an area of the map for world news.
December 2001 issue of
World Press Review
(VOL. 48, No. 12)
Battle Without Borders
A Long-Lasting War
Sommer, Die Zeit (liberal weekly), Hamburg, Germany,
Sept. 27, 2001.
[Gerhard] Schröder has promised the United States unlimited
solidarity. Germany would also be willing to take military
risks, though not to undertake any adventures. Nevertheless,
it is wrong to assume that the Bundes wehr [the German army]
could not contribute. But the Bundeswehr is in the midst of
a fundamental restructuring program. Everything
is in flux, half-started or half- finished. This does not mean
that it is definitely incapable of action in Afghanistan.
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder contemplates sending
3,900 troops to aid the United States in Afghanistan at
a news conference in Berlin, Nov. 6, 2001 (Photo: AFP).
Germany could do more than merely allow the Americans to make
use of its airbases at Ramstein, Rhein-Main, and Spangdahlem
as support pointsand do more than contribute just one
Airbus loaded with emergency medical supplies. The very least
would be that the German members of the crew of NATOs
AWACS [Boeing Airborne Warning and Control System] planes would
continue to do their duty in the Middle East.
The Bundesmarine [Navy] could deploy its frigate in the Indian
Ocean as part of a show of force to contribute to putting pressure
on Afghanistan. And a detachment of minesweepers could be sent
to Djibouti to secure sea routes to Europe. Finally, Germany
could assume larger military responsibilities elsewhere, such
as in the Balkans. If Germanys allies send their troops
to Asia, Germany, which now has 7,200 Bundeswehr soldiers in
the Balkans, could take charge there. This has already been
envisioned for Macedonia, where the mission has been controlled
by the British. If the British move to the Middle East, Germany
could serve as the lead nation in Macedonia.
George W. Bush has said that the West will put an end to global
terrorism. Military action alone will not suffice. As important
as that may be, it will need diplomacy, which alone can bring
about an anti-terrorist coalition. The diplomatic component
could easily be ruined by military zeal. The American president
has recognized this, as did John F. Kennedy four decades ago
in the face of Communism, Bush is now leading the free world
in a long battle into the twilight. If Bush continues
to act with determination and within reasonable boundshe
will have friends by his side.