Gabriel’s balance sheet in the election year therefore depends at least in part on chance: A single submarine could give him a lot of damage. Source:, Sabine Siebold, rts “Bundeswehr soldiers with the fully automatic G36 infantry rifle. (Photo: dpa) The discussion is finished: The Bundeswehr needs new assault rifles or at least the existing rifles have to be retrofitted.

Qatar, for example, has not only bought into Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen, but is also an excellent customer of German armaments.In the spring, the federal government allowed the tank smithy Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) to sell battle tanks to the desert emirate for almost two billion euros. And even Saudi Arabia has so far only rarely been able to complain, even if it has tried in vain to deliver German Leopard tanks: Airbus is building a high-tech border fence for over two billion dollars in the country that many consider a bulwark against Iran, and according to media reports, the Saudis will receive patrol boats for more than one billion euros from the Bremen Lürssen shipyard. Should the lucrative business with the Gulf States soon no longer be possible, German arms companies fear billions in losses. The first signs can already be seen: According to “Spiegel”, Gabriel has the Heckler armory Koch allegedly banned the export of components for the G36 assault rifle to Saudi Arabia.

However, this is not confirmed in the company with around 700 employees. “We are still waiting for a decision,” it says in company circles. There is irritated reference to the long-standing good relationship with the Gulf state. “Regardless of how you feel about the country, they have been relying on us for various arms deliveries for decades,” it says. Particularly spicy for Gabriel: The G36 factory in Saudi Arabia was approved by the grand coalition in 2008.

Heckler Koch is now hoping for a quick end to the hanging game. “We need timely decisions – and clarity about where exports are possible in the future,” says the company. “That hits us enormously – and it is difficult to explain to customers,” says one employee. “If arms exports to the Middle East and the Gulf are no longer possible, this would be a heavy blow for many German companies.” Heckler is Germany’s dominant producer of small arms Koch is one of the companies that would be most affected by a restriction on exports. The highly indebted company in the constituency of the CDU parliamentary group leader Volker Kauder in Oberndorf, Baden-Württemberg, produces not only assault rifles but also machine guns that are popular with special forces around the world. Extremist boss Osama bin Laden is also said to be using a Heckler weapon Koch have been killed.

 Gabriel himself is unimpressed by the criticism. All German defense companies should try “to reduce their dependence on state armaments procurement and instead focus more on the civilian market,” he wrote in a letter to a company that had turned to him with concern.biology essay writing services online Airbus boss Tom Enders also won a rebuff when he warned of the loss of jobs and threatened to relocate plants abroad.

In the new arms export report, Gabriel made it clear that his ministry would not grant approval for dubious transactions even if they were justified with securing jobs, although not all cabinet members are considered to be supporters of Gabriel’s course. Chancellor Angela Merkel and even Gabriel’s party friend Frank-Walter Steinmeier are said to be rather skeptical about the plans of the SPD chairman. It is feared, among other things, that Germany will give up opportunities to exert influence on foreign states if necessary. After all, arms exports are often tied to conditions – quite apart from the dependency that the buyer states will put themselves into for many years and which can be a further means of pressure to meet political goals.

Because without aftercare and spare parts from Germany, many high-tech armaments will quickly become useless. A severe restriction on arms exports would also contradict the so-called Merkel doctrine: In order not to have to send German troops into every conflict, the crisis states should then be trained to do so be able to deal with their problems themselves. This will be difficult to do without arms deliveries. However, the Chancellor is holding back in public. She only hinted at differences with Gabriel in the interpretation of the arms export guidelines and cautiously speaks of “different evaluations” or priorities. Hardly anyone in the arms industry has great hopes for a word of power from the Chancellor or a moderating influence from the Foreign Minister: It is too unpopular Topic in Germany, in addition, Gabriel’s ambitions for the chancellorship would make it more difficult, they say. That is why the SPD politician must keep the party left as well as the Greens and Left Party balanced.

 Instead, many armaments representatives fear that the trend towards projects excluding German defense companies will intensify and that companies in Germany will become international pariah with whom no one wants to work any more. The catchphrase “German free” describes this development and has been making the rounds since last summer. Defense companies, especially in France, but also in Great Britain, are increasingly using this method, according to information from industry circles, in order not to be drawn into the maelstrom of a more restrictive German export policy. Several Union politicians even accuse Gabriel of breaching the coalition agreement. “Without a vote, he decided to completely turn away from the previous German export policy for armaments,” complain the members of the Bundestag Roderich Kiesewetter, Mark Hauptmann, Hans-Peter Uhl and others in a sharply worded letter. By rejecting it and not making a decision, Gabriel wants to reduce the number of exports in order to fulfill populist election promises. The domestic armaments industry is threatened in its existence, while Germany threatens to fall into a fatal dependence on foreign technology. Even the SPD-affiliated union camp is rehearsing the uprising: For some companies in the industry it is five to twelve, wrote the works council chairmen of more than 20 defense companies concerned with Gabriel. Gabriel has promised to retain core competencies in the defense industry.

But he is in a dilemma if he wants to restrict the export of small arms and tanks at the same time: with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), which builds the Leopard 2 battle tank, and Rheinmetall, which makes the associated smoothbore cannon, two of the most renowned have Tank smiths worldwide have their headquarters in Germany. Even the US, which is reluctant to use foreign military technology, uses the cannon barrels for its main battle tanks. Most experts therefore count the companies among those who will fall under technology preservation, but the industry is not sure. Gabriel’s course has at least accelerated the plans announced at the beginning of July for a merger of the two large tank manufacturers in Germany and France, KMW and Nexter, according to armaments circles. “The level of suffering has increased,” says an insider.

According to industry circles, the merger would have advantages for both companies, although at first glance their portfolios overlap strongly. KMW will probably serve the high price market and Nexter with its cheaper products the less well-heeled customers. Nexter should benefit from the German know-how. For KMW nothing will change in the German export guidelines. The Munich-based company is at least financially secure for the next few years, as Nexter is expecting some large government contracts, including the production of small arms by Heckler and Koch is counted among Germany’s core competencies.

According to experts, the Oberndorf-based company is way ahead in terms of technology, but in the past it made the headlines because its weapons appeared in Libya. However, the investigation into this was discontinued. The German arms export regime is strict: German weapons may not simply be re-exported after they have been sold without the approval of the federal government – the so-called end-of-use clause is intended to ensure this. The illegal trade in small arms is much more difficult to detect and stop than the resale of a 70-ton battle tank, which is precisely why the left-wing politician Jan van Aken advocates a ban on all small arms exports. “There is no safe export country for small arms – they are small, handy and have a very long lifespan,” says the expert.

He points out that the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had called them weapons of mass destruction. “In the wars of this world, 60 to 90 percent of people die from small arms,” ​​he argues. “In every civil war zone, you will mainly see fighters with assault rifles. The use of tanks, however, is the exception, not the rule.” Gabriel is therefore considering actually checking in the future whether the weapons will stay where they were sold. According to experts, Germany is not dependent on the arms industry in purely economic terms. Generously calculated, the share of the defense and security industry in the gross domestic product is one percent, according to a study by the Politics and Science Foundation (SWP). The automotive industry, on the other hand, comes to seven percent. “We are not worried about arms exports,” says Foreign Trade President Anton Börner. “If people stop buying German cars – then it is time to think about it.” Many experts are now calling for European export policy to be harmonized. If the federal government wants to restrict German arms exports, it must at least ensure the same rules of the game within Europe, demands association boss Adamowitsch.

He alludes to the distortion of competition, especially in France, Spain and Italy, where the arms industry is still largely in state hands. The scientists from the SWP also plead for an end to protectionism out of national vanity. “Europe holds expensive overcapacities, for example in systems for the production of fighter jets or ships, and stirs up competition from European suppliers on the world market,” the experts write. This is playing into the hands of competitors like the USA. The earlier the governments woke up and took care of European rather than national core competencies, “the sooner it will be decided whether Europe can still rely sufficiently on its own arms industry or whether it becomes even more dependent on other countries and regions, “warn SWP experts Hilmar Linnenkamp and Christian Mölling. For Gabriel, the moment of truth should come in the 2017 election year at the latest: If he wants to get a left-wing majority behind him, he has to score points on the symbolic issue of arms policy. But armament is a long-term business and major fluctuations are to be expected, especially with large orders: Products such as submarines, tanks or similar large equipment are often only completed and delivered years after the initial approval – and then reappear as a huge item in the arms export report.

Gabriel’s balance sheet in the election year depends at least in part on chance: A single submarine could give him a lot of damage. Source:, Sabine Siebold, rts “Bundeswehr soldiers with the fully automatic G36 infantry rifle. (Photo: dpa) The discussion is finished: The Bundeswehr needs new assault rifles or at least the existing rifles have to be retrofitted. That can take a while. Some soldiers need a quick solution. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen believes the Bundeswehr’s standard weapon, the G36 assault rifle, to be because of massive problems with accuracy “This rifle, as it is designed, has no future in the Bundeswehr,” said the CDU politician in the Bundestag Defense Committee. The troops currently use around 167,000 of these rifles.

However, a replacement for the rifle could take up to ten years. According to studies, the hit rate of the G36 drops from the required 90 percent to 7 percent under extreme heat. Von der Leyen left it open as to whether the Bundeswehr could be satisfied with a revised version of the rifle. The manufacturer Heckler had this option Talked to Koch on Sunday.

Special units and soldiers in action, however, need replacement “immediately”, according to the Defense Minister. According to external experts, the acquisition of a new assault rifle can take up to ten years. It is unclear how quickly a revision would be possible, but it must first be checked what requirements the Bundeswehr has of its new weapon.

It is not only the accuracy of the shot that is crucial, but also that the rifle still works in a dusty environment and a lot more. Heckler’s Bundeswehr can claim damages Cook probably not ask. According to von der Leyen, the G36 fulfills the requirements laid down in the 1996 appointment, with the Left Party criticizing the defense ministry’s late reaction. Problems have been known since 2010, said MP Jan van Aken. However, whenever a report recorded problems, the only answer was the Ministry to investigate further.

And in November 2011, two days after the Secretary of State received one of these reports, the ministry ordered another 13,000 rifles. “The money is gone now”, so van Aken. Source:, che / ghö / dpa “Gregor Gysi quarrels with his parliamentary group. (Photo: picture alliance / dpa) The second row is not for Gregor Gysi. Almost one One year after his resignation as left parliamentary group leader, he gives his two successors good advice. And he also brings his experiences with Oskar Lafontaine into conversation. The former chairman of the left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Gregor Gysi, has a substantive division of labor between his two successors, Sahra Wagenknecht and Dietmar Bartsch. He was reacting to the latest internal party criticism of Wagenknecht for statements on refugee policy. “When I led the parliamentary group with Oskar Lafontaine, we agreed on such a division of labor at his suggestion,” said Gysi of “Welt am Sonntag” .

Such a regulation would “also make sense today”. Lafontaine said at the time: “Look out, Gregor, you are solely responsible for foreign policy and I am solely responsible for economic and financial policy. We do the rest together. So we get together Don’t go into the enclosure. “The background is Wagenknecht’s statements after the allegedly Islamist-motivated bomb attack in Ansbach, Bavaria.