by Reseau Voltaire Net –
(November 7, 2003) — Pentagon Advisor Richard Perle was on a mission this weekend in Berlin. Taking the side of German Defense Minister, Peter Struck, during a symposium, he denounced the deepening of Franco-German ties and their consequences for Atlantic relations.
Responding sharply to the provocation, the former French General Staff Head, Admiral Jacques Lanxade, accused the Pentagon advisor of coming to stir up ill will in Europe. Mr. Perle had come to Berlin to look for German support for a possible US military initiative.
The 14th forum “Bundeswehr and Society” took place November 3 and 4 in Berlin. Founded in 1988, this annual event is co-sponsored by the German Defense Ministry and the Sunday supplement of the German daily, Die Welt. Two hundred personalities participated on the premises of the German publishing group, Axel Springer.
The principle speakers were Peter Struck (German Defense Minister), Lord George Robertson (NATO General), General James Jones (Supreme Commander of NATO forces in Europe), Richard Perle (member of the Pentagon’s political advisory council), and Wolfgang Schneiderhahn (Bundeswehr Inspector General).
During the debates, Richard Perle gave his viewpoint on “the idea that Germany should submit to French ideas.” He denounced “France and Germany’s strong tendency to express their solidarity at the least opportunity” by virtue of a “false belief that that solidarity is essential for European peace.” An attitude that will only aggravate “the very real problems between Europe and the Atlantic Alliance.”
Sharply intervening in the debate, Admiral Jacques Lanxade, former Head of the French armed services General Staff, questioned Richard Perle’s behavior, accusing him of coming to the conference to divide and oppose Paris and Berlin, and in a general way of trying by all means to provoke a crisis between Europe and the United States.
French and German authorities have jointly agreed not to publicize this incident. In the European General Staffs, it is believed that Richard Perle came to Berlin to try to split up the Franco-German couple and get the support from Chancellor Schroeder necessary for a new military initiative.