Who is the aggressor?

NATO and Russia with a view to Germany and Ukraine

by Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Jochen Scholz, Berlin

The propaganda in the German mainstream press about aggressive Russia is now adopted by many in German politics and society. At best, this shows complete cluelessness. This also applies to the question of why relations between Germany and the Russian Federation are now so desolate. It is therefore necessary to clarify what to make of the military threat to Ukraine posed by Russian troops, as claimed by NATO – just now again at its meeting in Riga – and as recently expressed by the German Lieutenant General (ret.) Brauss.1 Brauss was NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Force Planning from 2013 to July 2018. Today, he is a “Senior Associate Fellow at DGAP (German Council on Foreign Relations), working in the fields of European security and defense, NATO development, and NATO-EU cooperation.”2

Looking at the facts, one can only be amazed at the vehemence with which Russia is held responsible for the security situation in Eastern Europe. One should never forget to ask the question what is action and what is reaction, and above all not to confuse the both.

Promises of the NATO states ...

Here are a few references to such historical facts:

  1. The telephone conversation between President Bush and Chancellor Kohl in May 1990.3
  2. The promised implementation (transformarion of NATO into a consultative body) at the following NATO summit in London.4
  3. The Charter of Paris in the same year.5
  4. And what happened next? With the Wolfowitz Doctrine, also known as the “No-Rivals-Plan”, all agreements were turned into their opposite.6

All further strategy documents since that time have gone in the direction taken at that time.

… and yet NATO eastward expansion

NATO’s eastward expansion today sees the alliance on the Russian border. Former US Ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock, who participated in all the reunification negotiations in Moscow, commented, quote: “I’m sure if Bush had been reelected and Gorbachev had remained president of the USSR, there would have been no NATO expansion during their tenure. There was no way to commit successors, and when Gorbachev was deposed and the USSR broke apart, their arrangements became moot.”7

US-Neocons and the “Project for the New American Century”

The essence of NATO’s eastward expansion was and still is evident from the letter from Willy Wimmer, former State Secretary in the German Ministry of Defence and in 2000 Vice-Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, to then-Chancellor Schröder.8 He discusses the contents of the Bratislava conference in 2000, which was held on behalf of the State Department by the American Enterprise Institute, whose working group “Project for the New American Century”9 published the strategy paper “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”10 a few months later, to which only neocons contributed. Ten individuals from the working group served in the George W. Bush administration beginning in 2001, including Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz. The implementation of the Bratislava intentions occurred in 2002, and NATO was expanded to include the three Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Slovakia.

Preventing German-Russian coexistence …

Fifteen years after Bratislava, George Friedman, then head of the private intelligence agency STRATFOR, gives a talk at a Chicago think tank, puts on a slide (see map) in the subsequent press conference and declares as a constant goal of American foreign policy to prevent a prosperous German-Russian coexistence.11

… and “containment” as in the Cold War

A year earlier, Friedman had already used the graphic in a STRATFOR article12 under the title “The new containment”, thus reactivating the name for the strategy of containing the Soviet Union, the Truman Doctrine13 which marked the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.
  In this respect, one can imagine that after President Putin’s 2001 speech in the German Bundestag14 all alarm bells went off on the other side of the Atlantic.
  Friedman’s remarks could be called Continuity of History and Strategy, in reference to another term (Continuity of Government) The anti-Russia propaganda complains about the development of Russian hypersonic missiles. Well, who unilaterally terminated the ABM Treaty in 2001 and at the same time started to deploy the AEGIS missile defence system in Eastern Europe and on ships? Should Russia have stood by, exposed itself to the US blackmail calculus? A calculus that US political scientists Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press describe as follows on page 22 of an analysis as follows,15 which also appeared in the leading US foreign policy journal Foreign Affairs:

“Although both criticisms are cogent, even a limited missile shield could be a powerful complement to the offensive capabilities of US nuclear forces. Russia has approximately 3,500 strategic nuclear warheads today, but if the United States struck before Russian forces were alerted, Russia would be lucky if a half-dozen warheads survived. A functioning missile defense system could conceivably destroy six warheads. Furthermore, the problem of differentiating warheads from decoys becomes less important if only a handful of surviving enemy warheads and decoys are left to intercept. Facing a small number of incoming warheads and decoys, US interceptors could simply target them all.”

US missile system to neutralise Russian second-strike capability

To the point: Neutralising Russia’s second-strike capability through the missile defence system. When the two authors presented their 2006 study at the Einstein Forum in Potsdam in 2007, not a single journalist from our major national newspapers was present.

Plans of conquest by the Ukrainian government

A leap into the year 2021, as far as Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border are concerned.
  Do you know this decree of the National Security Council of Ukraine from March 2021?16

“On the strategy of evacuation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
  In accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine’, the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, having considered the draft Strategy of de-occupation and reintegration of the Timorese occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, has decided:

  1. recommendation of the draft strategy for de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

  2. requesting the President of Ukraine to approve the Strategy for Deconcentration and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.

  3. the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to develop and approve within three months a plan of measures for the implementation of the strategy for the evacuation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council
O. Danilov.”

Russia should not be allowed to react to this, especially since one can be sure that such decisions are not made in Ukraine without Washington’s and London’s approval or acquiescence?

Transatlantic one-size-fits-all sauce

I could go on citing a plethora of documents that refute your claims of Russia’s aggression. I also recommend reading Horst Teltschik’s book “Russian Roulette” and reading Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book “The Grand Chessboard”; then it will become clear why things have turned out the way Teltschik laments.
  And: Forget about reading in the “Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung” comments and articles by journalists Kohler, Frankenberger, Veser, Busse, Friedrich Schmidt, Ross, Sturm, if they deal with Russia. In other major daily newspapers, too, you will be served exclusively transatlantic one-size-fits-all sauce. The times when Karl Feldmeyer17 could still write editorials are long gone. Only now and then can one still find enlightening things in the feuilleton, as these two examples show: an article by Reinhard Merkel and one by Hans-Christof Kraus, the only German scholar who understood the basis of any US strategy with regard to the Eurasian continent.

Minsk agreements are sabotaged

In the light of current events, let us take another look at the situation in Ukraine. If it has not been possible – so far at least – to admit it to NATO, one cannot help thinking that the unresolved conflict over Donetsk and Luhansk should also remain unresolved from the point of view of some Western countries. For then a means is always at hand with which the Russian Federation can be accused of an aggressive policy. The most recent example is the failure to hold a meeting in the so-called Normandy format,18 which was planned for 11 November and for which the German and French foreign ministers blamed Russia in a joint statement,19 without citing its reasons.
  If the matter were not so serious, it could be dismissed as a farce. Foreign Minister Lavrov’s collar has probably burst. Because after prior announcement to his partners, he made the diplomatic note exchange available to the international public.20
  It is clear from it that the German and French sides had no intention to influence Ukraine to finally comply with its obligations under the Minsk II Agreement21 of 2015 (!), which is applicable international law22. This primarily concerns points 9, 11 and 12.
  In this respect, Russia does not consider a meeting to be purposeful and thus obsolete. In Lavrov’s words, “One gets the impression that this is also an attempt to create conditions for a radical revision of the Package of Measures in order to please Kiev, which has been refusing to comply with it in an official and public manner.”

The failure of the German generals

Final remark with regard to the German generals, for which Lieutenant General Brauss quoted above stands pars pro toto. Since the war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, which was contrary to international law, it has been clear that the gold-braided Generals have surrendered their obligations under the German Soldiers’ Act in Washington and sin against Stauffenberg23 every year on 20 July in the Bendlerblock24 [today the seat of the German Ministry of Defence] with unctuous words. The prospect of being retired with a decent pension is more unbearable for this group of people than the prospect of being shot was for the officer who tried to kill Hitler in 1944.
  When will these functional elites, when will our politicians and scientists in the “think tanks” understand that German and European interests must be directed toward peaceful, orderly conditions on our Eurasian continent, instead of subordinating themselves to Anglo-American interests, which want to prevent just that?  •



1 https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article235313842/Nato-Generalsekretaer-Jens-Stoltenberg-Koennen-nicht-annehmen-dass-dies-nur-ein-Bluff-ist.htm
2 https://internationalepolitik.de/de/user/24884/heinrich-brauss
3 https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/6935350/National-Security-Archive-Doc-18-Memorandum-of.pdf. Quote President Bush: “He [Gorbachev] was also very interested in how NATO might change its doctrine, and I read him Article 2 of the NATO Charter, which Brian Mulroney had brought to my attention, just to show him the political nature of NATO. I think it will be crucial that we take steps at the NATO summit to convince him [Gorbachev] that NATO is changing in a way that does not threaten Soviet security.”

4 https://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c900706a.htm
5 https://www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/189558/21543d1184c1f627412a3426e86a97cd/charta-data.pdf
6 http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/08/world/us-strategy-plan-calls-for-insuring-no-rivals-develop.html
7 http://jackmatlock.com/2014/04/nato-expansion-was-there-a-promise/
8 http://www.nato-tribunal.de/blaetter_wimmer.pdf
9 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century
10 https://archive.org/details/RebuildingAmericasDefenses/mode/2up
11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ablI1v9PXpI; The graphic shown by George Friedman from the subsequent press conference was edited by the authors for clarity with the yellow statements, the graphic appears from minute 11:10.
12 https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/estonia-azerbaijan-american-strategy-after-ukraine
13 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman-Doktrin
14 https://www.bundestag.de/parlament/geschichte/gastredner/putin/putin_wort-244966
15 https://www.belfercenter.org/sites/default/files/files/publication/is3004_pp007-044_lieberpress.pdf
16 https://www.president.gov.ua/documents/1172021-37533. It was announced on 26 February by President Zelinskyy.
17 Karl Feldmeyer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 23 November 2002, p. 1 “Das Ende der alten NATO” (The end of the old NATO), quote: “Whatever else may be said about the behavior of the German government on the Iraq issue, the behavior of the German people on this issue has also made it clear that the opening of NATO to a policy of military intervention can create specific problems for Germany. They are based not only on the Basic Law's statement that the Federal Republic maintains armed forces ‘for the purpose of defense’, but on the imprint of national history. Two world wars have contributed to a very narrow interpretation of the term ‘defense’. What may be considered ‘preemptive intervention’ elsewhere may turn out to be an attack in the eyes of the Germans – and that is forbidden by the UN Charter and the Basic Law. Even Bismarck refused to ‘praevenire’. The Germans do not need to apologise for this attitude, certainly not to their allies who were once victims of German attacks.” (translated by the author)
18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_Format
19 https://kiew.diplo.de/ua-de/aktuelles/-/2496302

20 https://bit.ly/3I7XTVk
19 http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/syrien-und-ihr-denkt-es-geht-um-einen-diktator-11830492.html
20 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandie-Format
21 https://www.bpb.de/201881/dokumentation-das-minsker-abkommen-vom-12-februar-2015
https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/05/minsk-conundrum-western-policy-and-russias-war-eastern-ukraine-0/minsk-2-agreement

22 https://www.un.org/depts/german/sr/sr_14-15/sr2202.pdfhttps://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_res_2202.pdf
23 https://www.britannica.com/biography/Claus-Graf-Schenk-von-Stauffenberg

24 http://www.slowtravelberlin.com/widerstand-berlins-german-resistance-memorial/

Jochen Scholz was a lieutenant colonel in the German armed forces. As such, he served for several years with NATO in Brussels and then – during the NATO war against Yugoslavia – in the German Federal Ministry of Defence. There he noticed that the official speeches of the responsible politicians about blatant human rights violations by Serbia did not correspond to what he could gather from the reports of the experts on the ground. Because of these lies by the politicians, he left the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1999.

 

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