German government plans missile defense system for war against Russia
Four weeks ago, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a tripling of the military budget, Germany’s biggest rearmament offensive since the end of World War II. Since then, things have progressed rapidly. The decision to acquire dozens of nuclear-capable F-35 stealth bombers is now followed by a plan to establish a national missile defense system.
On Tuesday, a parliamentary delegation from the Bundestag’s Defense Committee visited Israel to explore the purchase of the US-Israeli “Arrow 3” system, which has been in service in Israel since 2017. It is designed to destroy missiles long-range enemies in the upper atmosphere or even in space. The range of the approximately seven-meter-long missiles is estimated at around 2,400 kilometers.
Plans for installing the multi-billion dollar system are already well advanced, apparently. The missile radar systems would be “installed at three locations in Germany” and “report their surveillance data to the national command post in Uedem (Bas-Rhin)”, Bild am Sonntag reported on March 27. The radars are “so powerful that the protective screen could also cover Poland, Romania or the Baltic States”.
The acquisition of the system is part of NATO’s war offensive against Russia and the assertion of German imperialism to organize Europe under its leadership. Bild am Sonntag quotes the main spokesman for the Defense Budget Committee, Andreas Schwarz (Social Democratic Party, SPD), as saying: “We need to protect ourselves better against the Russian threat. To do this, we urgently need a Germany-wide missile defense shield. The Israeli Arrow 3 system is a good solution. We can also extend the Iron Dome to our neighboring countries. This would give us a key role in Europe’s security.
On Sunday evening, Scholz also confirmed the plans. He had “resolved not to disclose the details of a plan which is not yet finalised”, but he explained on the ARD television channel that the missile defense system was “certainly one of the things we are discussing “. It was “urgent that we provide the Bundeswehr [Armed Forces] with more resources, with more tanks, more air defense capabilities, and enable him in many other ways so he can accomplish the task he needs to do.
As in his war speech to the Bundestag on February 27, the Chancellor justified the planned armament by the alleged Russian threat. “We all have to be prepared for the fact that we currently have a neighbor who is ready to use force to advance his interests,” he stressed. “And that’s why we have to join forces to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
This is familiar propaganda. In fact, the imperialist powers use “force” all the time to advance their economic and geostrategic interests. Wars of aggression and regime change operations in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria in the last 30 years alone, which have violated international law, destroyed entire countries and cost millions of lives.
The “turning point” in foreign policy proclaimed by Scholz had been prepared for a long time. The systematic military encirclement of Russia by NATO and the imperialist powers – especially Germany and the United States – deliberately provoked Putin’s reactionary attack on Ukraine. Today, the German ruling class is using the situation to reassert itself as the dominant power in Europe and organize the continent under German leadership.
Germany was “the country with the highest military expenditure in the European Union”, Scholz said. He went on to cite the NATO target of each member state spending 2% of its GDP on the military. “If we now reach two percent, we will be the country in the European NATO alliance with the highest military expenditure and with the strongest defense infrastructure,” Scholz boasted on television. . The Bundeswehr would play “a central role for the alliance and national defence, in particular with our capabilities on the ground”. With the United States, only Germany would have “the strength necessary for the whole alliance. And we will have to organize it accordingly.
Scholz repeatedly threatened Russia. Germany “would make itself so strong that no one would dare to attack us. And this is the message we also send to the Russian President: don’t dare! He said he repeatedly underlined what President Joe Biden “has now also said in Poland: NATO’s mutual assistance commitment applies to us.” We “will defend every square inch of NATO territory. An attack on the Baltic States, Poland, Slovakia or other countries would be like an attack on ourselves.
Neither his interviewer nor Scholz explained to viewers what those statements meant. The “mutual assistance obligation”, governed by Article 5 of the NATO treaty, stipulates “that an armed attack against one or more” parties “shall be considered an attack against all” and “that in In the event of such an armed attack each of them … shall render assistance to the party or parties attacked … including by resorting to armed force.
In other words, if the war in Ukraine, which is being systematically fueled by the imperialist powers through arms shipments and the massive buildup of NATO troops in Eastern Europe, extends to a country of NATO in Eastern Europe, Scholz and the German government undertake to go to war against Russia. The consequence would be a devastating Third World War.
Unlike the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, which cost between 30 and 40 million lives, Russia today has nuclear weapons. These could be used in the event of a “threat to the existence of Russia”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and former Russian President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, currently deputy head of the Russian Security Council. The influential circles of the NATO powers openly consider the use of nuclear weapons as a legitimate option.
An article on the World Socialist Website asked US President Biden two questions that Chancellor Scholz should also answer: 1) At what point in your election campaign did you say you would risk a nuclear war with Russia? 2) How many hundreds of millions, or billions of people do you think will die in the United States, Europe and around the world in a nuclear exchange with Russia?
If the German ruling class has its way, the working class must bear the cost in every way, in the form of cannon fodder on the battlefield and in the form of massive social attacks. Asked by his interviewer whether he could promise “that the debt ceiling will be reintroduced in 2023,” Scholz replied succinctly, “It’s in the constitution.” It’s as brief as it is clear. Every penny invested in military rearmament will again be squeezed out of the population – even if it means impoverishing the majority of workers.
Today’s speeches by German leaders are increasingly reminiscent of the warlike tirades of the First and Second World Wars. “Yes, more difficult days await us in Germany as well,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday. “And the truth is that many difficulties still lie ahead… Our solidarity and our support, our firmness, even our willingness to make restrictions, will be needed for a long time.”
The working class must reject the ruling class’s despotic plans for rearmament and war and its demand to endure “hardship” and “restriction” in the name of German imperialism. Not a penny for German militarism! Never again war! There is only one way to prevent a relapse into world war and barbarism – the building of an international working class anti-war movement that abolishes the cause of war – capitalism – and fights for a world socialist society.