Meeting book authors in person enriches one’s own reading. This was also the case for the listeners at a lecture in Stockach on Lake Constance on 18 October who came to listen and discuss with Uwe Markus1, whose book was presented in Current Concerns No 21from 2 October.
In his lecture, Uwe Markus presented the events on the Crimean Peninsula of spring 2014 in a larger geopolitical context. The 2014 unrest in Ukraine was part of a strategy of regime change as developed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former security advisor to many US presidents, in his 1997 book “The Grand Chessboard”. According to Brzezinski, Ukraine should have joined NATO by 2014, because, if this country would have been broken out of the CIS, Russia would no longer have been a European power.2 The pushing back of Russia had already previously been manifested: After the collapse of the USSR and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, NATO had extended its sphere of influence far beyond the Oder to the east, despite promises to the contrary.3
According to Markus, NATO’s grab for the Crimea would have radically changed the balance of power in the Black Sea in favour of NATO. By taking over the Russian naval port Sevastopol, the Black Sea and the Azov Sea would have almost completely fallen into NATO’s hands. In order to prevent this, special units of the Russian army landed in Crimea and brought it under their control without bloodshed.
As Markus pointed out, Russia today is ahead of the NATO states in military armaments in several decisive points. With its new military doctrine, Russia is pursuing a so-called asymmetric armament. Thus the Russian Air Force in the Black Sea was able to perform a sham attack on an American combat ship while the crew had no chance to react. Today, Russian technicians can generate an electromagnetic field that can disrupt and paralyse all enemy electronic communication and weapon control devices. The Russian military is also far superior to the NATO states in the development of hypersonic missiles.
The subsequent discussion showed the lively interest of the audience. When one participant pointed out the alleged ailing state of the Bundeswehr, the speaker replied that indeed reports in the media on the insufficient state of the Bundeswehr’s equipment defective aircrafts, helicopters and submarines dominated. Politicians, however, were meanwhile setting the course for the expansion of the armed forces, largely unnoticed by the public. And the military were taking advantage of these opportunities. The concept of “land mobility”, which had been put into effect this year, would lead to a massive increase in combat strength among the army units. In the future, six tank battalions with a total of 360 Leopard 2 main battle tanks in the A6M and A7V versions will be available. Uwe Markus pointed out that all this information could be found in publicly accessible sources.4 By referring to his book “Aufmarschgebiet Baltikum” (Deployment Area Baltic States) he once again made it clear that the plans for a deployment area in the east had reached a frightening scale.
At the end of the evening, all participants were aware that we are living in explosive times in Central Europe today. It was obvious that those who are now seriously thinking about being able to wage a nuclear war are playing with the idea of destroying Central Europe! It is precisely this geographical area that would once again be the battlefield.
To prevent this should be an incentive for all alert contemporaries not to slacken in their peace activities and educational efforts.
1 Dr Uwe Markus, born 1958, former lieutenant of the [East German] NVA, received his PhD in sociology after leaving the NVA, worked as a project manager in a commercial market and social research institute, today freelance management consultant and lecturer in adult education.
2 “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski, “The Grand Chessboard” (1997), page 24, „Somewhere between 2005 and 2010, especially if in the meantime the country has made significant progress in its domestic reforms and has succeeded in becoming more evidently identified as a Central European country, should become ready for serious negotiations with both the EU and NATO” (ibid, page 44), “Although initially the West, especially the United States, had been tardy in recognizing the geopolitical importance of a separate Ukrainian state, by the mid-1990s both America and Germany had become strong backers of Kiev’s separate identity.” (ibid, page 58).
3 For further reading and for a study of the sources, please refer to the book by Ralf Rudolph and Uwe Markus: Aufmarschgebiet Baltikum, 2018, here in particular the chapter “Wortbruch” (breach of word), pages 9 to 19
4 Klos, Dietmar. Die «Strategie der Reserve auf der Zielgeraden» and «Mobilität der Landstreitkräfte» in: Europäische Sicherheit & Technik 9/2019, pages 38–40 and 82–87
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