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You are in a much better position to comment on VDL's competence than I am, but would I be right in thinking that the German Military, almost any military, would not have taken too kindly to being led by a women, and that she was a convenient scapegoat for failings in the military which have been there ever since WW2?

Also the military, and the senior civil service in the defence department, would not have taken two kindly to her relying on outside consultants for advice. They like to have a monopoly of Ministerial attention.

Of course she showed poor judgement in opening herself up to accusations of conflict of interest in appointing McKinsey's - the firm her son works for. But then again, without knowing anything about the particular consultancy services she asked for and the ability of various firms to provide them, McKinsey might have been the most qualified to provide them.

She may indeed be completely incompetent, but all I am saying is that a women in a male dominated ministry going outside the ministry for advice was asking for trouble. As a loyal acolyte of Merkel, she may also not have been too supportive of the military's requests for additional resources. Ultra right wing politicians and generals can never have too many military toys...

In any case I suspect Merkel handed her a poisoned chalice and kept her in position despite mounting opposition. She was probably over-due a move to another job and now has been rewarded for her loyalty. Her promotion creates a senior vacancy for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and stepping stone for her expected ascension to Chancellorship. What's not to like from Merkel's perspective?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 10:56:36 AM EST
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The way I got it VdL is the militarist and the one pushing for more money and the one who wanted to fullfil the 2% demanded by NATO and Trump. There have been talks that one day she may follow Stoltenberg at NATO and many would have seen her there rather than Commision Precident of the EU. She is comes over to many as an adamant atlanticist and seems to have a great dislike for Putin and Russia. I am curious how this will work out between Bruxelles and Russia - some people seem to forget that despite everything Russia is the biggest european country.

I don't know about much resistance against her within the department of Defense - according to what I read she seemed have had quite a tight grip and is able to push through what she really wants.

And about McKinsey what it looks like it is not a million but millions accumulated over the years, which is now being investigated. There is also squandering of money under her rule with the renovation of the Gorch Fock which should have cost 9 millions and courentlly is at 135 million and counting, just as an other example. And these complains are not just about the current department but also about the two before them.

I hope that you might be right, that the perception of her - mine and others is not all there is, and that maybe in her new position she can show the rest of what she has to offer. If her speech indicates what she really wants, she might be tough enough to push it through - but I just can not yet get ride of my bad feeling about her and unfortunately to often I found that my feeling was right. However for the sake of the EU and Europe I would really love to be wrong and experience that she is way more competent than she was given credit for.

by Fran on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 12:32:05 PM EST
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Gorch Fock? I had to look it up. So glad it's a Schiff and not a Kloster...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 04:46:46 PM EST
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The whole mess started with her predecessor. Remember smart and fashionable von Guttenberg? Seehofer's favourite prince, who resigned because he so blatantly plagiarized his Phd thesis (probably had it ghostwritten). He is allegedly at fault for starving the army of resources and causing the perpetual state of bad repair.

VdL brought the magic consultants in to fix the dysfunctional procurement process. Even one of her secretaries of state was a former senior McKinsey consultant. Well, where did all those contracts come from? As the major unforced error on her part, early-on she attested the troops an "attitude problem". Which immediately lost her trust among the military. From then on it was basically over.

And now AKK is supposed to cut a decent enough figure in that post. At least for a while until Merkel steps off. So that she can credibly be in the pole position come a new election, having spent time on the Federal work bench. Until very recently she upheld a 'sacrosanct' promise to spend her full energy on being the CDU chief to renew the party. Her appointment is thus not going down well with the party members. But given the lack of other credible contenders, she is still likely to end up with the top job.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 09:03:17 PM EST
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