I will say one thing for new German defense minister AKK: her enunciation is precise, crisp, no slurring. It is almost like stage diction, so it is easy for a non-native speaker to understand her German. As with my von der Leyen story yesterday, after the translation of the German news item, I append comment from my German Facebook friends — translator note
Kramp-Karrenbauer calls for higher arms spending
In her first newspaper interview after taking over the defense ministry, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Germany has “given a clear commitment to NATO’s two-percent target” – for which she would support as minister.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) has called for a constant increase in German military spending up to NATO’s two percent target in a conversation with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
In her first interview after taking office on Wednesday, she said she had “always criticized” that the defense budget should decrease in the coming years, according to medium-term financial planning.
Germany has “made a clear commitment to NATO’s goal of increasing Allied military spending towards two percent of gross national product.”
While she is aware that this is “not achieved overnight”, it is equally clear “that you really have to go that way.” Now, in the Cabinet and the Coalition Committee, she will “represent this attitude as Secretary of State and party leader.”
In her conversation with FAZ, Kramp-Karrenbauer countered doubts about the credibility of the North Atlantic Alliance and the United States. “NATO is and will remain the cornerstone of our security architecture,” she said.
While the coalition agreement provides for a “stronger European pillar,” it is “unrealistic” to believe that “a European initiative could replace NATO.” This is something “out of the question.”
As for America, she noted that even though there were “differences of opinion among the partners,” relations remained “unshakable, independent of individual administrations.”
Commenting on her decision to take over the ministerial office, Kramp-Karrenbauer told FAZ she had been in “constant exchange” with the chancellor since it became clear “that Ursula von der Leyen could go to Brussels.”
She confirmed that considerations had been made to make Health Minister Jens Spahn Minister of Defense.
From Lower Saxony, too, demands had been made that the national association would have to be adequately represented in the cabinet if Leyen moved over to Brussels. As the FAZ has noted, Kramp-Karrenbauer’s decision to take over the post was also motivated by the intention to avert domestic controversy over the re-occupation.
Once again, my German facebook friends comment on the news. So far there is this. Updates coming:
With the lying basis of the alleged “Russian annexation of the Crimea” as a linchpin: No, Mrs. Merkel and also AKK, we demand the change to a fact-based policy: Exposed by the illegitimacy of the regime change in Kiev and individual areas of the old UA In FEB2014, the citizens of entire regions have fully and successfully blocked the expanse of the illegitimate regime and justified their own sovereignty by means of direct referenda, of which the Republic of Crimea then joined the Russian Federation. It seems to me, Mrs. Merkel and also AKK, we do not need war expenditures, we definitely need a proper legal procedure, where to find out about your actions!