Good @POLITICOEurope article this morning on "strategic autonomy"(these days more often 'strategic sovereigtny')…
I agree that the term is (deliberately) vague - from the 'European Army' to 'Brexit', the EU has always used vague terms which allowed countries with different views to rally behind them.

(I wrote about this here:…) Image
But I think the authors miss an important point when they describe European autonomy just as "inward-looking".
Because I have observed an important uptick of debate about the geopolitics of Europe exactly because of the autonomy/sovereignty discussion.
Because in order to be autonomous or sovereign, you need to think about your capabilities and where you want to be in 5 or 10 years time. You need to think about the strength you want, and where to work with allies. You understand yourself as part of a global system.
So I'd argue that - perhaps somewhat counterintuitively - 'European strategic autonomy' is actually leading to more thinking about Europe's role in the world and its geopolitical power.
What that debate will lead to practically remains to be seen.

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More from @RikeFranke

6 Oct
I want to take this article on 'new weapons that are changing the war in #NagornoKarabakh' to talk a bit about #drones in this conflict. (1/8)…
As someone who's been looking into #drones, two things I found interesting:
First, the conflict showed again the important propaganda value of drones. As drones carry sophisticated surveillance tech, they document every strike they make (if armed), or operation flown. (2/8)
So using drones is like having a film crew with you, and Azerbaijan in particular has taken advantage of this, publishing clips of their drone operations. (3/8)
Read 9 tweets
5 Oct
Today, the #Bundestag defence committee will hold a hearing on armed #drones for the #Bundeswehr. Instead of reposting the 50 000 pieces I've written on this, here is a thread on two previous instances where Germany tried to acquire armed drones.
(Spoiler: these acquisition & development projects did not go well.)
We are in the 1979. It's the Cold War. France and West-Germany decide to develop a #drone together, named Brevel.
Read 25 tweets
16 Jun
Looks like it's again time for my regular threat "what US military installations are located in Germany?", and "Why is the US in Germany?".
US President Trump has said again that he wants to reduce the number of US troops stationed in Germany. He frames it as a punishment of Germany which does not spend 2% of its GDP on its own defence.
The thing is, though, that the US troops in Germany aren't primarily there to guarantee German security, or to deter Russia. They are there because Germany has become a staging ground for US operations worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.
Read 14 tweets
11 May
I spent the weekend writing a primer about #drones for #Drohnendebatte2020. It's not published yet (coming soon), but in the meantime a few thoughts on the German armed drones debate which I have been following and researching for a decade. (thread)
A bit of historical context: The German armed drone debate is as old as I am. In the late 1980s, the Bundeswehr first looked into armed #drones. Two systems - the KDH 'Kampfdrohne Heer' and the DAR 'Drohne Anti-Radar' were developed. Both were more loitering munition than drone..
... and both were eventually abandoned. Their requirements too technologically advanced for their time (autonomy, swarming etc), and their funding ended as the Cold War came to an end.
Read 33 tweets
24 Feb
Today is Rosenmontag, meaning that throughout the German Karneval cities, there are carneval parades. As I am stuck in London, I'll be sharing the most interesting floats here 😊.

(Fotos, logically, not mine but collected from media, twitter etc)
Seems appropriate to start with a Brexit-related one. From Dusseldorf's #Rosenmontagszug #Karneval
(Via @tom_nuttall)
A sad depiction of the state of German politics, also from Dusseldorf.
#Rosenmontag #Karneval #Thueringen
Read 18 tweets
18 Oct 19
The German Army (Amt für Heeresentwicklung, to be exact) has surprised many and published a position paper on #AI for land-based forces. Will translate bits and comment.
Alright, let's do this!
The paper is available here 👇
It was published only some ten days ago, but was finished in August/September.
#AI #KI #Bundeswehr (1/)…
The first thing to note is that with regard to process, this paper is a bit weird: Germany has a national #AI strategy (which mentions military AI in *one sentence*) but no military #AI strategy for the whole of the Bundeswehr. However, now there is this paper for the Army.
Read 33 tweets

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