Yesterday, the candidate for chancellor for the German Greens, Annalena Baerbock gave a long recorded interview *on foreign and security policy*.
You can watch it here:…
Thread with some things I find noteworthy.
This interview is in and of itself really good news. We *need* to talk more about security and defence policy, and foreign policy in Germany.

(You think you've heard me say this before? Well yes I have… )
Some thoughts on what Baerbock said & how she did (my take, obviously).
Overall, she appeared rather well informed on the relevant topics - though not very concrete in her proposals.
It's election season, foreign policy is hard etc - so being concrete is difficult. But what worried me slightly is that several times she laid out the grand lines of her thinking, the interviewer then said "ok, could the following be a good proposal: ..." and she just... agreed.
Maybe his proposals was what she was thinking all along, fine. But it struck me, that a skilled diplomat or politician (think Putin) could use that same approach to his advantage. "You're high-level approach is all great, and here is how we do it."
Another point that is maybe relevant for non-Germans who think of Greens as very left activists: Baerbock made very clear that the existence and security of Israel is Germany's highest priority.
I also liked that she discussed the threat of blackouts (through #cyber attacks though it could also come for different reasons). I absolutely want the next government to take this on.
I recommend *the French* to listen very closely at min 36:17 (FCAS) and min 1:06:50 (EU cooperation).
What did she say?…
On FCAS (slightly edited and translated):
"In the German debate, security policy issues, such as the equipment of the Bundeswehr, are strongly mixed up with labor and economic policy issues and with European policy issues. ...
"...For example, when we talk about #FCAS. FCAS can make a lot of sense in terms of European policy. But the question of whether we currently rather need the money for protective gear for soldiers is a strategic debate that has to be had."
"... Politics is not an end in itself, you always have to ask yourself: "What is our goal and what means do I have to get there?"."
Which means that #FCAS isn't exactly safe. My colleague @_RafaelLoss made a similar point here…
Now, I don't think Baerbock is wrong when she says that we haven't really discussed and answered important questions re FCAS in Germany- most notably "what exactly do we need this system for?" But shaking FCAS is super risky for the Franco-German relationship.
The other moment that I found relevant for the Franco-German relationship is from ca. 01:06:30 where #Baerbock speaks of her idea of the EU. She said (slightly edited and translated):
"I am a passionate European - and I struggle with the idea of ​​“core Europe”. For me, increased cooperation on certain issues is not [cannot happen only in] "core Europe". Because, historically, it is an important achievement that East and West have come together in Europe.
...We cannot risk that. And that is why increased cooperation, which happens in individual groups, must always be open to all Europeans."
So, overall: interesting interview. Some Franco-German issues on the horizon, it the Greens enter government. But my main concern over a Green-led government (not one that includes them which I think can be pretty good, see👇) is this:…
The Greens are actually pretty hawkish, from a foreign policy point of view. They are much more openly critical of China, of Russia, than most other German parties. It's, as they say, a values-based foreign policy. The thing is...
The thing is: they are hawkish on foreign policy, but pretty guarded when it comes to funding the Bundeswehr and military capabilities. And that, in my view, is a pretty dangerous approach.
And no, this isn't about preparing for an actual war against China or Russia. But if you take strong stances on foreign policy, you need to be strong geopolitically - and that strength includes military capabilities.
That was my two cents. And now I want Laschet to do a similar interview please!

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More from @RikeFranke

1 May
Massive reading recommendation for the German speakers. This article by ⁦@berndulrich⁩ ⁦@DIEZEIT⁩ is the best analysis I’ve read so far about Black-Green.
Spoiler: it’s not good.

Es blubbert, aber es leuchtet nicht:…
So so well observed. Image
So so well observed part II Image
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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.
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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
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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