Once again, the #SPD, days before a decision was to be taken, is backtracking on the procurement of armed #drones. The claim: there hasn't been enough debate.
A thread showing *how utterly absurd* this claim is.*

(*No you don't need to support armed drones to acknowledge this)
In 2013 I was a fresh-faced PhD student. I wrote👇about the German debate on armed drones. At this time, the then-defence minister had argued for drones, high-ranking officers supported the idea. The Bundestag’s defence committee first discussed the issue
2014, my PhD advances, the German #drone debate not so much.
I comment: "There is one military topic, however, which has been discussed repeatedly and heatedly over the last few years: whether the German Bundeswehr should procure armed ‘drones’."
2015. Anything new? Well, I'm writing stuff. But the German debate is still the same.
My comments then 👇
drones.cnas.org/reports/a-pers… Image
2018. By now I have my PhD in which I study in detail German #drone use. For @zeitonline I write this 👇

zeit.de/politik/auslan… Image
'Politicians have been discussing for six years now whether the Bundeswehr should procure this system. During this period, at least seven countries have purchased or developed armed drones. The discussion began in August 2012...But the discussion has been stuck for six years'
2020, a new official debate starts under the heading #DrohnenDebatte2020. Together with Sophie Scheidt I sit down to try and answer any question that might be left. We publish this statement:
In the same year, with @Sicherheitspod, we take on the issue too. For one hour and 30 minutes we discuss in detail all relevant questions. Over 20 000 people listen to this debate.
So we have had at least eight years of debate on armed #drones in Germany. There literally is no point left which hasn't been made, and no expert left who hasn't made them. It's groundhog day every day in the German drone debate.
The kicker?
In my PhD thesis, I conclude this: (long quote 1/5)
"In fact, the public and political debate is one of the most striking and revolutionary elements of the introduction of drones in Germany. ...
...More than any change caused by the use of drones, it is the debate surrounding them that has caused most upheaval in Germany. The public debate was caught between hype and hysteria, leading to a situation in which factual debate was difficult.... (2/5)
...The almost exclusive focus on US drone use has created the impression among the population that all drones are armed, that they are predominantly being used to kill individuals outside designated warzones... (3/5)
...The opposition to drones has led to a reawakening of the peace movement, and has created an interest in military question in the general population that is extremely unusual in Germany.... (4/5)
...Minister von der Leyen noted, “it would be wrong to ignore the population’s discomfort with unmanned weapon systems." (5/5)
Throwing in another of my articles, for good measure.
If I have to continue having the same discussions over and over and over again, I might at least get my stuff read over and over and over...
This @AugenGeradeaus article also shows well just how many political, coalition and Bundestag debates there have been on the topic.

Not enough debate, I just can’t 😑

You don’t want to acquire armed #drones? Fine - make your argument and stand by it. But to insult everyone’s intelligence with the “not enough debate” nonsense is a disgrace.

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More from @RikeFranke

17 Nov
Oh come on ⁦@faznet⁩ !!! “AKK stands up to Macron”, rejects his idea of European autonomy.’
Talk about a straw man! AKK has rejected an interpretation of European autonomy that Macron never made. faz.net/aktuell/politi…
"Despite sharp criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron, AKK stuck to her position that Europe could not defend itself for the foreseeable future without the US."
What Macron actually said: "But the United States will only respect us as allies if we are earnest, and if we are sovereign with respect to our defence."
Read 6 tweets
17 Nov
If you want to watch @akk's key address on German security and defence policy - live stream (in German) pscp.tv/w/1ynKOBLBlbrxR
She's emphasising verrrry strongly how important the role of the US in Europe still is.
AKK: "The idea of European strategic autonomy goes too far if it nurtures the illusion that we can guarantee security, stability and prosperity in Europe without NATO and without the USA."
Read 12 tweets
16 Nov
Macron versus AKK on European strategic autonomy.
Shots taken.
In case you want to read me being wrong 🤷‍♀️.
This is from last year.
Read 4 tweets
16 Nov
Macron on Europe: a stronger Europe as only way to prevent the Chinese-American duopoly.
Unsurprising but now very clear: Macron is not backing down on #EuropeanAutonomy
Read 17 tweets
16 Oct
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:
ecfr.eu/article/commen…) 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.
Read 5 tweets
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

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