Of Ground troops and maps

Much has been written about the broken relationship between Macron and Scholz. DIE ZEIT, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) are not exempt from this. –

More than some people in France would like in his former political home of the Socialist Party, Macron fulfils his office in the spirit and in the words of the father of the constitution, namely General De Gaulle. The meticulousness with which Macron fulfils the understanding of foreign and security policy envisaged by de Gaulle for the Fifth Republic in his understanding of his office and his practice is accompanied by superficial and routine grumbling from the so-called Gaullists.  –

German newspapers almost never mention the fundamental differences between a chancellor who is elected or voted out of office by a coalition government. Who even has to ask the Bundestag for permission for evacuation flights of civilians from a crisis or war zone by the Bundeswehr.

It is not worth mentioning to German authors that the French president, as commander-in-chief, decides personally and after consultation alone whether and when the French military will be deployed.

As the guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity and respect for treaties (Article 5 of the French Constitution), the head of state decides on the deployment of armed forces and, to this end, has the responsibility and the authority to deploy nuclear forces if necessary. (Article 15)

François Mitterrand would have replied to the assertion that the French President has a monarchical demeanor, which is repeated again and again by German journalists and German politicians: “Legally, I am the successor to the kings of France”.  He had wanted to reform the constitution of the Fifth Republic for decades until he himself held the office of head of state and was exposed to the same accusation as Emmanuel Macron.

It would certainly not look bad on the FAZ, ZEIT and others if the respected newspaper were to endeavor its own research and sources. To quote from a parliamentary debate from early February on 8 March and, above all, to quote the opposition from predominantly opposition media is, to put it mildly, incomplete.

The French defense minister cannot correct President Macron and would never claim to do so, at least not for long. – Lecornu’s categorisation in the tradition of the French Republic’s de Gaulles’ foreign and security policy was lost in the German newspaper articles when they were copied from a TV Interview. –

What has completely disappeared from the German perspective is that freedom of the press and the social market economy in the Federal Republic after 1945 were ONLY made possible by the ground troops of the Western Allies. – But paste & copy is easier. – It is true that France protects Moldova’s territorial sovereignty on the ground and in the air. It is true that Macron and Lecornu state that there are currently no concrete deployment plans for ground troops, but that this is not ruled out in the event that Russian troops were to advance on Kiev and/or Odessa. –

If Odessa were to fall into Russian hands, not only would the transport of support goods from Ukraine’s allies on the southern route be cut off, Ukraine would also no longer have access to the Black Sea.

On 28 February 2024, Transnistria, the breakaway Russian-majority province of Moldova, in which Moscow has already stationed 1,500 “peacekeepers”, officially asked Putin for help. – It is about 65 kilometers from the southern tip of Transnistria to Odessa, conveniently on the E 581. This potential route lies to the east of the Dniestre and the Danube Delta and is therefore (from the Russian perspective) “protected” by these considerable natural obstacles.

Ground Troops

France has stationed around 1000 soldiers in Cincu, Romania, protecting Romanian airspace and monitoring Moldovan airspace. According to the new security and defense agreement between France and Moldova of 07.03.2024, Moldovan airspace is not only monitored but also protected. –

If the administrative lawyers in the Federal Chancellery put aside their self-made TAURUS product liability and consult their school atlas, they realise that Ukraine is a large country with long borders. Ground troops can also be border security or airspace security.  –

Securing the E 581 road between Transnistria and Odessa is currently also possible with ground troops on Ukrainian territory without the need for combat. – In Germany, air sovereignty over German regulars’ tables and consideration for election poll ratings seem more important for the SPD than the memory of the economic development of the Federal Republic of Germany, which was guaranteed by the freedom of West Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany between 1945 and 1989 under the protective umbrella of the troops of the United States, Great Britain and France – with ground troops.

It is remarkable how the SPD, the largest party in the German governing coalition, and the German Chancellor claim a special level-headedness and moral superiority for themselves, implying that others are not. – It becomes downright original when the German Chancellor declares to the press that there will be no NATO ground troops or European ground troops in Ukraine. – However, the German Chancellor’s authority to issue directives is limited to the scope of the German Basic Law. https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gg/art_65.html

The same applies to the area of responsibility of the Federal Minister of Defense, Pistorius, who, like the Federal Chancellor, has ruled out the deployment of NATO ground troops (which Germany, like Hungary, had the power to prevent) and European countries, which can hardly be surpassed in Wilhemian presumptuousness. (As Emperor Wilhelm II said: “The world shall recover by the German way)

German restraint in matters of military and defense policy is understandable in view of the years of Nazi dictatorship between 1933 and 1945. It is not, however, in view of the decades of peace, freedom and prosperity that were guaranteed by the ground troops of the Western Allies between 1945 and 1989. Responsibility before history is not a self-service shop.

The memory of the mistakes of the 1938 policy of appeasement has led the French president to abandon his attempts to mediate with Putin. Incidentally, the attempts at mediation in the first few months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place in close consultation with the Ukrainian president, as the recordings of the telephone conferences prove.

The security agreement between France and Moldova of 7 March 2024, in addition to the strong French military presence in Romania, is therefore just as logical as the involvement of all parties represented in the French parliament on 7 March 2024.

The agreement provides for the monitoring and active protection of Moldovan airspace (possibly from Russian airborne troops) as well as active defense against cyber attacks on Moldova’s government and infrastructure.

Disrupting Russian plans to take over Moldova from the outset is less bloody than having to throw an increased Russian military presence out of Moldova.  –

Would it really be “imprudent”, to stay in the mindset of German Chancellor Scholz, if French professional soldiers protected Odessa and extended the protection of the airspace over Moldova to the airspace over Odessa?

Would it really be “reckless” for British professional soldiers to secure the E95 and E373 in the north along the Belarusian border and thus protect both Chernihiv and Kiev?

Both are covered by the commitments made in the “Budapest Memorandum”. Honouring these promises made by the two nuclear powers France and Great Britain to Ukraine on the occasion of Ukraine’s renunciation of its Soviet-era nuclear weapons in 1994 would be a gain in credibility and a new reminder of Russia’s breach of contract. (see my article on the “Budapest Memorandum“)

So which concept is more peaceful and more certain to avoid an armed confrontation with destruction and loss of life? The Scholz appeasement policy or the operational limitation and “freezing” of all Russian expansionist desires.

This is also the reason why the list of states that no longer rule out their own ground troops in Ukraine is getting longer and longer. TH

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