Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 5, 2015

Germany in the mix

Filed under: Radicalization,Refugee Crisis,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on December 5, 2015

According to Deutsche Welle:

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency BND has released a disparaging report on Saudi Arabia. Their assessment says the country is destabilizing the Middle East with proxy wars in Yemen and elsewhere in the region.

The BND document entitled “Saudi Arabia – Sunni regional power torn between foreign policy paradigm change and domestic policy consolidation” singled out Saudi Arabia’s defense minister, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as trying to strengthen his place in the royal succession while putting Saudi Arabia’s relationship with erstwhile regional allies in jeopardy.

“The careful diplomatic stance of older members of the Saudi royal family has been replaced by an impulsive policy of intervention,” the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) said.

The spy agency accused bin Salman, second in line to the throne, and his father, King Salman, as trying to create an image of Saudi Arabia being the leader of the Arab world. The BND added that bin Salman’s quest to cement his place in the nation’s leadership could also irritate other members of the royal family.

As another reason for the shift in policy, the BND also cited a perceived change in the role of the United States as the guarantor of stability in the face of growing influence exerted by Iran.

Since King Salman’s succession to power in January 2015, there’s been a more forceful response to the regional standoff between Iran and Saudi Arabia largely set in motion by Prince Mohammed. The BND said that this could mainly be observed in Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen as well as its increased support for Syrian rebels in a bid to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Since the limited release of the report on Wednesday (I have not yet found an original), the German Foreign Ministry has repudiated the BND findings.

According to a separate DW story:

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday it was crucial that Berlin has a “coherent position” on the role of Saudi Arabia in the region.

The assessments by the BND that were published do not reflect this coherent position,” Seibert said. “Those who want progress on the pressing issues in the region, and there are many, need constructive relations with Saudi Arabia.”

Friday the German parliament approved the deployment of up to 1,200 soldiers against the Islamic State. The government mandate was endorsed by 445 parliamentarians, with 146 others voting against and seven abstaining.  This week the British House of Commons also endorsed military action against the Islamic State in Syria, the RAF launched its first attack hours later.

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4 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 5, 2015 @ 6:32 am

The KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] is not a puzzle! First understand that the Royal Family consisting of about 30K adults stands atop the population, residents and citizens.

This not a society where policies and issues and solutions rise from the bottom of society to the top. Nor do the Saudi rulers rule as philosopher kings. It is a petrocracy nothing more nothing less.

At the moment it is turning its face from the West to the East!

It is allowed to exist for complicated reasons by Israel and Egypt.

It will be a destabilizing influence for the indefinite future although even some of its elites call for reforms.

I have long called for the redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission Report to be made public. Several families of political elites in the US are in fact unregistered lobbyists [foreign agents under FARA] that are almost solely owned by the KSA royals.

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 5, 2015 @ 6:37 am

According to my sources the current IC [Intelligence Community] in the US consisting of 17 different organizations [listed in E.O. 12333] has never performed a self-initiated NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] on the KSA nor has any sitting President ever request one.

Many female members of the Saudi Royal Family are educated in Britain and the United States.

Visas are not required for members of the Saudi royal Family by the US for travel to the USA.

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 6, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

Phil! Please prohibit all advertising on the blog!!

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 10, 2015 @ 6:52 am

Probably questioned as a choice in USA [largely out of ignorance?] and creating puzzlement elsewhere, the choice of Dr. Angela Merkle, PhD, by Time magazine as Person of the Year seems a sound one to me.

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