Space Wars! The startling truth about the rising power of the latest heavyweight in the global aerospace industry http://www.thetrumpet.com/geo/na/docs/issues/200312/space-wars.asp Germany is tightening its grip on Europe. Is anyone taking note? ____This matter has not yet caught the eye of the press, but this magazine did highlight it as a matter of concern in our July edition. ____Make no mistake: Since its unification in 1989, Germany has maneuvered itself into a position where, come May next year, when the eastern leg of the European Union is attached to its western counterpart, it will virtually control the major water and ground transit systems throughout Europe! ____Surprisingly little press coverage has been given to another interesting development. The German Navy is presently responsible for the security of shipping throughout the entire Mediterranean, from Gibraltar to Suez. Add to that the deployment of the Fatherland’s Navy off the Horn of Africa, and you realize that currently Germany secures some of the most strategic sea gates on this globe, through which a good deal of Middle Eastern oil is shipped daily, in addition to a whole host of other goods. ____Given the history of Germany’s operations in these most strategic spots on the planet, perhaps people should be showing at least some concern at these developments. ____Yet, beyond this, there is a matter of even graver concern of which the media seem quite oblivious. Even less publicity has been given to the German move to control the skies over all of Europe and beyond—into outer space! The Sky’s Not the Limit ____At a Berlin press conference in October of last year, the president of the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI), Rainer Hertrich, summarized the industry’s expectations of the German government. A BDLI press release stated, “At the European level, we are expecting Germany to support the creation of a Single European Sky …. The European Galileo satellite navigation system … will permit better control of air traffic in the future” (Oct. 16, 2002). ____There is more behind those words than may at first be apparent. The sky is not the limit when it comes to considering Germany’s intentions beyond the surface of this planet. That nation, under the cloak of the European Union, is simply reaching for control of the space beyond. ____The threads of EU-German industrial, corporate and governmental cooperation are being fabricated into a giant effort that will place Germany, under the aegis of the EU, ultimately in a position of dominance in the global aerospace industry. In the process, Germany is setting itself up to rule the skies over the entire European, Mediterranean, Eurasian and northern African region! ____Aerospace to Revive Germany? ____Although the political focus may presently center on the recessionary German economy, Hertrich envisions that aggressive investment in cutting-edge aerospace development will revive Germany economically and place the country back on course to its former position as the powerhouse of Europe. ____The BDLI press release highlights the following: “Research and development in the German aerospace industry are unique in accounting for about 20 percent of its turnover, making it one of the most important technology engines of the German economy. With its export ratio of 72 percent and many collaborative multi-national projects, such as Germany’s 40 percent share of Airbus production, it is one of the most strongly globalized industries” (ibid.; emphasis mine throughout). ____In his Berlin speech, Hertrich went on to strengthen his point about the connection between the EU’s drive for dominance in aerospace and the German economy. He stated, “The potential for new jobs in Germany must be exploited offensively through deliberate policy.” The press release continued, “The over 70,000 people who work for aerospace manufacturing companies constitute the ‘high-tech core’ of the industry.” ____It is distinctly possible that Germany’s current aggressive drive to become the leader in the global aerospace industry will become the panacea that its government is seeking to revive its stubbornly sickly economy. BDLI has aggressively lobbied Berlin to use the aerospace industry to help solve the nation’s chronic unemployment crisis, a nagging problem since formerly Soviet-dominated East Germany united with its more vibrant western counterpart. Rash of Projects ____Two recently approved key EU projects will dramatically propel Germany’s aerospace industry into world superiority: the Galileo global navigation system and the A400M Airbus development. ____Slated to replace the dependence of EU member nations on the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), the 30-satellite EU Galileo navigation program will be headquartered in Germany as part of a joint undertaking directed from EU headquarters, in Brussels, via the European Space Agency. A total of 20,000 workers will be employed in Germany to produce the space- and ground-based infrastructure. A further 2,000 will man the completed system, for which operational service is planned to commence by 2008. ____The A400M project, billed as the largest-ever defense-related procurement program for Europe, entailed the signing of a contract for the production of 180 Airbus A400M transport aircraft to be delivered starting in 2009. Majority-owned by German interests, Airbus will add or secure 10,000 jobs with manufacturers and suppliers as a result of this project. Final assembly of the A400M fuselages will be carried out by Airbus in Bremen, Germany. ____In addition to these huge, innovative, defense-related projects, a rash of similar initiatives are enhancing Germany’s leading role in the development of aerospace, communication, cutting-edge weaponry and navigation systems. The Eurofighter Typhoon—a fighter aircraft presently unmatched in its technology and performance by any similar weapons platform anywhere in the world—was developed in Germany. The first serially produced aircraft were delivered to the German Air Force in August this year. ____Germany’s increasing array of air and space initiatives form quite a list. Consider the following: ____The Meteor and Iris “T” weapons systems for the Eurofighter will be developed and manufactured in Germany. The Franco-German company Eurocopter, presently the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer, now accounts for 47 percent of all civilian and military helicopter sales worldwide. The European Aeronautical Defense and Space Company (EADS), in which Germany holds the largest share, is developing service provision for Europe’s Skynet 5 military communications satellite program. The German Aerospace Center currently networks 31 German institutions in developing a new high-altitude and long-range research aircraft, known as the HALO project. Then there’s the production of the upper stage and booster rockets for the Ariane European space launcher program, involving the building of core components in the German cities of Friedrichshafen, Munich, Bremen, Heidelberg and Balknang. Germany also leads the development of the EU contribution to the international space station. Military Superiority ____Rainer Hertrich has a clear vision of the priorities of the German aerospace industry: “According to Hertrich, if Germany wishes to retain its internationally recognized position, then its involvement in spaceflight must be stepped up …. ‘The top priorities for our industry,’ Hertrich pointed out, ‘are securing an independent European means of transporting satellites in orbit, launch of the German-led European satellite navigation system Galileo and successful utilization of the international space station’” (ibid.). ____Emphasizing this German desire to control the skies and space beyond, BDLI asserts, “[T]he key to success in a military conflict today lies in air superiority. Superiority must be established both in German airspace (homeland defense) and also in potential operational areas (theater defense)” (ibid.). ____Hertrich minces no words when he considers Germany’s role within the EU. He is one German leader who really emphasizes the true motivation behind Germany’s drive for dominance in aerospace technology: “Again and again we Germans have been the driving force behind the growing together of Europe in the last few decades. What we would like to see is a similar German role as the driving force in European defense policy and its projects” (ibid.). ____Given the facts of history, from the time of German leadership in the ancient Holy Roman Empire clear through to its triggering of the Balkan powder keg of the 1990s immediately following German unification 14 years ago, such a statement should send real chills up the spine of any observer sufficiently awake to take notice! ____It was Margaret Thatcher who declared that “the world that is can be best understood by those conversant with the world that was.” Thatcher knew the power that would be unleashed the moment the formerly divided Germany united: “A united Germany was bound to become once again the dominant power in Europe. It would … be culpably naive to ignore the fact that this German drive for dominance has led in my lifetime to two terrible, global wars during which nearly 100 million people—including of course 9 million Germans—died” (Statecraft). ____Germany is clearly set to lead Europe into the forefront of defense of that continent’s interests from the skies and from outer space. To this end, it is committed to laying down a cutting-edge, high-tech aerospace defense platform as a top priority. Just how far the German nation has come since Nazism was forced underground in 1945 is apparent in a hugely symbolic event which, once again, failed to grab the attention of a sleepy public.