 Austrian troops, ahead of Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections because the few remaining ethnic Serbs there intend to vote in the elections of what they (and most of the world) still consider their country.

According to Kosovo Force spokesman German Major Marc Stummler, KFOR is "preparing for...a higher level of tensions."

Germany reentered the world of war in 1999 when it provided Tornado warplanes for the 78-day air assault against Yugoslavia, marking the first time the nation's armed forces participated in a combat mission since World War Two. That the Luftwaffe was deployed over the skies of a country it had extensively bombed in 1941 confirmed with a vengeance, and no shadow of ambiguity, Germany's reemergence as an aggressive military power.

For Serbs and other Balkans peoples Germany's role in World War Two is not forgotten, if it is by Philip Hammond.

Immediately following the latter's visit to Berlin, on May 4th NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen arrived in the city to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, to visit the NATO-Mission for Freedom permanent exhibition at the Mauer Museum at Checkpoint Charlie and to lavish praise on his host for, to quote the NATO website, "Germany's steadfast support for the Alliance and its missions, notably in Afghanistan, Kosovo and off the coast of Somalia."

When Germany was reunited in 1990, contrary to the George H.W. Bush administration's pledge to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, NATO immediately moved not only "one inch" but over 200 miles to the east, beginning the process of absorbing all the Soviet Union's former partners in the now defunct Warsaw Pact.

Germany has aided NATO's expansionist and expeditionary designs in the past thirteen years and NATO has rewarded it: Germany is now the world's third largest weapons exporter, its arms sales abroad increasing with each succeeding year.

Britain and NATO insist its leaders demonstrate, to quote Hammond, "the ability to generate the political will and public support for the deployment of military resources more widely in the future in support of Alliance operations beyond our borders."

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at:
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