SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, DER SPIEGEL (Germany)

Worldcrunch

BERLIN - The German military looks eager to get in the drone business.

According to Der Spiegel Germany’s coalition government is planning to rapidly equip the country’s defense forces with armed combat drones, saying they would provide a “credible deterrent” to enemies and thus offer greater security. The government is considering buying the Predator drones used by the U.S. armed forces.

The news that Germany’s federal defense forces are planning to purchase armed combat drones for use in foreign military missions was made against a backdrop of billions in euros in budget cuts faced by the Ministry of Defense.

As reported by Süddeutsche Zeitung, German Minister of Defense Thomas de Maiziere is going to have to run his department on substantially less in 2014.

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Photo U.S. Airforce

So far, Germany has used only unarmed drones. In Afghanistan, it deploys three Israeli-made Heron I surveillance and reconnaissance drones it is leasing through 2014.

Der Spiegel quotes Left politician Andrej Hunko as saying that he “vehemently opposes” the armed drone strategy and is also critical of the purchase of more reconnaissance drones. He even worries that the drones could be deployed by authorities inside Germany.

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Geopolitics

Waiting For Putin: Is Ukraine Caught In New Kind Of Cuban Missile Crisis?

Will there, or will there not be a Big War with Russia? Ukrainians try to gauge what happens next as tensions remain following the call between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.

Barbed wire near the Russia-Ukraine border

Valentin Sprinchak/TASS via ZUMA
Anna Akage

The two-hour conversation between the Presidents of the United States and Russia, to the surprise of virtually nobody, ended without any break in the tension. Both Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin spoke in clear and plain terms during the talk Tuesday, over a secured video link, as Russian troops have amassed at the Ukrainian border and the world fears the growing risk of an invasion.

Putin insisted that NATO missiles in the region are a red line, while Biden threatened to cut Russia out of the international financial system if Russia invades Ukraine. Another phone call, this time from Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is planned for the end of this week.

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