December 8, 2023

No to Thors for Ukraine: that’s why Schulz is wrong

According to a report published by the Bild newspaper, Chancellor Schulz decided within his government not to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles. It also uses legal arguments. He says it wrong Patrick Heineman.

The Taurus missiles could be a game-changer for Ukraine, but that’s exactly why the federal government appears to be avoiding handing them over. This is what I mentioned Bild newspaperGerman government officials feared that the Ukrainians would use it to destroy the strategically important Kerch Bridge. Logistically, this would likely stop the Russian invasion. What seems like a good reason to make to those who want to end Russian aggression as quickly as possible has turned into a counterargument.

According to a Bild newspaper report, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is said to have more or less decided not to deliver the Taurus cruise missile. Why he did not do everything in his power to ensure Ukraine’s victory remains a secret to him. According to Bild information, Schulz also based his position that Germany should not supply cruise missiles at a secret meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee on a supposed legal argument, namely that the UK and France “can do something that we are not allowed to do.” “, and that’s why you don’t ask about Taurus’ delivery.

No Bundestag mandate needed

Schulz is clearly alluding to the fact that Great Britain and France are supposed to directly contribute geographical data for the cruise missiles they provide, and that the British also have their own personnel in Ukraine. According to the Parliamentary Participation Act (ParlBG), German armed forces may only be deployed outside the scope of the Basic Law with the approval of the Bundestag (Section 1 Paragraph 2 ParlBG). The Federal Constitutional Court had called for such a regulation. In this respect, the German military constitution differs from that of France and the United Kingdom.

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ZDF Capital’s studio director, Theo Kohl, had already reported this argument – likely based on information from government departments – in today’s evening broadcast on September 22, 2023, prompting Mainz Radio to do so following viewer complaints. Clarification Caused that the approval of the Bundestag was not strictly necessary for the extradition.

Legal smoke screens

Because the argument about not getting a mandate from the Bundestag is just a double smokescreen: politically, because the ruling Traffic Light coalition is also capable of making such a decision. Legally, the delivery of the Taurus to Ukraine does not constitute a deployment of German armed forces outside Germany.

In order to use Taurus, it is not necessary initially for German programmers or even soldiers to program Ukraine-specific targets into the system; As was sometimes feared. It is true that the West has been providing Ukraine with target data – but this has been happening for a long time and is completely independent of specific weapons systems. It alone decides whether and by what means Ukraine will attack Russian targets.

But what the Taurus cruise missile needs is geographic data in order to… Method for matching terrain contours (Terrain Contour Matching, TERCOM for short) to be able to navigate to the target independently of GPS, which has been partially jammed by the Russians. A cruise missile compares the surface appearance of terrain with map material using radar altimetry, cruise missile expert Fabian Hofmann (University of Oslo) recently wrote in one SPIEGEL guest article to explain. These geographical data are completely neutral and certainly not a state secret. Ukraine should have had it long ago, because it is also used in technically closely related systems Storm shadow (Great Britain) and SCALP-EG (France) are required and may also be purchased from private satellite providers.

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Support Ukraine with Handbrake

However, it is simply not plausible that the weapons system would require programming assistance from German soldiers or engineers in Ukraine: after all, cruise missiles were also exported to Spain and South Korea. But even if that were the case, the Ukrainian Armed Forces would still be the only ones to decide on the deployment of forces and the choice of targets. This would not be an armed deployment of the German armed forces abroad either.

Therefore, there is nothing legal against extradition; The Chancellor has put forward arguments to the contrary – so Schulz continues to drive with only the handbrake on when it comes to military support for Ukraine.

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No Taurus weapons for Ukraine: Olaf Schulz’s excuses In: Legal Tribune Online, October 5, 2023, (Accessed on: 5 October 2023)

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