fighter jets or not? The West is deliberately sending unclear signals

Good morning, dear readers,

when allies publicly take differing positions, it used to be called simply “disagreement.” Today one can never be sure whether it might not be a question of “strategic ambiguity”: deliberately unclear signals intended to unsettle the opponent. If the latter is the case, Vladimir Putin’s head is likely to be spinning by now with so many conflicting signals on the subject of Western fighter jet deliveries to Ukraine.

The US would not deliver F16 jets, President Joe Biden stressed last night in Washington. “No,” he replied to a similar question. Chancellor Olaf Scholz is a touch less clear. In Santiago de Chile, on his trip to South America, he again warned against a “bidding war” in the delivery of new weapon systems. But the chancellor avoided a clear “no”.

French President Emanuel Macron sounds much more open-minded: “In principle, nothing is forbidden,” he said yesterday in The Hague when asked whether France might supply fighter jets to Ukraine.

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However, Macron mentioned conditions: First, Kyiv had to make an “official request”. In addition, the weapons should not have an escalating effect and should not touch Russian soil, but should only be used for defense. Nor should the French army be weakened by arms deliveries.

The Russian approach, on the other hand, leaves little room for strategic ambiguity. In Ukraine, there are increasing signs of impending large-scale attacks by the invading troops. “The coming weeks will be decisive,” says Kiev military expert Oleh Zhdanov. The Russians are just starting a new offensive in the Donbass. Claudia Major, head of the security policy research group at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, also said on ZDF that Russia is apparently currently preparing an offensive in the Luhansk area.

Luftwaffe Eurofighters: who will be ready to supply fighter jets to Ukraine as well?

A Eurofighter of the German Air Force’s TaktLwG 74. The fighter aircraft with the registration 3074 takes off with afterburner from the air base Neuburg an der Donau. Military flight operations at Tactical Air Force Squadron 74 TaktLwG 74 in Neuburg an der Donau. The squadron has a 24-hour alert squad for airspace security over Germany. The squadron also provides aircraft and personnel for the NATO Resonse Force NRF if required. The squadron is a member of the NATO Tiger Association. Neuburg an der Donau Bayern DEU *** A Eurofighter of TaktLwG 74 of the German Air Force The combat aircraft with the designation 30 74 takes off with afterburner from Neuburg an der Donau Air Base Military flight oper

(Photo: IMAGO/Björn Trotsky)

The CDU Presidium has unanimously called on former President for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maassen, to leave the party and set a deadline of Sunday noon. Otherwise, the federal board of the party should initiate an exclusion procedure “and withdraw his membership rights with immediate effect,” the CDU announced yesterday. Again and again Maaßen uses “the language from the milieu of anti-Semites and conspiracy ideologues up to ethnic expressions,” explained the presidency.

Maassen himself admits that a possible party exclusion procedure against him has no chance of success. The announcement by the CDU presidium surprised him, Maassen told the “Welt”: “That is unwise from the party leadership, because the requirements for an exclusion process are not available.”

Because of his anti-Semitic statements, the CDU has asked the former head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maassen, to resign.

(Photo: imago images/teutopress)

What is the right-wing populist actually doing on the other side of the Atlantic? Donald Trump is still the only candidate for the US presidential election in 2024. But several shadow campaigns are running in the background. Florida governor Ron DeSantis is expected to run for office in the summer; he is considered Trump’s fiercest competitor within the party.

But he won’t be the only one, predicts our correspondent in Washington, Annett Meiritz. It is quite certain that Nikki Haley, Trump’s former UN ambassador and former governor of South Carolina, will be there. “I think I can be the leader of our party,” she told Fox News. Her campaign is expected to launch in February.

In the inner-party primary, anything is possible. Republican Jeb Bush, for example, was considered an early frontrunner in 2016 until Trump came on the scene. Numerous potential candidates who are currently exploring their campaigns rely on this unpredictable dynamic. This includes:

Wealth manager Bert Flossbach underestimated the setback in tech stocks.

(Photo: Dominik Asbach/laif)

The asset manager Bert Flossbach controls one of the most popular German investment funds, the multi-billion mixed fund “Multiple Opportunities”. Since the beginning of 2022, this has lost 9.6 percent in value – also because Flossbach underestimated the setback in tech stocks. “We have to get rid of this gap now,” says the 61-year-old in an interview with the Handelsblatt.

The benchmark stock index MSCI World lost even more. But the “Multiple Opportunities” is a managed mixed fund that also invests in bonds and from which you can expect significantly lower price fluctuations than with a pure equity index fund. So what strategy is Flossbach trying to get its flagship fund back on track?


And then I owe you the gleanings on the announcement from yesterday’s morning briefing: Zoo Animal of the Year 2023 is the macaw. This was announced yesterday in Wuppertal by the Zoological Society for Species and Population Protection. More than half of the 19 known parrot species are now endangered, threatened or already extinct, according to the website of the educational broadcaster ARD Alpha. And:

“Macaws live monogamously with one partner for life”, which further endangers the survival of the species. The longer you think about this sentence, the sadder it sounds.

I wish you a colorful Tuesday anyway,

Best regards

Your Christian Rickens

Editor-in-Chief Handelsblatt

PS: The tax return deadline is today. Did you wake up in time? What hurdles did you face, what kind of support would you have liked? Or wasn’t it all that complicated? Tell us about your experiences in five sentences [email protected] We will publish selected articles with attribution on Thursday in print and online.

Morning Briefing: Alexa

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