Action month is January, 2022 in the run-up to the vote at the 47th Federal Delegates Conference of the Green Party on 28/29 January 2022 on the possible arming of German military (Bundeswehr) drones.
While the use of armed drones is proliferating around the world, led by the United States and its allies, Germany, almost alone among the industrialized nations, has not added lethally armed drones to its arsenal. Ironically, after last year’s elections when the long standing conservative coalition that governed Germany lost power, leaders of the new coalition of liberal parties made a move to arm their country’s drones. In a coalition agreement at the end of November 2021, the party leaders of the Social Democrat Party SPD, the Green Party and the Free Democrat Party FPD, stated: “Subject to binding and transparent conditions and taking ethical and security aspects into account, we will therefore enable the arming of Bundeswehr (German military) drones during this legislative period.”
Instead of arming drones, our friends in the Drone Campaign in Germany are calling for a policy of disarmament and civil conflict resolution. Fortunately, there is resistance about this among many SPD and Green Party members. There was already a motion against the arming of drones and a lively discussion at the SPD’s federal party conference on Dec. 11, 2021, and the SPD leadership promised further debates on the issue. Now, grassroots Green members have formulated a motion to the 47th Federal Delegates of the Green Party opposing the decision in the coalition agreement to acquire armed drones. Success of the Green motion is important to stop the acquisition of armed drones in this legislative period:
The Drone Campaign supports the Green motion and calls for a month of action in January 2022 to educate the public about the cruelty of armed drones and increase the chances of success of the Green motion. For the campaign month of January, along with encouraging letters to the editor and demonstrations, they are contacting Green Party district associations, especially in their own constituencies, writing to or talking with delegates to the party conference.
The German Green Party conference will be a pivotal event for Germany and perhaps for the world. Killing by drones began by the United States in 2001 without the knowledge or consent of the public or of Congress. Drone assassinations became a major U.S. foreign policy in secret meetings in the White House and continue today as “over the horizon” warfare in a shroud of secrecy. From the U.S., killer drones have proliferated to other nations, changing the face of warfare and killing thousands of noncombatants around the world, likewise without the consent of those nations’ citizens. The brisk public debate in Germany is a unique opportunity to reverse this dangerous and unthinking global rush to employ this dangerous and seductive technology without consideration of consequences.
The Ban Killer Drones campaign in the U.S. will also be writing to German Green Party delegates in the next few weeks and we encourage other groups and organizations to join us. Letters from individuals “speaking from the heart” on this issue are particularly encouraged.
The Open Letter from the Drone Campaign in Germany to the Green Party delegates contains a lot of up-to-date info that might be useful for your argumentation. Email addresses of the Green MdBs are here.
One of the things we can point out in letters with delegates is that since the signing of the coalition agreement at the end of November, important new information about the dangers of using armed drones has been widely published in the leading media in Germany, in the U.S. and in other countries that has not yet been evaluated in German politics and by the people.
Through investigative reporting, The New York Times had exposed, documented and internationally publicized just before Christmas the very numerous arbitrary killings of civilians* through the use of armed drones by the U.S. military. The drone killings took place during the armed conflicts of the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The revelations show that a particularly large number of civilians have been killed precisely in the use of armed drones “to protect” U.S. and NATO forces from “imminent” threats.
In numerous U.S. drone killings, such as the murder of ten civilians in Kabul on August 29, 2021, the U.S. deployment scenarios and rules of engagement (“Rules of Engagement”) were similar to those proposed by the German Ministry of Defense and the Bundeswehr for the use of Bundeswehr drones to protect Bundeswehr soldiers.
Please send Ban Killer Drones a copy of any correspondence with the Green delegates, and direct any questions to Nick Mottern.
For more information visit bankillerdrones.org