At the invitation of the commander of Flotilla 2 – in German “Einsatzflottille”, literally operational flotilla –, Flotilla Admiral Axel Schulz (right), Professor Klaus Schweinsberg visited the naval base in Wilhelmshaven on January 31, 2023. Flotilla 2 is the largest combat unit of the German Navy; it participates with its units in maneuvers such as Northern Coast, Heimdall or Joint Vision. In 2023, the focus will be on securing the so-called northern flank in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and North Atlantic as part of the NATO VJTF (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force). Professor Schweinsberg gave a lecture on “Leading in Times of Uncertainty” to the officer corps of Flotilla 2, followed by a discussion. A tour of the frigate “Hessen” led by its commander, Frigate Captain Volker Kübsch (left), concluded the visit. The frigate “Hessen” had only returned to Wilhelmshaven in November 2022 after two and a half months in the North Atlantic. There, the ship had participated very successfully in exercises of Carrier Strike Group 12 around the newest U.S. aircraft carrier “USS Gerald R. Ford”.
The Munich Security Conference is traditionally characterized by bringing maximum demands on foreign, security and defense policy to the stage. Nevertheless, in an interview with n-tv, economics professor Klaus Schweinsberg considers the discrepancy between the assessments communicated in the political public sphere on the one hand and the actual perceptions of business representatives in the side rounds on the other to be considerable this year. Topics such as energy prices, which are still too high, greater integration of the global south or the threat of migration of energy-intensive industries were characterized by a lack of congruence. Prof. Dr. Klaus Schweinsberg takes a positive view of Macron’s renewed efforts to promote a European defense industry. This is not only relevant against the backdrop of the emerging China-Taiwan conflict, which is being anticipated militarily by the USA.
Konstantin v. Hammerstein’s assessment of the Chancellor’s defense policy refers to the results of the representative population survey conducted by the Center for Strategy and Higher Leadership. The current Sicherheitsreport (Security Report) documents that only 45 percent of German citizens support that Germany should participate in defense in the event of an attack on a NATO state. Co-editor Prof. Dr. Klaus Schweinsberg considers the fact that there is thus no clear commitment among the German population to the alliance obligations under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty to be the most remarkable result of this year’s Sicherheitsreport.
Biden’s “carefully calibrated” tactical approach is responsible for the fact that Ukraine has so far been able to parry the Russian attack and NATO involvement has been prevented, notes v. Hammerstein. The Sichreheitsreport data show that not only Olaf Scholz relies on the transatlantic alliance, but that the population also considers the United States a reliable partner. However, in order to be able to reject doubts about Germany’s loyalty to the alliance, the article suggests, the chancellor must reaffirm Germany’s commitment to the the alliance – especially with regard to the Baltic states – notwithstanding the surveys that are critical of NATO.
To address global challenges and strengthen resilience in the face of crises, this year’s meeting of the World Economic Forum was held under the motto “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.” In her special address, Ursula von der Leyen referred to the WEF’s latest Global Risks Report. Among other things, this opens up perspectives on how national priorities can be assessed in relation to global risks in order to achieve the goal of a more resilient, equitable and sustainable future.
At this year’s meeting in Davos, Professor Dr. Klaus Schweinsberg focused on concrete, feasible and rapid solutions to acute problems such as the war in Ukraine, arms supplies or inflation. Along with Ulrich Reitz, Klaus Schweinsberg sees the questioning of democratic institutions as a key challenge for implementation, as nation-state political interests can collide with long-term global goals. The economics professor hopes “that the younger generation will be brought more into the game and pushed into politics – and not just in the margins.”
With rhetorical unambiguity, Olaf Scholz at this year’s Bundeswehr conference locates the threat posed by Russia under Putin as currently the greatest for NATO allies. In view of the threat situation, the core mission of the Bundeswehr comes into focus within the Chancellor’s “Klartext” speech: national and alliance defense. Scholz reaffirmes the political and social backing of the Bundeswehr, with the special assets made available being no exception.
In the discussion that followed, opened by Klaus Schweinsberg, Olaf Scholz took questions from top Bundeswehr officials and political representatives. Within the new national security strategy, Scholz says, the development of the German military’s capacity to act was under particular scrutiny.