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View Full Version : German business merges with the organs of repression. Again.



Magda Hassan
11-08-2008, 02:06 AM
Parallels with the FBI and their co-option of US businesses to enforce the Patriot Act.

Exclusive Contacts
2008/11/05

BERLIN
(Own report) - The Federal College for Security Studies (Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik - BAKS) is organizing a conference on logistics to promote close cooperation between private industry and the organs of repression. The two day conference, ending today, is focussing on protecting global freight transport from violent attack. The government, business, the intelligence services and the military are represented as well as important logistics companies, including the Deutsche Post AG and a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn. These two former state monopolies are closely cooperating with the German military (Bundeswehr). This conference is a continuation of BAKS' earlier initiatives, some of which have already begun to show signs of success. Under pressure from BAKS, for example, that German firms operating abroad have already begun designating individuals ("Single Point of Contact") to serve as "exclusive contacts" to German state organs. The growing foreign trade boom is an incitement for German businesses to cooperate with the repression/military complex. The prospect of lucrative profits, endangered by escalating global conflicts, is inducing business representatives to cooperate with intelligence services and the Bundeswehr.


Cooperation
The current conference of the Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik (Federal College for Security Studies - BAKS), that opened on Tuesday and will end today, is focusing on so-called supply chain security. This, according to experts, means the protection of the global trade supply chains against unwarranted outside encroachment, particularly against politically motivated attacks (terrorism), but also against criminal acts driven by poverty, for example, piracy off the coast of poverty stricken Africa or South East Asia. With the continuous increase of Western expansionist activities, political conflicts are multiplying and the global prosperity gap is dramatically becoming wider. This could provoke more frequent attacks in the future on the global supply chain. Berlin reacts to this threat by intensifying the cooperation between private industry and repressive organs of state.

Strategic Dialogue
This can be seen by the top-level participation at this conference, which is part of a series of seminars organized by BAKS around the theme: "Strategic Dialogue between State and Industry". Part of the conference is taking place in the German Foreign Ministry, where Ruediger Wolf, State Secretary in the Defense Ministry is scheduled to give a talk, as well as the former Inspector of the German Navy, the President of BAKS and a division head of Hamburg's domestic intelligence service (Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz). Other repressive state organs will also be represented. It has so far received little public attention that, to a growing extent, also other ministries have been involved in repressive measures, as can be seen by two other speakers at the BAKS conference. Ulrich Kasparick, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport will explain his Ministry's position on "Supply Chain Security". And a member of the Ministry of Education and Science's "Security Research Division" will hold a talk on "Supply Chain Security in the National and European Security Research Program".[1]

Military Logistics
Participants at this BAKS conference include not only government employees but also officials particularly of major logistics companies, among them representatives of the Deutsche Post, Lufthansa Cargo and Railion, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn. The Deutsche Post has dispatched the "Company's Senior Representative Military Affairs Bundeswehr/NATO", who coordinates the diversified cooperation between this former state enterprise and the German military (german-foreign-policy.com reported [2]). His participation at this conference is soberly explained: logistics companies, operating on a global scale, depend, to a growing extent, on the Bundeswehr to insure safety for their transport routes - not only shipping companies, that have their ships threatened by pirates, but also the Deutsche Post and its subsidiary DHL, which, for example, are supplying Afghanistan. Lufthansa and the Deutsche Bahn are also closely cooperating with the German military. Since 1963, Lufthansa has been training Bundeswehr cargo pilots at its flight schools in Bremen (Germany) and Phoenix (Arizona/USA). Its technical division is also cooperating with the armed forces. Two years ago, the Schenker subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn established its own central department for military logistics, because of the tighter developing cooperation with the German military.

Convergence
A curt statement made by Ludolf Baron von Loewenstern, Reserve Frigate Captain, discloses important aspects that could be up for discussion at the conference. In the afternoon toward the end of the conference, Loewenstern will give a talk entitled "A Secure Economy - the Maritime Interests of Federal Republic of Germany". Already back in late 2007, this had been one of his themes. "If a terrorist act rendered the Suez Canal or the Straits of Malacca (...) impassable," he said at the time in a short commentary, "nearly every single European enterprise, engaged in world trade, would be affected." Therefore "the question of security will no longer only be discussed in the military or political situation rooms, but also at the tables of the boards of directors in international enterprises."[3] It is obvious that logistics enterprises will be particularly affected because they possibly transport endangered cargo. Recently, the Association of German Shipowners called on the German government to permit the German Navy to fight piracy.[4] The German military personnel's presence at the BAKS logistics conference is the most recent expression of this convergence between industry and military.

The Same Goal
Last year, the "Senior Representative Military Affairs Bundeswehr/NATO, of the Deutsche Post World Net" expressed himself in a similar vein. "Although the reasons of the government, society and industry for effective security management may differ," he wrote referring to the rapid development of the repression/military complex, "they all follow the same goal of protecting our vulnerability against global threats and minimizing unavoidable damages in a controlled manner." This "task can only be met efficiently by cooperation and close alignment of security players."[5] A central site for this "coordination" that is bringing the industry, the repressive organs and the armed forces ever closer is the BAKS. It integrates companies' representatives not only into the six-month "Security Policy Seminars," whose participants then become members of a self-proclaimed "strategic community" of Germany (german-foreign-policy.com reported [6]) but reinforces ties to its own series of events.

Single Point of Contact
And it is having success. At one of its "Cooperation Between State Administrations and Business in Times of Crisis" discussion groups in October 2007, BAKS encouraged German companies, having branch offices abroad, to establish "exclusive contacts" for employees of unnamed state organs. At another meeting of the same discussion group a few days ago, an initial success was announced: several of these "single point of contacts" could be evaluated. Of course "the establishment of more "exclusive contacts" was encouraged," so that "in case of a critical situational development" it "will be even easier to make contact" and, if necessary, be able to implement "measures determined in common."[7] And inversely, the Federal Criminal Investigation Agency (BKA) and the Ministry of Defense - or rather its new Mission Command Staff - have established their "points of contact" with businesses.[8]

BND Contact
Under the influence of such institutions as the BAKS, the networking between private business and the repression/military complex is developing. The fact that the economics department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is, in the meantime, being headed by Ruediger von Fritsch,[9] who, until recently, was the vice president of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), is an obvious expression of this link-up. Fritsch, the ex-BND operative, and the Economics Department are assisting German businesses, seeking to expand in their foreign business ventures. Fritsch's predecessor at the BND, was none other than Rudolf Adam, who, until recently, was president of BAKS. The current BAKS vice president is also no stranger to the world of espionage. From 2005 - 2008 he directed the Federal Chancellery's Department 621, charged with handling intelligence questions. Competence in foreign questions has for years been a stock in trade of the leadership of the BAKS - an advantageous prerequisite for successful assistance to German global business expansion.

[1] Programm für das Forum Strategischer Dialog Staat und Wirtschaft - Supply Chain Security -; www.baks.bundeswehr.de (http://www.baks.bundeswehr.de)
[2] see also Kriegslogistiker (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/57322)
[3] "Secure Economy" und die maritimen Interessen der Bundesrepublik; Wirtschaftsrat Deutschland, Dezember 2007
[4] see also Piratenjagd (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/57320)
[5] Udo Eschenbach: Neue Herausforderungen an logistische Systeme; Griephan Global Security Herbst 2007
[6] see also Strategic Community (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/56919) and To Corner (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56092)
[7] Zusammenarbeit von Behörden und Wirtschaft in Krisen; www.baks.bundeswehr.de (http://www.baks.bundeswehr.de) 21.10.2008
[8] see also Grauzonen (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/56744)
[9] Frank-Walter Steinmeier: Der neue Genosse der Bosse; wiwo.de 15.09.2008
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