Has the BNBR policy gone insane
German soldiers to Libya?
Norbert Röttgen from the CDU, former environment minister and today a foreign expert in his parliamentary group, generally thinks that German policy often makes things too easy for fires in many parts of the world. And that when asked about the possible military involvement of the Bundeswehr in foreign missions, she is all too happy to refer to others, mostly to the USA, Great Britain or France.
The latest proposal from Röttgen is: A deployment of blue helmet soldiers under the flag of the United Nations or the European Union could contain the civil war in Libya, and the Bundeswehr should be ready to take part in such a deployment. That said the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag in an interview with the "New Berlin Redaktionsgemeinschaft". Such a blue helmet troop, said Röttgen, could form a buffer zone between the areas controlled by the government of the country in the west of Libya and the troops of General Khalifa Haftar in the east. Röttgen: "The last few months have shown that diplomacy without a military peace component will not end the fight in Libya."
Libya conference without much success
That is clearly a point against the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas from the SPD, who always emphasizes the role of diplomacy in containing the fighting in Libya. In January of this year, the German government organized a Libya conference in Berlin, which received a lot of media attention. In addition to envoys from the conflicting parties, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also took part.
Norbert Röttgen is running for the CDU chairmanship
In the end, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the participants had committed themselves to complying with a UN arms embargo and to ending military support for the conflicting parties. But the fighting has not decreased since then. The main problem remains that the fighters of the various parties in the confusing conflict receive arms deliveries from various countries. Nothing has changed in Libya.
Nouripour: "Not even the Europeans agree"
That is why the foreign expert of the federal parliamentary group of the Greens, Omid Nouripour, thinks it is a good idea to take the initiative again in the matter of Libya. But he complains that even the Europeans support different warring parties. Nouripour told DW on Tuesday: "If the Europeans still disagree on which side they want to be on, for example if the Italians are on the side of the UN-recognized government in the west of the country, while France and Egypt oppose it Forge alliances, then the question arises, on which side should European soldiers actually stand? Should they stand against each other? " Nouripour feared that the political unification within the European Union is nowhere near enough to allow discussion of such questions.
The conflicting parties would also have to agree
The SPD, the coalition partner of Röttgen's CDU in the federal government, made a similar statement. The leader of the Social Democrats in the Bundestag, Rolf Mützenich, told DW on Tuesday: "The internal political power struggle in Libya has very quickly turned into a regional proxy war that is now even being waged by foreign combatants, including Turkish and Russian forces." A resilient peace agreement brokered by the UN is currently unlikely, according to Mützenich. "We should therefore do everything in our power to support the German Foreign Minister's mediation efforts and to prevent arms deliveries."
In general, Röttgen's proposal comes at a time when foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr were probably even more difficult to implement than before. The Social Democrats have moved to the left under their new chairmen Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken, and parliamentary group leader Mützenich is also considered a skeptic of military operations by the Bundeswehr abroad. And for the FDP, the chairman Christian Lindner said in an interview with DW: "The stabilization of Libya should be a task of the European Union. That is why it should be discussed in a European context. Just talking about the Bundeswehr now in this context overestimates ours political possibilities and the empowerment of our armed forces. "
Great skepticism in Germany when it comes to assignments abroad
Whether Röttgen's advance is also related to the fact that he is applying for the chairmanship of the CDU, but has made little headlines recently? In any case, the CDU foreign expert is given little chance at the party congress in December. Now he said of his Libya plan: "After Germany's diplomatic engagement in this conflict, it would not be possible to just make suggestions and pull us out of their implementation." But that applies to many hot spots around the world. The Bundeswehr is currently doing 13 missions abroad. Almost 3,500 soldiers are deployed from Afghanistan to Western Sahara. And such missions always meet with great skepticism in the population, as all opinion polls show.
Nevertheless, it is clear to everyone involved: Without outside intervention, little will change in Libya. Since the overthrow of long-time ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has sunk more and more into chaos. Countless militias are fighting for power and influence in the North African country. Peace is a long way off.
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