Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 24/10/14

Massenbach-Letter. News

*Herausgegeben von Udo von Massenbach, Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster, Joerg Barandat*

· In eigener Sache:Die “Neue Liberale” will für einen sozialen Liberalismus stehen

· Why Women Are Better Managers Than Men

· Washington Post: Denmark tries a soft-handed approach to returned Islamist fighters

· Interview mit dem Militärhistoriker Klaus Naumann: „Der Soldatenberuf ist ein politischer Beruf“

· Unser Mann in Damaskus: Das Assad-Regime wird nicht fallen. Wir sollten gemeinsam mit ihm die Dschihadisten vertreiben.


· Germany, America, and the Global Order:

· Globalization in all its broad implications has reinforced tendencies for a separation of American and German economic and financial policies. Networks are replacing alliances in this new “Zero Sum World,” in which competition for markets, technology, and natural resources has accelerated.

· A key question for the future is whether the foreign policy of Germany will be one of Germany Inc., with few allies but many customers and suppliers.

· Developments in Russia and the eastern neighborhood have begun to force Germany to weigh its economic interests against larger strategic ones concerning the security order of Europe.

· However, this is not the case in regard to Germany’s geo-economic approach outside of Europe. With the U.S. ceding leadership to Berlin on the Ukraine crisis and the willingness of Chancellor Angela Merkel to impose sanctions on Russia, Germany is clearly at a decisive point in its international strategy.

· Its risk averse approach in a more risk prone world may not work and Germany is already being forced to take on a larger strategic role beyond a purely economic one. The recession of American power and leadership and the decline of France and Britain as reliable partners have increased pressures on Germany to play a more strategic leadership role. As Josef Janning has observed, “Berlin’s foreign policy machine works best when it can support, encourage, help and reward. It struggles when it has to employ dissuasion, sanctions, or red lines.”

· Both Berlin and Washington will now have to redefine their relationship in this rapidly changing context.”

Massenbach* *Why Women Are Better Managers Than Men*

U.S. employees with female bosses are more engaged than employees with male bosses.

This article is featured in "Women and the Workplace," a weeklong series exploring a variety of issues affecting modern working women.

This may surprise people who prefer a male boss to a female boss, but employees who work for female managers in the U.S. are more engaged than those who work for male managers. Despite this Gallup finding, only one in three (33%) working Americans say they currently have a female boss. When considering whom to name manager, leaders should take into account the engagement power of female bosses.

Leaders should also know that female managers themselves tend to be more engaged than male managers. Gallup finds that 41% of female managers are engaged at work, compared with 35% of male managers. In fact, female managers of every working-age generation are more engaged than their male counterparts, regardless of whether they have children in their household. These findings have profound implications for the workplace. If female managers, on average, are more engaged than male managers, it stands to reason that they are likely to contribute more to their organization’s current and future success.

Higher Levels of Engagement Mean Higher-Performing Workgroups

Managers are responsible for at least 70% of their employees‘ engagement, according to Gallup’s research. Given that female managers are more engaged than male managers, their higher engagement levels likely result in more engaged, higher-performing workgroups. Gallup’s data confirm this: Individuals who work for a female manager are more engaged, on average, than those who work for a male manager (33% to 27%, respectively). Female employees who work for female managers are the most engaged, at 35%. Male employees who report to male managers are the least engaged, at 25%.

Employees of Female Managers Outscore Employees of Male Managers on 11 of 12 Engagement Items

Gallup measures employee engagement using the Q12, a 12-item survey that addresses specific elements of engagement. In a survey of working Americans, Gallup found that employees who work for female managers are 1.26 times more likely than employees who work for male managers to strongly agree that "There is someone at work who encourages my development." This suggests female managers likely surpass their male counterparts in cultivating potential in others and helping to define a bright future for their employees. It does not mean that female managers are more likely to promote their associates, but it could signify that women are more apt than men to find stimulating tasks to challenge their employees, thus ensuring associates develop within their current roles and beyond. (See graphic "The 12 Elements of Great Managing.")

Female managers are not only more likely than male managers to encourage their subordinates‘ development, but they’re also more inclined than their male counterparts to check in frequently on their employees‘ progress. Those who work for a female boss are 1.29 times more likely than those who work for a male boss to strongly agree with the Q12 item, "In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress." This suggests that female managers, more so than male managers, tend to provide regular feedback to help their employees achieve their development goals.

Finally, those who work for a female manager are 1.17 times more likely than those with a male manager to strongly agree that, "In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work." In addition to encouraging associate development through regular conversations about performance, this suggests that female managers surpass male managers in providing positive feedback that helps employees feel valued for their everyday contributions. It also indicates that female managers may be better than male managers at helping their employees harness the power of positive reinforcement.

In fact, employees who work for female managers outscore those who work for male managers on every Q12 element except one: "At work, my opinions seem to count." Overall, female managers eclipse their male counterparts at setting basic expectations for their employees, building relationships with their subordinates, encouraging a positive team environment, and providing employees with opportunities to develop within their careers.

Organizations Should Hire and Promote More Female Managers

Female managers in the U.S. exceed male managers at meeting employees‘ essential workplace requirements. And female managers themselves are more engaged at work than are their male counterparts. Although these findings may be surprising to some, the management implication is quite clear: U.S. organizations should hire and promote more female managers.

Kimberly Fitch, Ph.D., is a Client Service Manager at Gallup.

Sangeeta Agrawal is a Research Manager at Gallup.


Mars vs. Mercury

Germany, America, and the Global Order

Germany and America: Two Reluctant Pivotal Powers

Germany and the United States rank as the two most influential and powerful Western liberal nations in a world challenged by the rise of non-Western and authoritarian powers. It is not an overstatement to argue that the future of the liberal world order will depend to a large degree on Washington and Berlin. Yet both have become reluctant leaders and both represent very different types of powers. Moreover, the publics in both countries are increasingly inward-looking and eschew a larger international role.[1]

America has increasingly come to rely on Germany as its key partner in Europe, both due to Germany’s rise and to the decline of other potential partners. The old special relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) has become weaker with the decline of Britain’s military role and the fading and reluctant role of London in the European Union (EU). France is also regarded as a country to be taken seriously in regard to its strategic role in Africa, but one also in decline. Both Britain and France have had to make substantial cuts in their militaries, reducing their strategic importance to the United States. The EU is seen as an important economic power and a key player in trade and competition policy but hopes that it would take on a larger foreign and security policy role are low given the clear preference of the large countries (including Germany) to conduct foreign policy on a national level. This leaves Germany as the default partner in leadership for American policy.

Geo-Economic Germany and Geo-Strategic America

While both countries have assets for leadership, these assets are very different and they represent two different models of power. German foreign policy can best be understood as one of a geo-economic power, which follows policies based on a new form of realism: commercial realism. Germany has been primarily an economic power since it emerged as West Germany from the ashes of World War II. However, Berlin’s emergence as a geo-economic power is a product of the end of the Cold War. During the Cold War, the Bundeswehr was one of the largest armed forces in Europe—and Germany had major strategic concerns in Europe. With unification, Germany is no longer constrained by security dependence on the United States; markets in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and China are now open to German companies. The broader strategic dimension that had constrained the economic dimension in German policies has been greatly reduced.

Several traits define this geo-economic model of foreign policy. A geo-economic power defines national interest in largely economic terms. It implies a shift from multilateralism to a form of selective multilateralism or bilateral approaches toward key economic partners. Business and finance, especially export-oriented business, play a predominant role in the shaping of German foreign policy. Economic interests are given priority over such non-economic ones as human rights and democracy promotion. Finally, geo-economic powers use economic power as the principal means of imposing national preferences on others.[2]

Stability, predictability, and the reliability of Germany’s reputation as a stable economic partner are paramount. Given Germany’s great reliance on exports and its dependence on the import of natural resources, it needs to have a reputation as a reliable economic partner. Sanctions, drawing red lines, and employing military force all run counter to Germany’s geo-economic interests. In this sense, risk aversion, already a deeply embedded trait in German political culture, is reinforced, producing the Nein Nation, a Germany that increasingly says no to policies which might endanger these economic interests.[3] Not only has dependence for German security on the United States greatly diminished, but the nature of hard security and of the military as an instrument of state influence have also been transformed. The old roles of protecting the German homeland from invasion or of deploying forces for missions defined by NATO are clearly being downgraded. Given the centrality of economic and, especially, trading interests, security policy has been redefined in economic terms with an emphasis upon the acquisition of raw materials and other natural resources; the need to keep open sea lines of communications; and the growing importance of cyber security. In Edward Luttwak’s characterization, “methods of commerce are displacing military methods.”[4]

While Germany is not a first tier military power but a first tier economic player, the United States is both a major economic and military power with global security interests. The U.S. has a tendency to look to its imposing military instruments in dealing with foreign policy while Germany, being an economic juggernaut, tends to see economics as a main instrument in dealing with global and regional problems. This has resulted in a major gap between a more military-oriented global power like the U.S. and an economic global power like Germany. Rather than a contrast between Mars and Venus it is one between Mars and Mercury, the Roman god of Commerce.

The American strategic culture is a modern one in contrast to post-modern Germany.[5] It remains national rather than post-national and views the world in balance of power terms, although it has a stronger ideological component than that of a traditional realist state. It gives force and the threat of the use of force a higher priority than do most EU countries, especially Germany, and has a greater belief in the concept of just war. This view of the world, which emphasized the role of resolution and military strength in the defeat of the Soviet Union and which disparaged negotiations as appeasement, remains an important strand in American thinking about international affairs in general and Russia in particular. This stands in marked contrast to the German approach to the world of engagement, negotiation, and conciliation, which grew out of Ostpolitik and is reinforced by the risk averse nature of a geo-economic power.

Thus the legacies of over sixty years of diplomatic experience have led policymakers in Washington and Berlin toward diverging strategic cultures, a divergence reinforced by American military capabilities and Germany’s downgrading of military force as an instrument of statecraft. Russia policy provides an example of this contrast. American interests in Russia are almost entirely strategic, ranging from nuclear weapons and Russia’s role in areas of key importance to the U.S.—especially in Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Caucasus—to the security threats posed by Russia.[6] Germany has a much deeper and broader relationship with its big neighbor and German stakeholders in the relationship with Russia tend to be on the economic side in contrast to the American stakeholders in the strategic community. The former benefit from engagement while the latter tend toward threat perceptions.

Adjusting to a Pluralistic and Less Western World Order

The rise of non-Western powers, both anti-liberal and democratic, pose a growing challenge for the transatlantic relationship and for German-American approaches to dealing with this new global environment as the world becomes less Western and less liberal. How do Washington and Berlin accommodate these forces and what can they do to preserve and possibly expand a liberal international order? Thomas Bagger, Head of the Policy Planning Staff of the Foreign Office under foreign ministers Guido Westerwelle and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has developed the idea of Germany as a “Shaping Power” (Gestaltungsmacht) as the conceptual core of a new German strategy. A Gestaltungsmacht is a state that has the power to shape outcomes and events. The term reflects the end of a unipolar era when the U.S. dominated the agenda. This thinking reflects the emergence of a polycentric, highly interdependent, world with rising non- Western powers playing a larger role in global and regional decision-making. The official German government paper on this concept puts it in the following terms:,“[T]hese countries are economic locomotives which substantially influence regional cooperation and also have an impact in other global regions and play an increasingly important role in international decision making. […] We see them as more than developing countries but as new shaping powers.”[7] Germany will be a Shaping Power through the use of networks, fashioning networks with new actors both at home and abroad. Germany has to develop networks alongside its traditional fora of the EU, NATO, and the G-8 to develop the global governance needed to deal with the new challenges of globalization.

The rise of non-Western powers has pushed the U.S. toward a more regional type of trading relations like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its Pacific equivalent (TPP) in the wake of the failure of the WTO Doha round.[8] This makes Germany more attractive as a partner in a new attempt to promote more inclusive multilateralism through the development of exclusive multilateralism or, failing that, to at least protect core liberal values in a group of like-minded liberal states. Germans have tended to favor multilateral and institutional approaches that emphasize a rule-based system of institutionalized cooperation. As Gunther Hellmann notes, there has been an erosion of multilateralism in both Europe and the U.S. but there still remains a larger preference in Germany for what Hellmann calls “inclusive or universalist” multilateralism over exclusive multilateralism that focuses on bringing together like-minded democracies.[9]

Both the U.S. and Germany have their versions of “Pacific Pivots” in reaction to globalization. The U.S. has reacted to this global shift by rebalancing its strategic focus from Europe to Asia.

Despite Russia’s new and aggressive policies in Ukraine, the rise of China remains the key strategic challenge facing Washington for the medium to long term. Unlike Europe, Asia does not have an equivalent of the EU or NATO and the U.S. military role remains the key stabilizing factor of the current political and security order in East Asia. Germany’s Pacific Pivot is entirely economic as reflected in its growing economic stake in China and other countries in the region, with almost no strategic perspectives or role in this large region.

A major implication of this pivot is that Germany, and Europe, will have to pick up more of the leadership in its volatile peripheries to the east and south. Yet Berlin and Washington cannot afford to leave Asia to the U.S. and foster even further American disengagement from Europe. Germany is now seen by the Chinese as the most important European country in China but Berlin shares with Washington a common concern about China’s abuse of intellectual property rights and outright theft of technological and industrial secrets. It will be imperative that both capitals do all they can to avoid a split over China policy and allow Beijing to pursue a policy of divide and conquer.

On global financial issues, Washington and Berlin have diverged in important ways. There is a concern in Washington that Germany continues to benefit from an undervalued currency, the euro, and pursues policies meant to keep the euro undervalued at the expense of both the U.S. and Germany’s euro zone partners. This is part of a larger international financial struggle between export giants such as Japan, China, South Korea, and Germany, which want to maintain currency stability, and countries like France, the southern euro zone, and the U.S., which are pushing for more stimulus and a revaluing of currencies to bring adjustments to their current accounts. Given the longstanding and nonpartisan support in Germany for stability, low inflation, and responsible fiscal policies, German governments continue to turn a deaf ear to both European and American calls for stimulating demand.[10]

Also in the area of information technology and internet governance, Germany and the United States are becoming rivals. The harsh critique in Germany of the U.S. high tech companies in the wake of the Snowden NSA revelations have resulted in calls to create a European or German cloud, which can threaten the lucrative European market for companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google. These firms have lobbied intensely in Washington to limit the damage from the NSA scandal and are a factor in the Obama administration’s attempts to heal the rift with Berlin over cyber. German calls for a digital dialogue have still not been addressed by Washington.[11]


Globalization in all its broad implications has reinforced tendencies for a separation of American and German economic and financial policies. Networks are replacing alliances in this new “Zero Sum World,” in which competition for markets, technology, and natural resources has accelerated.[12]

A key question for the future is whether the foreign policy of Germany will be one of Germany Inc., with few allies but many customers and suppliers.

Developments in Russia and the eastern neighborhood have begun to force Germany to weigh its economic interests against larger strategic ones concerning the security order of Europe.

However, this is not the case in regard to Germany’s geo-economic approach outside of Europe. With the U.S. ceding leadership to Berlin on the Ukraine crisis and the willingness of Chancellor Angela Merkel to impose sanctions on Russia, Germany is clearly at a decisive point in its international strategy.

Its risk averse approach in a more risk prone world may not work and Germany is already being forced to take on a larger strategic role beyond a purely economic one.[13]

The recession of American power and leadership and the decline of France and Britain as reliable partners have increased pressures on Germany to play a more strategic leadership role. As Josef Janning has observed, “Berlin’s foreign policy machine works best when it can support, encourage, help and reward. It struggles when it has to employ dissuasion, sanctions, or red lines.”[14] Both Berlin and Washington will now have to redefine their relationship in this rapidly changing context.

Dr. Stephen F. Szabo is the executive director of the Transatlantic Academy (TA) at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

[1] A Pew survey released in July 2014 found that 60 percent of Americans polled believed that the U.S. should pay less attention to problems overseas and should concentrate on challenges at home. These numbers were up from 20 percent in 1964, 40 percent in 1995, and 50 percent in 2004. These tendencies to look inward mirror those in Germany where a 2014 Körber Stiftung poll found that 60 percent of Germans wanted Germany to play a restrained role in foreign policy while only 37 percent wanted a more active German foreign policy.

[2] See Hans Kundnani, “Germany as a Geo-economic Power,” The Washington Quarterly 34:3 (Summer 2011), 31-45 and Stephen F. Szabo, Germany, Russia and the Rise of Geo-economics (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).

[3] Abraham L. Newman, “Flight from Risk: Unified Germany and the Role of Beliefs in the European Response to the Financial Crisis,” in From the Bonn to the Berlin Republic, ed. Jeffrey J. Anderson and Eric Langenbacher (New York: Berghahn, 2010): 306-318.

[4] Edward Luttwak, “From Geopolitics to Geoeconomics,” The National Interest 17 (Summer 1990); for broad survey of the concept see Paul Aligica, “Geo-economics As A Geo-Strategic Paradigm: An Assessment,” The Hudson Institute, 9 August 2002.

[5] Robert Cooper, The Postmodern State,; for a fuller version see The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty First Century (London: Atlantic Books, 2003).

[6] As Samuel Charap has observed, “The (Russia and the U.S.) national security establishments continue to view each other as adversaries, almost twenty-five years after the Cold War ended,” Samuel Charap, “Beyond the Russian Reset,” The National Interest, July/August 2013.

[7] Die Bundesregierung, Globalisierung gestalten- Partnerschaften ausbauen-Verantwortung teilen: Konzept der Bundesregierung (German Foreign Office, 2012), 4. See also Thomas Bagger, “The Networked Diplomat,” Internationale Politik, 3 August 2013; and the joint German Marshall Fund, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik paper, Neue Macht: Neue Verantwortung/ or New Power, New Responsibility: Elements of a German foreign and security policy for a Changing World (English version), 2013,

[8] Thomas Straubhaar,”The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): From Global to Regional Multilateralism,” in Liberal Order in a Post-Western World, Trine Flockhart, (Washington, DC: Transatlantic Academy, 2014): 25-35.

[9] Gunther Hellmann, “Liberal Foreign Policy and World Order Renewal,” in The Democratic Disconnect: Citizenship and Accountability in the Transatlantic Community, Seyla Benhabib, (Washington, DC: Transatlantic Academy, 2012): 108.

[10] The U.S. administration’s view as expressed in the critical U.S. Treasury report in 2014 is that “Germany’s anemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports have hampered rebalancing at a time when many other euro area countries have been under severe pressure to curb demand and compress imports in order to promote adjustment. […] The net result has been a deflationary bias for the euro area as well as for the world economy.” The Treasury singled out Germany ahead of both China and Japan, the traditional target countries for the U.S., after a long period of concern over the impact of German policies on both Europe and American exports. See Ian Talley and Jeffrey Sparschott, “U.S. Blasts Germany’s Economic Policies,” The Wall Street Journal, 31 October 2013, This critique was renewed by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in September 2014 who said the U.S. had “philosophical differences with our friends in Europe” over the need to boost demand. Jamie Smyth, “Lew urges Europe to stimulate demand,” The Financial Times, 22 September 2014, p. 2.

[11] See Annegret Bendiek, “Beyond U.S. Hegemony: The Future of a Liberal Order of the Internet,” in Liberal Order in a Post-Western World, Trine Flockhart, (Washington, DC: Transatlantic Academy, 2014): 57-70.

[12] See Gideon Rachman, Zero Sum World: Politics, Power and Prosperity after the Crash (London: Atlantic, 2010).

[13] See for example the joint German Marshall Fund, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik paper, Neue Macht: Neue Verantwortung/ or New Power, New Responsibility: Elements of a German foreign and security policy for a Changing World (English version), 2013,

[14] Josef Janning, “Germany’s summer of discontent on foreign policy,” European Council on Foreign Relations, 30 June 2014,


Germany: The Geopolitical Uncertainties of a Geo-Economic Power:

For the first time, “Transatlantic Trends,” a survey of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) beginning in 2002, showed that a majority of Germans now prefer a more independent approach to transatlantic relations.

The NSA scandal—data collection on foreign countries, including America’s ally Germany and its chancellor, as well as collecting huge amounts of communications on American citizens—certainly contributed to the drop in support for American leadership. Even worse was the hiring of a German employee of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the primary German intelligence agency, to spy on the German government.

The most dramatic shift of German public opinion on the United States occurred between 2013 and 2014, the year dominated by the Snowden revelations.

The data reflect a development that has been in the making for many years. The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 initially appeared to reverse an existing trend, but the Snowden revelations about the magnitude of NSA spying activities confirmed doubts about the methods of American foreign policy, its emphasis on the use of military force, and specifically about the way America treats its allies.

The Road to Estrangement

Developments in the United States as well as in Germany led to the estrangement of the two alliance partners.

One is the American experience of dominance after the collapse of the Soviet empire and the arrival of the “unipolar moment,” in the words of Charles Krauthammer.[1]

After 9/11, the George W. Bush administration turned the unique circumstances of the end of the Cold War into a doctrine of top-down leadership. In his address to a Joint Session of Congress on 20 September 2001, Bush declared: “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.”

This claim did not go down well with the newly elected SPD/Green coalition under the leadership of Gerhard Schröder and when the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq in the name of the fight against terrorism and the perceived need to prevent Iraq from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, Germany refused to go along. The Schröder government insisted on making its own independent decisions on a question of war and peace.

Less than a decade later a new German CDU/CSU and FDP coalition government under the leadership of Angela Merkel abstained in a vote of the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya in an effort to prevent Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from using his regular forces against the civilian population in Benghazi, the seat of the political opposition.

In this case, a conservative German government refused to act in concert with its allies in the UN Security Council, its allies within NATO, and its most important European allies. Even the Arab League and the Islamic Conference supported a no-fly zone in Libya to prevent Gaddafi from using regular military forces against civilians.

Although Germany later quietly corrected its policy course in the Libyan crisis by participating in civilian EU programs in Libya, the decision was never officially revoked or recognized as a policy mistake.

The Geo-Economics of the “Gestaltungsmächtekonzept”

What has begun to take hold more visibly is a deliberate German geo-economic strategy.[2]

Weak as a military power, Germany did everything to excel as an economic power, competing for as well as seeking influence in Europe and beyond on the basis of its economic strength.

The 2012 “Gestaltungsmächtekonzept” is an expression of a strategy to cooperate with major emerging powers in shaping the new world order transcending the traditional European and Atlantic commitments. The concept is based on the assumption of a new multi-polar or multi-centric world order. In the UN Security Council vote on the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya, Germany voted with a group of BRICS countries (specifically Russia, India, China, and South Africa) to abstain rather than support the military effort necessary to implement the UN Security Council decision.

This was no coincidence. It was a signal of understanding and recognizing their power and importance for the new world order after the Cold War.

Initially articulated by German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, the concept is the German response to a new megatrend: the rise of new powers in the east and the south and the decline of the United States, Europe, and Japan. “

The center of gravity of the world economy and world politics,” a senior German Foreign Service Officer wrote in defense of the Gestaltungsmächtekonzept, “is shifting from the North Atlantic to Asia, from the West and North to the East and South.”[3]

It is assumed that an “Asian Century” is in the making as China and India, the two most populous countries in the world, as well as South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Vietnam represent both economic growth potential as well as increasing political importance. The assumption is that the “American Century” is coming to an end and with it also the old political order.[4] Much weight is given to the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the big ascending countries, now representing 43 percent of the world population and 20 percent of the world GDP.[5]

When this concept was launched in 2012, Angela Merkel was chancellor of the CDU/CSU and FDP coalition. She is now chancellor of a Grand Coalition government of the CDU/CSU and SPD. Although Germany’s new foreign minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier, virtually never refers to the Gestaltungsmächtekonzept, its basic assumptions do reflect foreign policy thinking close to German business circles.

The European Union is still the most important market for German products as 59.2 percent of German exports go to EU member states. But the share of German exports to EU member states has fallen significantly, from 64.6 percent in 2007 to 59.2 percent today. The new markets in Asia have become the most attractive prospect for German exports. Without China, for example, Volkswagen and Audi would not be able to become one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. The same is true for smaller manufacturers of high-performance automobiles such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Porsche. The European and American markets are still critical for them, but the most promising future markets appear to be in emerging countries such as Russia, China, and India.

Geo-Economics Driving Geo-Politics

The political consequences are obvious. Whereas in the past the term “strategic partnership” or “special relationship” was used exclusively for Western countries, most notably with the United States, France, and Israel, closer relationships and “strategic partnerships” are now forged with emerging powers such as China (in 2004) and India (in 2000) as well as with Russia, Brazil, Vietnam, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.[6]

In the official text launching the Gestaltungsmächtekonzept, Germany’s interest in shaping globalization together with emerging powers took center stage. But the concept also included the issue of peace and security; human rights and the rule of law; economics and finance; resources, nutrition, and energy; work, social affairs, and health; and development and sustainability.[7]

This means that Germany is deliberately seeking partnerships that transcend markets and the economy.

Germany’s key partner for its Gestaltungsmächtekonzept is China. China is now Germany’s third largest economic partner after the EU and the United States. Recent growth rates in Germany’s trade with China are staggering. Between 2005 and 2011 German exports to China grew by 206 percent, compared with 24 percent for the European Union and 6.3 percent for the United States.[8] Last July, Angela Merkel finished her seventh trip to China with a high-powered business delegation that included representatives of Siemens, VW, Airbus, Lufthansa, and Deutsche Bank.[9]

Since unification, German chancellors, in cooperation with German business, have intensified relations with China. Beginning with Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder, visits to China accelerated in frequency and not without political overtones. In 1995, Helmut Kohl was the first Western statesman to visit a Chinese military base supposedly involved in quashing the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising where several hundred demonstrators died.[10] A decade after the uprising, Chancellor Schröder expressed his willingness to lift the arms embargo imposed on China in 1989. He also advocated China’s inclusion in the G-7 meetings and enlarging the G-7 to a G-9 by including Russia as well as China in this global policy process.[11]

Germany plays a key role in China’s trade with Europe. Although most products made in China reach Europe via maritime routes, there is a new “Silk Road” by train from Chongqing to Duisburg, Germany.[12] Faster but smaller in size, the new Silk Road could become more important in the future as Chinese products could reach a well and centrally located hub in Europe fairly quickly. The city of Duisburg has a great distribution potential on the Rhine River, on rails, as well as on Germany’s autobahn net. The geopolitical risk is the passage through Russia, particularly at a time of major European-Russian tensions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The only mitigating factor is that the rail route is controlled by Trans-Eurasia Logistics, a joint venture of Deutsche Bahn and Russian Railways.[13] Hostile Russian actions against the German-Chinese railway connection would alienate China and Germany at the same time, something that a more vulnerable Russia would obviously try to avoid.

India, too, will play an increasing role in Germany’s foreign economic policy and as a political partner on the global level. German trade and investment in India are growing fast. Germany is already the third largest foreign investor in India and companies such as SAP and BMW are high technology investors in India. Traditional trade with textiles and leather have been the most important export items for India, whereas Germany historically exported machinery, electronics, plastic products, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.[14] But this traditional trade pattern begins to change as India increases its investments in Germany and Europe and successfully engages in space technology.

The Pitfalls of Geo-Economic Power

The problem with a geo-economic strategy as it transpires in the Gestaltungsmächtekonzept is that it ties Germany ever deeper into an export-driven economy.

As a result, Germany will become increasingly dependent on foreign markets and the shifting winds of the global economy. This strategy has worked so far even through the 2008 financial crisis, but could backfire in Europe where the consequences of Germany’s focus on fiscal rectitude weigh heavily on its European partners whose stunted growth will harm German exports.

Germany is now suffering from the decreasing demand for its exports as the result of geo-political tensions and the slowdown in the euro zone and beyond.[15] German industrial output fell by 4 percent between July and August 2014 and a third euro zone recession, including in Germany, can no longer be excluded.[16] Germany’s export-driven economy also begins to show signs of a lack of competitiveness. The country’s research expenditures have been in decline since the 1990s and, with 2.87 percent of GDP, are less than R&D expenditures in Japan (3.48 percent), South Korea (3.45 percent), Sweden (3.62 percent), Israel (4.2 percent), Switzerland (3.00 percent), and Denmark (3.08 percent).[17]

Key industries driving future growth such as bio-chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and computer science—where Germany once even had a leading role—are now lagging behind other countries in Europe and Asia.

Germany’s apprehension about Google shows signs of an older problem: Technikfeindlichkeit (technology enmity) in left wing and green circles. But most recently Mathias Döpfner, head of Springer, Germany’s biggest publishing house, declared that he is “afraid of Google.”[18] Springer’s profits from digital business are 62 percent of its total profits. On Germany’s insistence the EU Commission took a strong restrictive position against Google, putting ever more pressure on the company on behalf of the EU. There is now open talk in Germany and Europe about breaking-up Google and new consumer-friendly innovations such as the car service app Uber have to face court battles and a possible ban.

If the trend toward national control of the internet continues, economic globalization could be at risk. A Balkanization of the internet would do more than harm Germany’s global economic interests. Concerns over the NSA spying activities and efforts to provide protection of individual privacy are now huge hurdles for a positive conclusion of TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. TTIP is not only an important beneficial geo-economic undertaking between Europe and the United States, it is also a geo-political project with mutual benefits. A successful conclusion of TTIP negotiations would contribute to a much needed economic stimulus for job creation and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic.


Much is at stake for Germany’s economic future, with a gigantic wave of baby boomers entering retirement.

Annual growth rates between 1993 and 2013 averaged just 1.3 percent. So far Germany has succeeded in keeping unemployment down from 5 million a decade ago to 3 million today, but this will change soon as baby boomers retire in huge numbers.[19]

In large part the so-called jobs miracle has been achieved by adding part-time and “precarious” jobs.[20]

Add to that the investment gap that Marcel Fratzscher highlighted as one of Germany’s greatest challenges.[21] Compared with major trade partners in Europe, German gross investment is below the EU average, lower than in Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Greece, and Italy and on the same level as that of Spain and Portugal.[22]

Instead of engaging in efforts to slow down new dynamic global companies and ultimately globalization, Germany should focus on a transatlantic strategy of developing concepts of internet governance that preserve openness. There is also a need to advance investment strategies strengthening transatlantic partnership as a geo-political base to stand on. This would offer Germany the more promising prospects for innovation, modernization, and competitiveness than a strictly geo-economic approach focusing on export markets. Geo-economics alone will inevitably come at the expense of technological progress and possibly at the expense of European values, too.

Dr. Dieter Dettke is a Non-Resident Fellow at AICGS and an Adjust Professor in the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University.

[1] See Charles Krauthammer, “The Unipolar Moment,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 70, No.1 (1990/91),p. 23-33.

[2] See on this point Hans Kundnani, “Germany as a geoeconomic power, European Council on Foreign Relations,” 1 July 2011,

[3] See Heinrich Kreft, “Deutschland, Europa und der Aufstieg der neuen Gestaltungsmaechte,” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, No. 50/51 (2013), p. 13-19.

[4] Ibid., p. 14.

[5] Ibid.

[6] See on this point Felix Heiduk, “What is in a name? Germany’s strategic partnerships with Asia’s rising powers,” Asia Europe Journal, October 2014 (preview only available at

[7] See “Globalisierung gestalten-Partnerschaften ausbauen- Verantwortung teilen” Konzept der Bundesregierung.

[8] See “Europe News,” The Wall Street Journal, 29 August 2012,

[9] See the report of Deutsche Welle available at

[10] The German government denied that the military base the German Chancellor visited was involved in the Tiananmen Square massacre. A report is available at

[11] On Chancellor Schroeder’s China policy see Dieter Dettke, Germany Says ‘No’. The Iraq War and the Future of German Foreign and Security Policy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), p. 200.

[12] See “Geopolitics risks derailing new Silk Road,” Financial Times, London, 18/19 October 2014, p. 4.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid., p. 201.

[15] See The Financial Times, 8 October 2014, front page article.

[16] Ibid.

[17] On R&D expenditures in 2012 see the data of the Battelle Institute:

[18] See Alison Smale, “In Germany, Strong Words Over Google’s Power,” New York Times, 16 April 2014,

[19] See Olaf Gersemann, “Why Deutschland is Doomed,”

[20] See “Three illusions,” The Economist, 27 September 2014.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.


Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* The $2 Trillion Mega-City Dividend China’s Leaders Oppose: Cities*

By Bloomberg News – Oct 19, 2014

China needs a new prescription for growth: Cram even more people into the pollution-ridden megacities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

While this may sound like a recipe for disaster, failing to expand and improve these urban areas could be even worse. That’s because the biggest cities drive innovation and specialization, with easier-to-reach consumers and more cost-efficient public transport systems, according to Yukon Huang, a former World Bank chief in China.

He estimates China’s leaders’ seven-month-old urbanization blueprint, which aims to funnel rural migrants to smaller cities, will slice as much as a percentage point off gross domestic product growth annually through the end of 2020.

“China’s big cities are actually too small,” said Huang, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Asia program in Washington. “If China wants to grow at 7 percent for the rest of this decade, it’s got to find another 1 to 1.5 percentage points of productivity from somewhere.”

A strategy that supports the biggest cities’ expansion would add $2 trillion to China’s output in 10 years — more than India’s 2013 GDP — according to Shanghai-based Andy Xie, a former Morgan Stanley chief Asia-Pacific economist.

With a population more than four times that of the U.S. living on roughly the same land mass, China should have big, densely populated urban areas, Xie said. To make that a reality, the megacities need to build up, not out, he added, citing Tokyo and its population of about 37 million as a workable example.

‘Ecological Catastrophe’

“If you do not focus on big cities with concentrated populations, China will become an ecological catastrophe,” he said. “If you pick the wrong model of urbanization, it sets you back not just for years, it could cap your income level for eternity.”

Beijing and Shanghai already have about 20 million people each, while Guangzhou and Shenzhen both top 10 million. Even so, given China’s 1.4 billion population, their concentration is low by global standards. In the U.S., the largest 10 metropolitan areas account for about 38 percent of GDP, about double that in China.

Echoing Mao-era central planning, China’s current urbanization policy decrees that populations will be “strictly controlled” in metropolises with more than 5 million people while expansion is allowed in mid-sized cities and encouraged in small ones. The plan will redress unbalanced development that has left megacities overburdened, with deteriorating environments, Vice Minister of Public Security Huang Ming said at a March briefing.

‘Old Thinking’

The edict shows the “persistence of old thinking” even after past attempts to shift people and resources to smaller, less productive cities proved “hugely wasteful,” Andrew Batson, an analyst at researcher Gavekal Dragonomics in Beijing, wrote in an August note.

“Planners still seem convinced that big cities are crowded, terrible places whose growth must be controlled,” wrote Batson, who has covered China since 1998. “In reality, big cities are China’s richest and most vibrant places, and restraining their growth does the economy no favors.”

Premier Li Keqiang is under increasing pressure to boost the economy, which is headed this year for its slowest expansion since 1990. Growth probably fell to 7.2 percent in the third quarter from 7.8 percent a year earlier, according to the median estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg News survey ahead of data scheduled for release tomorrow.

Fourth Plenum

While Li and his fellow Communist leaders have the chance to shift policy priorities when they gather for the fourth plenum that starts in Beijing today, any major rethink on urbanization is unlikely. The conclave will focus on efforts to bolster the rule of law, state media reported last month.

The pace of migration from rural areas to cities, a dynamic hailed by Li as key to the nation’s development, is set to slow by a third in the years from 2013 to 2020 compared with the previous seven years, the government forecasts.

That’s pressuring Li to find ways to optimize productivity. The rapid expansion of China’s cities hasn’t been accompanied by efficiency gains because of impediments including urban sprawl and inadequate infrastructure, according to Cui Li, a Hong Kong-based economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)

Achieving the same efficiencies as U.S. cities, which are modest compared to those in more compact European metropolises, could add 1 percentage point to annual growth by the end of the decade, she estimates.

Guangzhou, Shenzhen

An additional 4.2 million people can be added to Guangzhou and 5.3 million to Shenzhen if those cities had the same population density as Seoul, according to a March report by the World Bank and the State Council’s Development Research Center.

Making changes to land use that would spur denser cities could save China $1.4 trillion from a projected $5.3 trillion in infrastructure-spending needs during the next 15 years, World Bank chief operating officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.

There are signs of progress. A bus rapid-transit system that opened in Guangzhou in 2010 has saved passengers a combined 32 million commuting hours a year and is projected to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 84,000 tons in its first decade of operation, the United Nations estimates. In Kunming, capital of southwestern Yunnan province, a new district is being developed with a subway system, bus stations and green spaces planned every 300 meters.

Cleaner Skies

Building dense cities around mass-transit systems that balance commercial and residential areas would slash reliance on cars, according to the Energy Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that promotes clean energy. That would prevent as much as 800 million tons of carbon dioxide from spewing into the atmosphere by 2030, more than emitted by Germany in 2011, it estimates.

A continuation of old methods raises the specter of worsening traffic congestion and pollution in the biggest cities if migration continues to outpace policy makers’ plans.

“For the last two to three decades, China’s city planning has not taken migrants into account in their plans for transport, housing and many social services,” said Kam Wing Chan, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and author of “Cities With Invisible Walls: Reinterpreting Urbanization in Post-1949 China.” Urban problems including traffic gridlock “are mainly a result of not providing for population growth,” he said.


Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* Nile dam talks inch forward but Egypt gets no water guarantee*

CAIRO, Oct 18 (Reuters) – The three main countries that share the Nile River’s waters moved toward an agreement to study whether a planned $4 billion Ethiopian dam would disrupt flows to downstream countries, water ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt said after talks on Friday.

But while the countries continue talks, construction will proceed on the Renaissance Dam, which will be Africa’s biggest dam and aims to provide cheap power for countries as far away as South Africa and Morocco.

"The committee agreed to short-list seven consultancy firms to undertake the hydrological and socio-environmental studies," the water ministers said in a statement.

The consultancies were not identified, though British construction law firm Corbett has been chosen to oversee the administrative aspects of the studies, the statement said.

The project, being built by Italy’s Salini Impregilo SpA , aims to produce 6,000 megawatts of electricity for a power-hungry region..

But it has upset Egypt, which relies almost exclusively on the Nile River for farming, industry and drinking water for a rapidly growing population.

Cairo is concerned that years of filling the new dam’s 74 billion cubic metre reservoir will temporarily cut the river’s flow, and that surface water evaporation from the huge new lake will then reduce it permanently.

In a sign of the limits that talks will have on Ethiopia’s plans to become a regional power hub, the country’s water minister declined on Friday to offer any hard guarantees that the dam would not adversely affect Egypt.

"Ethiopia designs all the dams in the country in a way that does not harm significantly the downstream countries," Alemayehu Tegenu said in response to a reporter’s question.

"This is a principle. This principle by itself is very important. There is no need to give a guarantee." The tripartite committee of water ministers are slated to resume talks in Khartoum in November, where they will decide on the firm to conduct the socio-environmental study.


Deutschtürken brauchen den Liberalismus und die Liberalen brauchen die Deutschtürken*

Von Kamuran Sezer | 21.10.2014 10:20

Türken in Deutschland wählen die SPD oder die Grünen. Das ist eine altbekannte Erkenntnis, die sich sehr lange gehalten hat. Seit der endaX-Studie weiß man nun, dass sie vermehrt auch die CDU wählen. Die Linke hingegen findet unter den Türken wenig Unterstützung, allerdings findet sie großen Zuspruch von Kurden aus der Türkei. Führende Funktionäre der „Demokratik Işçi Dernekleri Federasyonu“ (DIDF e.V.) beispielsweise haben Platz in der Führungsriege der Linken eingenommen. Die Vernetzung reicht bis tief in die Kommunen hinein.

Von allen etablierten Parteien spielt die FDP bis heute keine nennenswerte Rolle in der Wahlpräferenz der türkischen Community. Dabei bietet die „Idee des Liberalismus“ für eine Einwanderercommunity viele wichtige Vorteile. Denn im Liberalismus werden das Individuum und seine Rechte gestärkt, damit er souverän über seine eigene Person selbst entscheiden kann. Viel wichtiger aber ist, dass das Individuum im Liberalismus vor dem Staat geschützt wird.

Der deutsche Staat ist nicht neutral

Wir Deutschtürken haben lange an den starken Staat geglaubt. Von ihm haben wir erwartet, dass er alle Menschen innerhalb seiner Grenzen gleich behandelt und ein neutraler Akteur ist. Doch die vergangenen 50 Jahre der Einwanderungsgeschichte haben gezeigt, dass der Staat nicht neutral ist. Auf der Islamkonferenz und dem Integrationsgipfel hat der Staat seine eigene Agenda durchgesetzt. Themen und Interessen der Migrantenverbände wurden weitgehend ignoriert.

Nur weil wir innerhalb der Grenzen des deutschen Staats leben, bedeutet dies nicht, dass er zwingend in unserem Sinne handeln muss. So allmählich dämmert dies daher auch dem letzten Türken in Deutschland. Der Staat steht zwar in der Theorie in der Pflicht, alle innerhalb seiner Grenzen lebenden Menschen gleich zu behandeln, in der Praxis sieht es jedoch oft anders aus. Er hat und verfolgt eigene Interessen, die nicht immer mit den Interessen und Wünschen der türkischen oder muslimischen Community übereinstimmen müssen. Daher braucht die türkische Community einen Partner, der ihre Rechte gegenüber dem Staat verteidigt. Der Liberalismus ist ein solcher Partner. Ob aber dies auf die FDP zutrifft, gibt es berechtigte Zweifel.

Die FDP tut sich mit der Öffnung gegenüber Türken sehr schwer

Während andere Parteien in den vergangenen Jahren und Jahrzehnten sich für die Gruppe der Einwanderer und insbesondere der Türken geöffnet haben, hat die FDP diesen Schritt entweder nicht gewagt oder schlicht verpasst. Offensichtlich ist, die FDP tut sich mit dieser Öffnung sehr schwer.

Der Grund dafür liegt in der klassischen Zielgruppe der FDP, dem deutschen Großbürgertum. Das Großbürgertum gibt es in Deutschland nicht mehr als soziale Klasse, wohl aber als Lebensstil, der insbesondere von vermögenden Personen praktiziert wird. Aufgrund ihrer sozialen und ökonomischen Stellung in der Gesellschaft hatte diese Personengruppe kaum Berührungspunkte mit der türkischen Community – und umgekehrt. So ist die soziale Distanz zwischen der FDP und den Türken viel größer als zwischen der CDU und den Deutschtürken.

Beide Flügel der FDP werden gerupft

Erschwerend hinzu kommt die tiefgreifende Krise, in der die FDP sich befindet: Erst hat die Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) am rechten Flügel der FDP viele nationalliberale Mitglieder an sich gerissen. Nun wurde im September die „Neue Liberale“-Partei in Hamburg gegründet, die die FDP auf dem linken Flügel unter großen Druck setzt. Die neue Partei bekennt sich klar zum Sozialliberalismus. Man kann sagen, dass der FDP die beiden Flügeln gerissen werden. In der Mitte bleibt ein großbürgerlicher Wirtschaftsliberalismus, der die FDP seit den 1980er Jahren zwar dominiert, sie aber letztendlich in die Krise geführt hat.

Das Besondere an den „Neuen Liberalen“ ist, dass sie von ehemaligen FDP-Mitgliedern gegründet wurde, die man mit dem unzureichenden und verzerrenden Attribut „Migrationshintergrund“ beschreiben würde. Dr. Najib Karim, dessen Wurzeln in Afghanistan liegen, ist sogar Vorsitzender der Partei. Er ist 1973 in Afghanistan geboren, wanderte als sechsjähriger nach Deutschland ein, promovierte in Biochemie und war über viele Jahre als Unternehmensberater tätig. Zu den Gründungsmitgliedern der „Neuen Liberalen“ gehört auch Malik Riaz Hai Naveed.

Im September ist er aus der FDP ausgetreten. „Die FDP hat leider aus ihren Fehlern nicht gelernt und sich im Kreis gedreht“, sagt der 26-jährige Pakistaner. „Themen wie Soziales und Integration waren nur Nebensache“, führt er als Begründung für seinen Austritt aus der FDP an.

In der Tat. Themen wie Integration und Soziales werden stiefmütterlich behandelt und schaffen es nicht, aus dem großen Schatten auszutreten, den der Wirtschaftsliberalismus wirft. Und Wirtschaftsliberalismus bedeutet Großbürgertum, das wiederum kaum einen Berührungspunkt mit der Einwanderercommunity hat. Vereinzelte Funktionsträger wie der ehemalige Bundestagsabgeordnete und nunmehrige Bundesgeschäftsführer der FDP, Marco Buschmann, sind in der türkischen Community präsent und unterhalten beste Kontakte in die Community. Er genießt dort Anerkennung und Respekt. Seine Affinität für die Türken hat viel mit seiner politischer Heimat zu tun. Er kommt aus Gelsenkirchen, also aus einer Stadt, die eine sehr intensive wie aktive türkische Gemeinde beherbergt. Wer dort eine politische Karriere absolvieren möchte, der kommt um die Stimmen der Deutschtürken nicht herum.

In Metropolregionen stellen Migranten einen hohen Anteil

Dies gilt nicht nur für Gelsenkirchen. In Metropolregionen wie München, Stuttgart, Frankfurt am Main, Köln/Bonn, das Ruhrgebiet, Berlin oder Hamburg stellen Einwanderer einen hohen Teil der Stadtbevölkerung. Mehr noch: Kinder von Einwanderern machen mehr als die Hälfte aller Neugeborenen aus. Die FDP muss darauf reagieren und klar definieren, welche Beziehung sie zu dieser Bevölkerungsgruppe pflegen möchten. Dazu gehören ein Netzwerk, ein Programm und Bezugspersonen.

Genauso wie die Türken in Deutschland auf den Liberalismus angewiesen sind, so sehr ist die FDP auf die Deutschtürken angewiesen. Hier klafft aber eine Lücke, die in der Zukunft geschlossen werden muss. Dafür muss die FDP verstehen, dass der politische Markt durch den gesellschaftlichen Wandel sich nachhaltig verändert hat. Wer künftig bei Wahlen erfolgreich sein möchte, der muss in die Städte gehen. Aber dort tummeln sich allerlei Lebenskonzepte und Lebenswelten, die der großbürgerliche Wirtschaftsliberalismus nicht erreicht, so auch die Türken und andere Einwanderergruppen.

Fakt ist – der Liberalismus ist für die Türken und Einwanderercommunitys eine Chance. Man kann daher hoffen, dass es sowohl der FDP als auch den „Neuen Liberalen“ erfolgreich in naher Zukunft gelingt, was die Liberalen als Ganzes in der Vergangenheit versäumt haben: Den Liberalismus für die türkische Community zu öffnen und ihn in den Städten zu etablieren.


Falling oil price raises concerns for shale*

©As oil prices have fallen, the cost of production from US shale has emerged as a critical question for investors.

In a downturn, higher-cost supply is most at risk, and the need for horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – in shale reserves means they are more expensive to develop than many oilfields in the Middle East.

If oil prices fall further, however, US production costs are likely to fall too, providing a safety valve to reduce the pressure on producers.

There is no single answer to the break-even price for shale developments: it varies from area to area and well to well.

Even with US crude prices of about $100 a barrel earlier in the year, the small and mid-sized exploration and production companies that led the US shale revolution were running large cash deficits.

If oil remains at its present level of roughly $82 per barrel, it will put back the point at which they will be able to cover their capital spending from their cash flows.

However, their costs have already fallen sharply, and could fall further. The median North American shale development needs a US crude price of $57 a barrel to break even today, compared with $70 a barrel in the summer of last year, according to IHS, the research company.

EOG Resources, one of the most successful of the shale oil producers, cut its cost per well in the Leonard shale on the border of Texas and New Mexico from $6.9m in 2011 to $5m this year, while raising average production from each well.

Melissa Stark, a managing director at Accenture, the consultancy, says the industry still has a lot of room for improvement.

With more than 18,000 horizontal wells set to be drilled in the US this year, she argues that improving the “manufacturing model” of repeated similar projects could deliver large savings.

Accenture believes the average cost of a US shale well could be cut by up to 40 per cent by better management of factors such as planning, logistics, and relationships with suppliers.

David Vaucher of IHS says that if prices remain at around today’s levels, rates charged to oil producers for fracking and other services are likely to remain about where they are.

However, he adds, the indications recently have been that productivity per well is still improving. Production from new wells per working drilling rig has been rising in the Bakken of North Dakota and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin of Texas, the three main shale regions, according to the US government’s Energy Information Administration.

The effort companies are putting into each well is rising. ConocoPhillips and others have been using much more proppant – the sand or similar material used in fracking to hold open cracks in the rock so the oil can flow out – to increase production.

Companies are also fracking wells in more stages: up from an average of 18 sections per horizontal well in 2012 to an expected 23 per well next year, according to Pac West, another consultancy.

Even so, costs per barrel are probably still falling.

Downward pressure on costs will heighten if the oil price continues to fall. Drilling rigs and other equipment such as pumps for fracking tend not to be tied up on long-term contracts, meaning that producers can adjust their spending quickly in response to oil price movements.

In a deepening slump, the service companies providing services such as drilling and hydraulic fracturing are likely to come off worst, according to Steve Wood of Moody’s, the rating agency.

“Exploration and production companies have a product that people will still want to buy,” he says.

“But service companies are dependent on the E&P’s capital spending, which can be cut back.”

Service companies would be hit both by lower activity, and by the greater leverage that their customers will have to bargain their charges down.

Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oil services company by market capitalisation, told analysts on a call this week that activity in the US continued to “surge higher”.

Dave Lesar, chief executive, said: “We do not see momentum slowing any time soon”, and added that he believed oil prices at their present levels were “not sustainable”.

However, he acknowledged that it was important for the company to “deliver the lowest cost per barrel to our customers, which in turn positions them and Halliburton to perform best in volatile markets.”

There could be a parallel for US oil in shale gas production. When prices fell to a 10-year low in 2012, it seemed that most US shale production would be uneconomic and output would collapse.

As it turned out, production did fall in higher-cost areas such as the Haynesville shale of Louisiana and Texas, but it continued to rise in the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania.

The best companies were able to produce at costs that were much lower than many people had expected. Cabot Oil and Gas, for example, says it has a cash cost in the Marcellus of just 75 cents per thousand cubic feet, compared with a benchmark US gas price of about $3.70.

If oil-focused shale companies can follow that example, US output will be a lot more resilient than its competitors in other oil-producing countries would hope.


Middle East

Unser Mann in Damaskus: Das Assad-Regime wird nicht fallen. Wir sollten gemeinsam mit ihm die Dschihadisten vertreiben.

Baschar al-Assad bei der Vereidigung seiner dritten Amtszeit am 16. Juli in Damaskus.

Ein solches Chaos im Nahen Osten habe ich noch nicht erlebt. Und es wird eher noch schlimmer. Der Nahe Osten zieht polarisierte kampfbereite jugendliche Dschihadisten aus dem Osten wie dem Westen an, berauscht vom Blut-Aphrodisiakum der Enthauptungen und Bombardierungen.

Die USA und die meisten anderen Länder versuchen naturgemäß, die blutigen Bürgerkriege einzudämmen, die derzeit im Irak und in Syrien wüten; das schlimmste Beispiel ist die Ausbreitung des brutalen dschihadistischen Islamischen Staates. Würde sich Washington zuerst der Beendigung des syrischen Bürgerkriegs widmen, so wäre das der wirkungsvollste Ansatz dazu, den Knoten im Nahen Osten zu entwirren.

Nachdem die Volksbewegungen des Arabischen Frühlings die Regierungen in Tunesien, Ägypten, Libyen und im Jemen gestürzt hatten, sah es so aus, als sei das Assad-Regime in Syrien als Nächstes an der Reihe. Die USA, die Türkei, Saudi-Arabien und andere Staaten der Region wetteten darauf, dass ein kleiner Stoß von außen ausreichen würde, um Assad zu Fall zu bringen – egal, wer genau ihm nachfolgen würde.

Würde sich Washington zuerst der Beendigung des syrischen Bürgerkriegs widmen, so wäre das der wirkungsvollste Ansatz dazu, den Knoten im Nahen Osten zu entwirren.

Sie verloren diese Wette, und Assad hat sich mit einem erstaunlichen Geschick an der Macht gehalten – zunächst gegen die bewaffnete Opposition im Inland, dann gegen die bewaffnete Opposition aus dem Ausland, die von den USA, der Türkei, Saudi-Arabien und anderen Staaten unterstützt wird. Nun lockt der syrische Bürgerkrieg radikale Dschihadisten aus der gesamten muslimischen Welt in den Kampf gegen Assad. Viele dieser Gruppen sympathisieren mit den IS-Truppen und haben das Ausbreiten des Islamischen Staates nach Syrien unterstützt – allerdings gibt es auch Dschihadisten, die dem IS feindlich gegenüberstehen, taktisch, wenn nicht gar ideologisch.

Die Ohnmacht der Geheimdienste

Es übersteigt die Fähigkeiten der Geheimdienste der USA wie auch aller anderen westlichen Staaten, sich einen umfassenden strategischen und taktischen Überblick zu verschaffen und das nötige intuitive Gefühl zu entwickeln, um den Konflikt in die von uns gewünschten Bahnen zu lenken. Die Auseinandersetzungen sind durchzogen von stark miteinander verwobenen ideologischen, persönlichen, regionalen, religiösen, taktischen und ethnischen Differenzen, die sich der Kontrolle durch Außenstehende völlig entziehen. So wurde Washington auf die groben Instrumente der Bombardierung und der Unterstützung von Angriffen der einen Dschihadisten auf die anderen zurückgeworfen. Den Punktestand dieses Spiels kennt niemand. Und es wird alles noch schlimmer.

Washingtons Furcht vor dem Islamischen Staat hat mittlerweile den Sturz Assads als wichtigstes Ziel der USA abgelöst. Und ein Erfolg in Syrien ist nahezu unmöglich, solange viele der Kräfte, die wir im Kampf gegen Assad unterstützen, auch direkt oder indirekt dem Islamischen Staat in die Hände spielen.

Assad wird in absehbarer Zukunft nicht fallen. Er ist alles andere als ein idealer Herrscher, doch er denkt rational, führt seit langem einen funktionierenden Staat und hat in Syrien die Unterstützung vieler, die sich zu Recht vor den möglichen neuen Machthabern oder der Anarchie fürchten, die nach seinem Sturz in Syrien herrschen könnten. Ungeachtet des neokonservativen Geschwafels stellt Assad keine echte Bedrohung im Nahen Osten dar. Es ist höchste Zeit: Die USA müssen in den sauren Apfel beißen, das eigene Scheitern einräumen und Assad erlauben – oder ihm dabei helfen –, den Bürgerkrieg in Syrien rasch zu beenden und die Dschihadisten zu vertreiben.

Mit einer politischen Kehrtwende im Umgang mit Assad können wir wenig verlieren und viel gewinnen.

Wir können nicht Assad bekämpfen und gleichzeitig die Dschihadisten (zum Beispiel den IS), die wiederum Assad bekämpfen. Grob gesagt kämpfen wir in Syrien gemeinsam mit al-Qaida und im Irak gegen al-Qaida. Doch die Wiederherstellung der Ordnung in Syrien ist die Voraussetzung für die Wiederherstellung der Ordnung in den Grenzgebieten des Irak, des Libanon, Israels und Jordaniens. Assad an der Macht zu lassen, stellt auch ein Syrien wieder her, das historisch im Nahen Osten nie als wahrhaft „sektiererischer“ oder religiöser Staat aufgetreten ist – bis Saudi-Arabien ihn wegen seines angeblichen Schiismus angriff.

Mit einer politischen Kehrtwende im Umgang mit Assad können wir wenig verlieren und viel gewinnen. Wenn wir weiter seinen gewaltsamen Sturz betreiben, zementieren wir den katastrophalen Status quo – eine anti-dschihadistische Militärkampagne, von der die US-Regierung bereits einräumt, dass sie sich zu einem neuen endlosen Krieg auswachsen könnte – und generieren gleichzeitig zehntausende neuer Dschihadisten, die gegen neue Dschihadisten kämpfen, die wir wiederum nicht wegbomben können.

Rückkehr zur alten Ordnung

Ein Ende des syrischen Bürgerkriegs und eine Rückkehr zur alten Ordnung erleichtert es Bagdad, eine Politik zu entwickeln, mit der der IS auf irakischem Boden ausgehungert wird. Die Türkei, die lange Opfer ihres eigenen gescheiterten Pokerspiels um den Sturz Assads war, wird ebenfalls von einer Wiederherstellung der Ordnung in Syrien profitieren: vom Ende des Flüchtlingsstroms und von der Chance, mit den erstarkten Kurden wieder in ernsthafte Gespräche zu treten.

Ja, es wäre schön, Syrien die Demokratie zu bringen, aber wir wissen doch nun wirklich aus Erfahrung, dass der gewaltsame Sturz von Diktatoren – zumal, wenn die Gewalt von außen kommt – selten im Frieden und einer spürbar besseren Staatsführung mündet. Ohnehin waren die USA von jeher mehr von ihrem Eifer getrieben, einen Verbündeten des Iran zu zerstören, als von Visionen einer Demokratie in Syrien.

Jetzt muss es darum gehen, den Krieg und die grenzüberschreitenden Konflikte zu beenden, die nichts als Anarchie, Polarisierung, weitere internationale bewaffnete Interventionen, Wut und Rekrutierungsvideos für globalisierte Dschihadisten mit sich bringen. Doch halt: Werden dann nicht Russland und der Iran davon profitieren, wenn Assads Macht in Damaskus am Ende gestärkt wird? Selbstverständlich. Ist es deshalb die falsche Entscheidung? Sollen wir stattdessen für eine nutzlose Militärkampagne zum Sturz Assads weiter und weiter draufzahlen? Sollen wir weiter Bombenangriffe fliegen und Ausschau halten nach der am wenigsten schlimmen Dschihadistengruppe, die unseren hohen Ansprüchen genügt, die also sowohl den Islamischen Staat als auch Assad hasst – und uns liebt?

Leicht gekürzte Fassung des Beitrags „Embracing Assad a better U.S. strategy than supporting the least bad jihadis”. © Foreign Affairs 2014. Der Beitrag gibt die persönliche Meinung des Autors wider.

Von: Graham E. Fuller
Veröffentlicht am 21.10.2014




Washington Post: Denmark tries a soft-handed approach to returned Islamist fighters

AARHUS, Denmark — The rush of morning shoppers parted to make way for Talha, a lanky 21-year-old in desert camouflage and a long, religious beard. He strode through the local mall with a fighter’s gait picked up on the battlefields of Syria. Streams of young Muslim men greeted him like a returning king.

As-salamu alaykum.

Wa alaikum assalaam.

In other countries, Talha — one of hundreds of young jihadists from the West who has fought in Syria and Iraq — might be barred from return or thrown in jail. But in Denmark, a country that has spawned more foreign fighters per capita than almost anywhere else, the port city of Aarhus is taking a novel approach by rolling out a welcome mat.

In Denmark, not one returned fighter has been locked up. Instead, taking the view that discrimination at home is as criminal as Islamic State recruiting, officials here are providing free psychological counseling while finding returnees jobs and spots in schools and universities. Officials credit a new effort to reach out to a radical mosque with stanching the flow of recruits.

View Graphic

Map: Flow of foreign fighters to Syria

Some progressives say Aarhus should become a model for other communities in the United States and Europe that are trying to cope with the question of what to do when the jihad generation comes back to town.

For better or worse, this city’s answer has left the likes of Talha wandering freely on the streets. The son of moderate Muslim immigrants from the Middle East, he became radicalized and fought with an Islamist brigade in Syria for nine months before returning home last October. Back on Danish soil, he still dreams of one day living in a Middle Eastern caliphate. He rejects the Islamic State’s beheading of foreign hostages but defends its summary executions of Iraqi and Syrian soldiers.

“I know how some people think. They are afraid of us, the ones coming back,” says Talha, a name he adopted to protect his identity because he never told his father he went to fight. “Look, we are really not dangerous.”

Yet critics call this city’s soft-handed approach just that — dangerous. And the effort here is fast becoming a pawn in the much larger debate raging across Europe over Islam and the nature of extremism. More and louder voices here are clamoring for new laws that could not only charge returnees with treason but also set curbs on immigration from Muslim countries and on Islamic traditions such as religious circumcision.

In a country that vividly remembers the violent backlash in the Muslim world after a Danish newspaper published cartoon images of the prophet Muhammad in 2006, many here want Aarhus to crack down on — not cajole — extremists.

“They are being much too soft [in Aarhus], and they fail to see the problem,” said Marie Krarup, an influential member of Parliament from the Danish People’s Party, the country’s third-largest political force. “The problem is Islam. Islam itself is radical. You cannot integrate a great number of Muslims into a Christian country.”

Perfect breeding ground

Aarhus is treating its returning religious fighters like wayward youths rather than terrorism suspects because that’s the way most of them started out.

The majority were young men like Talha, between 16 and 28, including several former criminals and gang members who had recently found what they began to call “true Islam.” Most of them came from moderate Muslim homes and, quite often, were the children of divorced parents. And most lived in the Gellerupparken ghetto.

A densely packed warren of mid-rise public housing blocks, Gellerupparken is home to immigrants and their families who arrived in the waves of Muslim migration that began in the 1960s. Unemployment — especially among youths — is far higher than the city average. At one point, crime was so bad that even ambulances needed police escorts. It made a perfect breeding ground for angry young men at risk of becoming militants.

On a quest to change that, the city is in the midst of a major overhaul of the ghetto. Better housing could improve conditions and lure more ethnic Danes, contributing to integration. New thoroughfares and roads, meanwhile, would link it more closely to the rest of the city.

“These are young people who have turned to religion at a very difficult time in their lives, and they are dealing with existential questions about going to fight for what they believe in,” said Aarhus Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard. “We cannot pass legislation that changes the way they think and feel. What we can do is show them we are sincere about integration, about dialogue.”

‘It’s home’

“It doesn’t feel strange, being back,” said Talha, as he passed an organic juice stand at a local mall. Four blond Danish girls eye him warily. He is well known here, a heroic figure among his Muslim peers, many of whom know he fought in Syria and greet him with hand on heart and a respectful nod. “It’s home.”

He was born in Denmark, to an immigrant family that hailed from a nation bordering Syria. To maintain his privacy, he declined to publicly state which one. The urge to go and fight, he said, built like a slow burn. For months, he had watched YouTube videos of civilian killings committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “I could not just sit in the comfort of Denmark while thousands and thousands of my brothers were dying,” he said. He began discussing his feelings with other religious friends, and within a few months, a plan was hatched.

On the day he left for Syria, in October 2012, he told his divorced parents that he and a friend were going to Turkey on vacation. Instead, his friend’s cousin had arranged their passage across the border to Syria. He worked in a refugee camp for a few weeks before getting attached to an independent battalion associated with Ahrar al-Sham, a group with alleged ties to al-Qaeda. During the months when he manned heavy-artillery batteries near Aleppo, he said, his outfit also maintained harmonious ties with the Islamic State.

“You cannot believe everything you hear about the Islamic State,” Talha said. “There may be bad things, but also good things.”

He returned to Denmark for a few months in 2013, telling his mother — but not his father — what he had done. Since his own religious awakening, he had persuaded her to start wearing a head scarf, and she became more religious herself. But “she cried when I told her where I had been,” he said. When he returned to Syria a few months later, she did not try to stop him.

Talha came back to Denmark last October, when bouts of infighting broke out among rival factions. Since then, he has had one meeting, he said, with a police official who questioned him about his plans and intentions. Under Aarhus’s program, he was offered — and accepted — taxpayers’ help for the math classes he needs to enter engineering school.

Yet, because counseling is voluntary, he has opted to skip the therapy sessions he says he doesn’t need. He wants no harm to come to Denmark, he said, but bemoans what he describes as a mounting anti-Islamic sentiment in the media and national government.

“I don’t see how that helps,” he said.

Controversial mosque

Danish authorities say the vast majority of the 30 or so Aarhus residents who went to Syria were somehow linked to one of the most polarizing houses of worship in Europe — the Grimhojvej mosque. Talha began to worship there four years ago, two years before he left for Syria. He found the mosque through a childhood friend who helped him leave behind what he described as a world of secular vice. Parties with Danish teens. Drinking. Girls. “That’s my past,” he said. “Not my present.”

But Talha wants to make one thing clear. He, like the mosque leadership, denies that Grimhojvej recruited him and other fighters.

“These are good men,” he said with a smile.

Others disagree.

The mosque opened in 2008 and, in recent years, absorbed the congregation of a nearby mosque that closed and where several men had been previously detained on terrorism charges. One of its current imams is under investigation in Germany for inciting hate during a visit to Berlin in July. From 2008 to 2013, another imam — Abdessamad Fateh, a 46-year-old Moroccan immigrant also known as Abu Hamza — preached at Grimhojvej. After spending five months in Syria, he is back in Aarhus. According to Arab intelligence officials, he recruited Westerners — including a young Danish convert to Islam — to fight in Syria and Iraq. This month, Fateh was added to the U.S. list of suspected terrorists thought to have ties to al-Qaeda.

Inside the converted ice factory that houses Grimhojvej, Oussama el-Saadi, the mosque’s chairman, dismissed the allegations with a wave of his hand. If they are guilty of anything at Grimhojvej, he says, it is simply of being devout believers. “We have the right to our faith,” he said.

Nevertheless, in January, Aarhus officials gave the mosque an ultimatum. It could either open itself up to a new dialogue with the community or face a public condemnation and, quite likely, stepped-up legal pressure.

The mosque chose to cooperate.

Since January, police and city officials have engaged in a number of unprecedented sessions hosted by the mosque. In the presence of mosque leaders, police and city officials met with returned fighters like Talha to assess their risk levels. They also met with members of the mosque’s youth group to dissuade other young Muslims from traveling to the Middle East. In monthly meetings, city officials, police and members of the mosque hierarchy are now debating religious ideology, Danish law and freedom of speech.

The mosque still openly backs a caliphate in the Middle East, refuses to offer a blanket denunciation of the Islamic State and warns that Denmark’s recent decision to join the U.S.-led coalition in airstrikes against the militant group may only fan the fires of homegrown terrorism.

Yet Grimhojvej has undeniably nuanced its public position, rejecting, for instance, the Islamic State’s beheadings of foreign hostages. Saadi denies allegations that the mosque became a recruiting center for militants, saying it did not discourage or encourage those who wanted to go and fight. But now, its official line — at least in public — is that the young Muslims of Aarhus should stay home.

Police officials say the statistics prove their approach is working.

“In 2013, we had 30 young people go to Syria,” said Jorgen Ilum, Aarhus’s police commissioner. “This year, to my knowledge, we have had only one. We believe that the main reason is our contact and dialogue with the Muslim community.”

Anthony Faiola is The Post’s Berlin bureau chief. Faiola joined the Post in 1994, since then reporting for the paper from six continents and serving as bureau chief in Tokyo, Buenos Aires, New York and London.

Souad Mekhennet, co-author of “The Eternal Nazi,” is a visiting fellow at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the Geneva Centre for Security policy.


Interview mit dem Militärhistoriker Klaus Naumann: „Der Soldatenberuf ist ein politischer Beruf“

12.10.2014 … Man hat Soldaten in diesen Einsatz geschickt, man hat mehr als 50 Todesopfer zu beklagen, und dann wird nicht einmal eine solide Auswertung vorgenommen, an der sich ablesen lässt: Was hat sich gelohnt, was hat sich nicht gelohnt, wo gab es Fortschritte, wo gibt es keine, wie soll das weitergehen? Das zu vernachlässigen ist sträflicher Leichtsinn.

Ich verstehe ein Parlament nicht, das sich das gefallen lässt … Wir können vermuten, erstens, dass es einen Unwillen aufseiten der Politik gibt, dieses unangenehme Kapitel noch weiter zu verfolgen. Zweitens haben wir es mit einer mangelnden Durchsetzungsfähigkeit des Militärs zu tun. Der Generalinspekteur müsste auf den Tisch hauen.

Er müsste die Politik fragen: Ihr wollt neue Einsätze fahren – und beauftragt uns noch nicht mal mit einer soliden Auswertung des vorangegangenen Großeinsatzes? Das geht nicht … Man hat sich zurückgezogen auf das Militärhandwerkliche des Soldatenberufes. Das hat eine lange Tradition.

Aber der Soldatenberuf ist ein politischer Beruf. Er agiert auf einem politischen Gefechtsfeld: zusammen mit nichtmilitärischen Akteuren, mit der Host Nation, mit NGOs, mit dem Auswärtigen Amt, mit dem Entwicklungshilfeministerium. Und der Auftrag ist ein politischer … Mit Sieg oder Niederlage im militärischen Sinne ist das nicht zu erreichen. Der Soldat hat einen politischen Auftrag, den er ins Militärische übersetzen und gleichzeitig wieder ins Politische rückübersetzen können muss.

Wenn er das nicht kann, passiert Folgendes: Man siegt sich taktisch zu Tode, aber der politische Erfolg bleibt aus. Dann bleibt nur noch die amerikanische Spruchweisheit: „Declare victory and run!“ … Wenn ein Einsatz wie der in Afghanistan ohne ausgearbeitete Strategie läuft, dann ist das Militär in der Zwangslage, die Politik hintenrum wieder einzubringen: Es schreibt sich seine Strategie dann selbst. So wie die US-Generale McChrystal und Petraeus

… Da gibt es jetzt Stimmen, die behaupten, die Kampfsituation und -erfahrung bestimme das Selbstbild des Soldaten. Das ist empirisch unzutreffend. Und auch konzeptionell fragwürdig.

Wie Clausewitz schon sagte: Der Krieg ist kein Zweikampf, sondern ein politisches Geschäft. Dieses Hintergrundwissen bringen die Soldaten mit und darin müssen sie bestärkt werden … Wir brauchen angesichts der aktuellen Probleme dringend einen Reviewprozess, wie ihn das Auswärtige Amt begonnen hat, das heißt, eine große Bestandsaufnahme, eine breite Diskussion.

Und es ist höchste Zeit für ein neues Weißbuch.

Das letzte ist von 2006. Der sichtbare Ausdruck einer Afghanistanauswertung wäre ein neues Weißbuch, und das sollte auf innerministerieller Ebene erarbeitet und mehr werden als ein Ressortpapier … Über die Material- und Beschaffungsprobleme ist ja auch ewig nicht geredet worden. Wenn das jetzt aufgebrochen ist, dann handelt es sich dabei streng genommen nur um die Spitze des Eisbergs.

Unter Wasser liegen langjährige Missstände bei den inneren Strukturen, im Bürokratismus, im Schweigen zu offensichtlichen Missständen und Fehlentscheidungen. Die „Fehlerkultur“, die Frau von der Leyen jetzt einfordert, das wäre im Grunde eine Generalsanierung der Inneren Führung. Dabei geht es um ein Führungsverhalten, bei dem sich der Soldat als verantwortlicher Treuhänder des Auftrags begreift und seinen Fachverstand auch dort einbringt, wo es karriereschädlich sein kann … Nötig wäre eine Diskussion über sicherheitspolitische Prioritätensetzungen – was ist wirklich wichtig, was eher nicht – wie über militärpolitische Folgerungen, in die sich auch der militärische Sachverstand unbeschränkt, unverstellt, gewissermaßen rücksichtslos einbringt. Gerade da, wo es unbequem ist. Das wäre Sache des Generalinspekteurs und der Inspekteure der Teilstreitkräfte, um einmal oben anzufangen. Aber da kommt zu wenig. Es fehlt an militärpolitischen Köpfen.

2005 forderte der damalige Präsident Horst Köhler bei einem Vortrag vor künftigen Generalstabsoffizieren: Mischen Sie mit in der sicherheitspolitischen Diskussion! Treten Sie unserer Elite kräftig auf die Füße! Davon ist nichts zu sehen. Man verharrt in vorauseilendem politischem Gehorsam, im Absicherungsdenken. Innere Führung, ein selbstverantwortliches Handeln im öffentlichen Auftrag, ist das nicht …


Global Life Sciences and Bionetworking —
Cell Therapy Production, Provision and Policies

Question explored:
What is there between bona fide and rogue stem cell therapy?

Conference Centre, Bramber House, University of Sussex

We would like to invite you to attend the two-day conference on 11-12th November, 2014. This high level, international conference is hosted by the Centre for Bionetworking.

Panel speakers announced:
Our keynote speakers are Aditya Bharadwaj, (Research Professor, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and author of Local Cells Global Science) and Insoo Hyun, (Associate Professor of Bioethics, Case Western Reserve University, USA, and former leader in creation of ISSCR regulation)

We welcome over forty specialists to present on the following panels:

Plenary Panel:
Standard setting, regulation and the authorisation of stem cell therapy provision

Speakers include:
Paolo Bianco, critic of (MSC) therapy providers, University of Rome, Hongyun Huang, provider of fetal stem cell therapy, Neuroscience Institute of Taishan Medical University (China),Geeta Shroff, provider of embryonic stem cell therapy, Nutech Mediworld (India) and more TBC

Panel 1: Resistance and alter-standardization in emerging medicine research:
the role of global asymmetries
Panel 2: Beyond clinical subjects or paying clients: Examining the role of patients in biomedical innovation and governance
Panel 3: International Life Science Platforms and Bionetworking – Putting back the people in the platform
Panel 4: Medical and wellness tourism: bionetworking across boundaries
Panel 5: Cord Blood Banking and Bionetworking
Panel 6: How Ethics and Religion Shape Stem Cell Research

Focus of the event:
This conference discusses how scientific and non-scientific developments intertwine, how collaboration interlinks with competition, and how established and non-established scientific powers feed and hamper each other in shaping the life sciences.

With a general focus on bionetworking in biomedicine, and a particular focus on regenerative medicine, six subpanels will explore three main themes: cell therapy production (infrastructures, platforms, biomaterials), provision (patient recruitment, therapy services, patient care), and policies (governance, policy-making, standard setting).

Key questions to be addressed include:

  • What are the nature and scope of interdisciplinary collaboration in the development of regenerative medicine?
  • What is stem cell tourism? Does it harm naïve patients or form a last chance to recover?
  • Is the kind of therapy provided in a countries determined by its religion, wealth or culture?
  • Do scientists in different countries develop new standards for the evaluation of innovative cell therapies?
  • What is the role of patients and patient organisations in the development of new cell therapies?
  • Is umbilical cord blood banking useful? Are public banks better than private ones?
  • What are the healthcare challenges for advanced cell therapies?

Experts from the natural and social sciences, hospitals, industry, funding agencies, journalism, and NGOs will deliberate how innovative therapies in the life sciences are shaping international healthcare provision, and define its challenges to societies with different standards of health and income.

You can choose from a range of concurrent panel sessions on both days. The conference has various ‘networking’ moments during break-times and at the farewell reception.

Please see Poster attached.

For more information, please visit

Follow this link to Eventbrite to register:

We hope to see you at the conference.

Margaret Sleebloom-Faulkner
Professor of Social & Medical Anthropology
Director, Centre for Bionetworking
Univerisity of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton, UK
01273 87744901273 877449

Please feel free to pass this email on to those you think may be interested


In eigener Sache:Die “Neue Liberale” will für einen sozialen Liberalismus stehen*

Interview mit Dr. Najib Karim (NK) und Ruhrbarone (SB)


Was “liberal” bedeutet

SB: Jetzt sagten Sie ja mehrfach „sozial-liberal“. Sie haben vorhin auch erwähnt, dass wenn man Teile aus dem FDP-Programm vorliest, der Bürger das sehr wohl auch ganz gut fände. Ich habe es so wahrgenommen, dass Sie sich trotzdem in der letzten Zeit sehr betont von der FDP distanziert haben, und ich denke deshalb ist eine der Kernfragen: Was bedeutet denn für die „Neue Liberale“ liberal?

NK: Man kann die Frage sogar erweitern und fragen: Was bedeutet eigentlich sozial-liberal? Und gibt es da einen Unterschied? Es gibt ja diesen Ausspruch, man sei gegen Bindestrich-Liberalismus, dass es nur einen Liberalismus geben kann.

Wir als Liberale besetzen diesen Begriff positiv, weil wir wissen, was damit verbunden ist. Die Freiheit nach vorne zu stellen heißt, das Individuum gegenüber dem Kollektiv zu stärken: Liberalismus ist ein Wertekanon, in dem die Freiheit des Einzelnen das Fundament für alles Weitere bildet. Man muss die Freiheit dann auch im Zweifelsfall immer als Erstes verteidigen, auch gegen beispielsweise Sicherheitsbedürfnisse. Das sind unsere Vorstellungen, die die Menschen auch gut finden, aber die sie nicht mit dem Begriff Liberalismus in Verbindung bringen.

Viele bringen mit Liberalismus heutzutage nur noch Egoismus in Verbindung, Rücksichtslosigkeit und Gier. Und das ist ein ganz großes Problem, da muss man sich überlegen: Wie kann man den wahren Inhalt des Liberalismus wieder dem Bürger verständlich machen?

Ich halte nichts davon, zum Beispiel jemandem zu sagen: Nein, so wie ihr Neoliberalismus definiert, ist es nicht richtig. Das ist doch eigentlich die Freiburger Schule, die war ja viel sozialer, genau das Gegenteil von dem Neoliberalismus, den ihr kennt. Diese Diskussion versteht kein Mensch. Das, was wir als Liberalismus verstehen, das verstehen die Bürger als Sozial-Liberalismus. Und deswegen habe ich auch keine Probleme, diesen Begriff zu verwenden.

SB: Aber das heißt auch, dass Sie den Eingriffen des Staates in unternehmerisches Handeln nicht so ablehnend gegenüber stehen, wie das vielleicht die FDP in der Vergangenheit getan hat?

NK: Das ist richtig, denn wir sagen ja: Die Freiheit muss verteidigt werden. Und die FDP hatte immer einen ganz großen Fokus auf den Staat als die große Bedrohung der Freiheit. Wir sagen: Wir müssen natürlich den Liberalismus weiter entwickeln und schauen, wie jetzt zur Zeit der Globalisierung und der Digitalisierung die Verteidigung der Freiheit aussieht. Und da muss man dann ganz klar feststellen: Es gibt neue Bedrohungen der Freiheit.

Es ist nicht unbedingt nur der Staat, der die Freiheit des einzelnen Bürgers einschränkt, sondern es sind ganz neue Strukturen. Ursprünglich war ja auch beim Liberalismus eine ganz berechtigte Kritik von Monopolen und Kartellen verankert.

SB: Na gut, ein klassischer Liberaler würde sagen, dort, wo freie Märkte herrschen, da gibt es keine Monopole.

NK: Das ist ja nicht ganz richtig. Man kann sich die reine Lehre anschauen und sagen: So müsste es sein. Um sich dann die Realität anzuschauen und festzustellen: So ist es.

Der absolut freie Markt ist auch eine Utopie, den gibt es ja nicht wirklich. Und insbesondere in vielen Marktbereichen lässt er sich auch gar nicht wirklich bewerkstelligen. Wenn wir uns zum Beispiel die Gesundheitsbranche anschauen, gibt es weltweit eigentlich keinen freien Markt für Gesundheit. Der wäre auch wirklich nicht wünschenswert, weil z.B. lebenswichtige Medikamente vollkommen preisunelastisch wären. Da ist es dann gut, dass es Regularien gibt, die einen Maximalpreis unabhängig von Angebot und Nachfrage festsetzen.

SB: Wo Sie gerade bei Gesundheit sind, wie konkret sind eigentlich dort Ihre Positionen? Also könnten Sie mir jetzt sagen, wie Sie ein patientenorientiertes Gesundheitssystem etablieren wollen, oder sind das noch Sachen, die alle erst in der Zukunft im Detail erarbeitet werden müssen?

NK: Also wir gründen ja gerade eine Partei. Natürlich habe ich Vorstellungen, aber ganz viele Parteimitglieder, die jetzt eintreten, haben ebenfalls ihre Vorstellungen. Und die muss man jetzt erstmal zusammenführen. Dafür sind die demokratischen Prozesse da, dafür sind die Parteitage da. Wir haben ein Grundsatzpapier vorgelegt, was unsere politische Position und Grundhaltung darstellt. [III] Daran werden sich natürlich dann auch unsere konkreten Programmpunkte langfristig und mittelfristig orientieren. Zu diesen aktuellen Fragen könnte ich natürlich etwas sagen, aber das wäre undemokratisch. Dafür sind unsere Parteitage da.….



see our letter on:

Wir wünschen Ihnen ein angenehmes Wochenende. Ihr Team.

Udo von Massenbach – Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster – Jörg Barandat



Die „Neue Liberale“ will fr einen sozialen Liberalismus stehen _ Ruhrbarone.pdf