The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has put out a good report on German #drones.

Whaat, Rike siding with the LINKE?!
Well no, but I can appreciate good research and (overall) coherent arguments.
(Short thread)…
The report is written by @matthimon who has been working on this for many years (I spoke with him for my PhD research ages ago).
He clearly knows his stuff and the report is a good overview of German #drone capabilities.
A sidenote here: there is little love lost between me and the LINKE but they have been playing a great role in German drone politics through their inquiries (questions to the government). I used these questions and answers extensively in my research. That's just good politics.
Beyond the facts about which drones Germany flew when, of course there aren't that many points the author and I agree on. But there is at least this one: he agrees that there really now has been quite a discussion about drones in Germany!
But of course, there are lost of points I disagree with, so let's look at those.
Twice we find the argument that if Germany takes a decision against the procurement of armed drones, it would "take a stance", and "send a signal" to others, especially partners.
I understand that this *sounds* right, but nothing I have heard or seen supports this. ...
... Our partners don't care. Or rather, they care about the capabilities we actually *have*, but not the ones we don't. Given how Europeans either already have or are procuring armed #drones, I just don't think Germany has that role.
BTW, this isn't just my view, but my favourite @Sicherheitspod colleagues made a similar point when we discussed this in our #DrohnenDebatte2020 episode (from min 00:32:37)…
This one I don't quite get:
"What is certain is that the inhibition threshold for their use will decrease. The Bundeswehr confirmed this in the 'drone debate' by complaining that it was often 'condemned to watch' with its unarmed drones".
That the Bundeswehr complains that they couldn't act when they wanted to (because they had no armed drones), doesn't mean that drones *lower the inhibition* to use force. There was no inhibition - rather there was no capability. So that argument doesn't work for me.
The paper also has a preface by Norbert Schepers und Ingar Solty, and, that is actually a pretty well argumented case against armed #drones.
Again, I don't agree with their take, but in the German drone debate we've had such bad arguments for so long that I genuinely appreciate this. (SPD, I'm sorry but the LINKE actually does this better than you here...)
A few points from that essay:
"As credible as [the statement that drones won't be used for extralegal killings] may be for the moment, it is certain that the technology, once acquired, can be used at any time in the future as instruments in a policy of extrajudicial killings."
THAT is the point. That is the crux of the matter. It's about trust. Trust in the political decisions of future governments, trust in the Bundeswehr. And many opponents of armed #drones just don't have that.
So the argument isn't so much (or shouldn't be) "armed drones are evil", but it's "we don't want to give future governments/our military means that can be misused".
Now that argument shouldn't just apply to drones. But it is much more coherent than "evil drones!".
This is where armed drone opponents and proponents diverge in the end. * I * believe the German government when they tell me they won't start US-style targeted killings outside of official battlespaces. And I don't think future govs are likely either. The authors disagree.
Alright, this thread wasn't short in the end, but I will end here.
The report is useful. That's how you participate in the Drohnendebatte.…
(sorry, one addendum for the non-Germans, in case this wasn't clear from "Rosa Luxemburg Foundation": This is the political foundation of the LINKE party, the most left party in the German parliament, descendant to the East-German SED. So yeah, not my kinda crowd 😁)

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ulrike Franke

Ulrike Franke Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @RikeFranke

22 Apr
The Annual Edelman Trust Barometer has been published with some really interesting insights…
Good news for Germany: the German government is highly trusted abroad.

(“Please indicate how much you trust the national government of each of the following countries to do what is right”) Image
This shows nicely what a fickle and inexact thing ‘trust’ is: Trump voters, after the election in which their candidate lost, suddenly trust US NGOs, the media, and even US business much less.
🤷‍♀️ Image
Read 4 tweets
30 Mar
What a discussion between German Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU, President of Bundestag) and ⁦@GoulardSylvie⁩ (LREM, former MEP, former French defence minister)! 😮

Schäuble: „Deutsche wären bereit, auf nationale Armee zu verzichten“ - WELT…
A Franco-German interview that *starts* with questions about security and defence? Where things actually go beyond “we’re striving to create a European Army... eventually”? Pretty neat!
Schäuble: “I regret that the Aachen Treaty did not include more on the cooperation on the military level. That this is missing today wasn’t Paris fault.”
Read 5 tweets
28 Mar
I found this point really interesting so I went and checked - and unless I am missing something there actually hasn’t been a change: the 2015 review also only mentioned NATO allies in the nuclear context.
While the UK was part of the EU, it was bound by the EU‘s mutual defence clause (article 42.7, basically the EU‘s article 5). But (like with article 5) there is a lot of leeway there re national commitments. And the UK never really saw that to include its nuclear capabilities.
Finally, it’s important to recognise that while these debates matter for deterrence purposes, if we ever actually face a situation in which the UK might use its nuclear weapons discussions over which treaties apply probably won’t be #1 priority.
Read 4 tweets
10 Mar
"The data indicate that remotely piloted AISR aircraft have not reduced demand for crewed aircraft. Rather, these new aircraft have been used to satisfy previously unmet demand that existing crewed aircraft could not surge to meet."
These are really interesting findings!
Unmanned systems still need quite a few people to fly them, and so (in the US) the personnel cost per system is the same as for manned aircraft. Per flight hour, however, costs are lower.
Read 6 tweets
10 Mar
Alright, here we go!
At first reading I must say I'm a bit underwhelmed, and a bit confused. There's quite a lot in there but not very concrete or focused.
Admittedly, it looks like a more concrete "Digital Compass" is in the works.

So let's see what's in this Commission communication "2030 Digital Compass*: the European way for the Digital Decade"

*yes, I find this confusing too.
Read 34 tweets
9 Mar
Recently, I've gotten a surprising number of emails from students that I felt were pretty off - so I thought I'd do a thread on this.
This is supposed to help, not chide - I always try to say yes to student requests, but it's more fun if I don't feel annoyed at the start!😊
Form of address: Personally I'm totally fine with the "Dear Ulrike (if I may)" approach, but not everyone is, so better go for the title.
"Dear Ms" (or Mrs?!) actually annoys me.
And "Dear sir or madam" is just ... what?
Say in one sentence what you are working on. And then say in one sentence why you want to talk to me about it.
Sometimes I get these emails and just wonder: you've found me somehow, so you must know my topics, but yours doesn't match mine so what's the link? Don't make me ask.
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!