Almost two years ago we identified Germany's efforts to develop its military in the context of its ambition to build its own sphere of influence.
As we wrote, Brexit will give the chance to Germany to increase influence due to the change of power balance, especially now that France appears weak - crawling behind Berlin's austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction. These conditions (created in the Greek experiment), are necessary to Germany in order to retain a model in favor of its surpluses. These could become the solid ground upon which Germany could build a strong, modern military machine.
Therefore, Merkel knows that the economic domination is not adequate for a country to become a major power. It is also important to have a strong military presence in its “sphere of influence”, or, its financial/debt colonies, if you prefer. The German military presence in Lithuania is a first step towards this direction as the Baltic countries have already become German "satellites" in the economic field.
Naturally, Europe has been traditionally the vital geopolitical space for Germany. This means that it will seek sources through political and economic warfare inside that space in order to build its own imperialist empire on a solid base.
Indeed, as the World Socialist Web Site reported:
The German Ministry of Defence plans to recruit tens of thousands of foreigners from the EU into the Bundeswehr. The plans for this are “more concrete than have been known so far,” Der Spiegel reported last week on Thursday. According to a confidential ministry study submitted to the news magazine, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) wants to recruit mainly young Poles, Italians and Romanians for the German army. According to the paper, there is “quantitative potential” for the Bundeswehr among young men coming from these countries.
According to Der Spiegel, the ministry has already “calculated this potential more precisely.” According to the study, about 255,000 Poles, 185,000 Italians and 155,000 Romanians between the ages of 18 and 40 live in Germany. Together, this group represents about half of all EU foreigners in Germany. If at least 10 percent of this targeted population showed interest in the German army, the Bundeswehr would come up with “more than 50,000 possible new applicants for the force.”
The plans of the Ministry of Defence and the official debate about them show how aggressively German imperialism and militarism are re-emerging despite Germany’s historical crimes in two world wars. Having caused a social catastrophe in Southern and Eastern Europe in particular with its austerity measures, Berlin is now using the lack of prospects and sheer desperation of young people to recruit cannon fodder for the German war policy.
Berlin’s efforts to increase its own armed forces with foreign mercenaries go hand in hand with the German government’s plans to create a “real European army” (chancellor Angela Merkel). With both projects German imperialism is pursuing the goal of expanding its dominance in Europe and asserting its geostrategic and economic interests in competition with the other great powers worldwide. In this process the ruling class is increasingly openly returning to the German-European power politics of the German Kaiser and of Hitler.
“Germany’s destiny: Leading Europe in order to lead the world” was the title of an essay published by an official website of the German Foreign Ministry four years ago. Since US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would withdraw US troops from Syria and that “the United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world,” leading German foreign policymakers have been stepping up their calls for more German leadership in Europe and internationally.
Therefore, as the German big capital tries to rebound in a capitalist world of accelerated and ruthless competition, it will need all the resources (human and material) it can get from the European soil, and use them in every level.