Where is Schroeder's Navy?

By

The vitriolic, anti—American, former Chancellor of Germany is exiting stage left with a major military failure on his hands.  It appears that Gerhard Schroeder (Social Democratic Party [SPD]) succumbed to the inevitable economic pressures of failed socialist policies and withdrew the German naval presence from the Horn of Africa.  Their participation in the Combined Joint Task Force — Horn of Africa (CJTF—HOA) was critical in both keeping a lid on Iranian ambitions  in the area and in securing the waterways to prevent terrorist migration to the continent.

As I reported last year, Germany's economic doldrums caused the government to enact massive cost—cutting measures.  At the time, German Defense Minister Peter Struck noted that the German naval presence would be reduced in duration, but there was no indication it would be withdrawn entirely.  It now appears that there are no German warships patrolling off the coast of the Horn.

The AP, via Yahoo News reports that Somalia's Prime Minister is calling for help from neighboring nations to combat piracy off his country's coastline.  Pirates have taken a heavy toll on ships delivering aid to the impoverished country, and have recently seized a third cargo vessel, which was carrying 703 tons of maze, 108 tons of beans, and 39 tons of vegetable oil.  Karim Kudrati, the shipping company's managing director, said

...he thinks gunmen have been emboldened by the earlier hijackings and by the withdrawal of NATO ships, which had been patrolling along Somali waters.  "People who have a boat, an outboard engine and a gun are setting out to make money," Kudrati said.

Mr. Kudrati use of the term 'NATO' is very diplomatic, and lets the Germans off the hook in their role in the mess.  Even the German News Magazine, Der Spiegel notes the lack of endurance of German armed forces in the Global War on Terror.  What was once a presence of nearly 2,000 troops and naval personnel in the Horn is now reduced to a little over 300.  In Afghanistan, the German Army initially had a force of over 5,000, but has now dropped to 2,100.  Also, German ground troops are reluctant to participate in operations outside of the general Kabul area.

Unfortunately, Herr Schroeder's legacy of a military ravaged by socialist economic policies will take several years to correct.  Good luck to Angela Merkel; she'll need it.

Doug Hanson  10—15—05

The vitriolic, anti—American, former Chancellor of Germany is exiting stage left with a major military failure on his hands.  It appears that Gerhard Schroeder (Social Democratic Party [SPD]) succumbed to the inevitable economic pressures of failed socialist policies and withdrew the German naval presence from the Horn of Africa.  Their participation in the Combined Joint Task Force — Horn of Africa (CJTF—HOA) was critical in both keeping a lid on Iranian ambitions  in the area and in securing the waterways to prevent terrorist migration to the continent.

As I reported last year, Germany's economic doldrums caused the government to enact massive cost—cutting measures.  At the time, German Defense Minister Peter Struck noted that the German naval presence would be reduced in duration, but there was no indication it would be withdrawn entirely.  It now appears that there are no German warships patrolling off the coast of the Horn.

The AP, via Yahoo News reports that Somalia's Prime Minister is calling for help from neighboring nations to combat piracy off his country's coastline.  Pirates have taken a heavy toll on ships delivering aid to the impoverished country, and have recently seized a third cargo vessel, which was carrying 703 tons of maze, 108 tons of beans, and 39 tons of vegetable oil.  Karim Kudrati, the shipping company's managing director, said

...he thinks gunmen have been emboldened by the earlier hijackings and by the withdrawal of NATO ships, which had been patrolling along Somali waters.  "People who have a boat, an outboard engine and a gun are setting out to make money," Kudrati said.

Mr. Kudrati use of the term 'NATO' is very diplomatic, and lets the Germans off the hook in their role in the mess.  Even the German News Magazine, Der Spiegel notes the lack of endurance of German armed forces in the Global War on Terror.  What was once a presence of nearly 2,000 troops and naval personnel in the Horn is now reduced to a little over 300.  In Afghanistan, the German Army initially had a force of over 5,000, but has now dropped to 2,100.  Also, German ground troops are reluctant to participate in operations outside of the general Kabul area.

Unfortunately, Herr Schroeder's legacy of a military ravaged by socialist economic policies will take several years to correct.  Good luck to Angela Merkel; she'll need it.

Doug Hanson  10—15—05