Monday, June 27, 2011

Report: Germany Will Provide Missiles to NATO In Libya

The well-trained German military still has no plans to join the air campaign in Libya, but Berlin is expected to provide guided missiles and their delivery systems to help take some of the financial pressure off allies flying combat missions, according to Spiegel Online.

It was seen as a much-needed gesture of support for the alliance, ending a streak of bad news about NATO fracturing over the Libya campaign. 

Defense Minister Thomas de Maziere's decision to kick in the weapons also may score some points for Germany, which has been on the sidelines during the air campaign.

Berlin isolated itself when it became the only NATO member to abstain on a United Nations vote authorizing the  no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from Moammar Gadhafi's ruthless force. Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert gets aimed much of his anger over NATO members' complacency at Germany in his testy final public address earlier this month.

What should be remembered, as President Obama has noted, is that Germany has 5,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Germany's policy of pacifism after World War II is slowly giving way, but an air campaign in North Africa was seen by some government officials in Berlin as too much, too soon and could have given Gadhafi a powerful propaganda tool.

There are still memories in Libya of Nazi Germany's Africa Corps and its Panzer tanks rolling over most of the country under the command of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.

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