Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

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Person.png Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg   FacebookRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(businessman, politician)
KT zu Guttenberg 666 (cropped).JPG
Born5 December 1971
NationalityGerman
Alma materUniversity of Bayreut
Member ofAtlantik-Brücke, Barrick Gold, Center for Strategic and International Studies/Board and Staff, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

Employment.png Germany/Minister of Defence

In office
28 October 2009 - 1 March 2011
Succeeded byThomas de Maizière

Employment.png Germany/Minister for Economic Affairs and Technology

In office
10 February 2009 - 27 October 2009

Not to be confused with his grandfather, deep state politician Karl Theodor von und zu Guttenberg.

Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Buhl-Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg is a German businessman and politician of the Christian Social Union (CSU). He served as a member of the Bundestag from 2002 to 2011, as Secretary-General of the CSU from 2008 to 2009, as Federal Minister for Economics and Technology in 2009 and as Federal Minister of Defence from 2009 to 2011.

After the discovery of plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation and the decision of the University of Bayreuth to revoke his doctorate, an affair known as Guttenberg plagiarism scandal, he resigned from all political posts in March 2011.

In 2011, Guttenberg joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Guttenberg is the chairman and a founder of Spitzberg Partners, an advisory and investment firm based in New York City. He returned to German politics during the 2017 federal election by making a speech which was widely described as a comeback.

Minister for Economic Affairs

At the age of 37, Guttenberg was the youngest Minister for Economic Affairs in the Federal Republic of Germany, and came to office in the midst of a deep global financial crisis and recession.

In an interview for his inauguration in February 2009, Guttenberg characterized the markets as “proven to be efficient” and “part of our society”. He warned of an expansion of the role of the state in the wake of the financial crisis. When asked about fair distribution, the aristocrat referred to a “misalignment” within the debate. The word justice is "very popular", but is understood by many only in terms of "redistribution justice". Baron von Guttenberg called for a return to "equal starting chances and fairness based on performance". Guttenberg was also skeptical about minimum wages. He announced big tax cuts for the future[1][2].

Federal Minister of Defense

On October 28, 2009 Guttenberg was appointed Federal Minister of Defense. He was the youngest defense minister in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Afghanistan

As a member of parliament, Guttenberg, together with Hans-Ulrich Klose, had already advocated an expansion of the ISAF occupation force and the deployment of German soldiers in southern Afghanistan in 2007[3].

In office, he also took on the task of clearing up (or rather, obsfuscating) the events surrounding the air raid at Kunduz on September 3 and 4, 2009, which killed 100 civilians. Guttenberg initially, like his predecessor Franz Josef Jung, protected the Bundeswehr against allegations that the attack was unjustified, but unlike his predecessor, at the same time admitted the death of civilians. Nevertheless, he described the mission on November 6, 2009 as "militarily appropriate". On December 3, 2009, Guttenberg revised his statement, after he had previously dismissed Inspector General Wolfgang Schneiderhan and State Secretary Peter Wichert due to the withheld information[4].

A committee of inquiry was formed on the basis of allegations by the opposition parties about the previous information given about the Kunduz incident. Guttenberg explained that before his first statement on the air strike at Kunduz, he had agreed on a concrete wording by telephone with Wolfgang Schneiderhan. In this statement, Guttenberg not only described the bombardment as militarily appropriate, but as inevitable. Schneiderhan, on the other hand, testified that he had in no way recommended Guttenberg to present the air strike as inevitable. Representations of a conversation that led to the dismissal of Wicherts and Schneiderhans were also contradictory. [5] In its final report, the committee of inquiry approved Guttenberg's approach. [6] [7].

In March 2010, Guttenberg broke a taboo on the use of the word "war" about Afghanistan: he conceded that one could speak "colloquially of a war"[8] in Afghanistan.

During his tenure, Guttenberg caused an increase in German troops to Afghanistan and the transfer of heavy weapons to the war zone.

Security Policy

At the Berlin Security Conference in November 2010, Guttenberg, like the former Federal President Horst Köhler, also demanded that Germany's economic interests be protected militarily. Accordingly, the "connection between regional security and German economic interests must be addressed openly and without shyness". The opposition reacted with sharp criticism, saying the constitution did not allow economic wars. In a guest speech at the CDU party conference on November 15, 2010 Guttenberg confirmed his statement; he protested against the insinuations of the opposition, and stated he planned to wage economic wars[9].

Center for Strategic and International Studies

On September 29, 2011, it was announced that Guttenberg had an unspecified unpaid job as a "Distinguished Statesman"at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Guttenberg participated in the Halifax International Security Forum in November 2011. In the context of a debate on the financial crisis, he expressed pessimism about developments in Europe and spoke in this context of a "crisis of political leadership" within the EU.

After a planned merger of EADS and BAE Systems failed in October 2012 due to resistance from Germany, Guttenberg criticized the Federal Government's approach. In a commentary for the Financial Times [10], he referred to the political and economic benefits that a merger would have made possible. Guttenberg described the failure of the merger as a “missed historical opportunity”.

He publicly repeated this criticism a few days later at a CSIS conference. Guttenberg spoke here about the future of transatlantic relations and lamented a gradual alienation between the western partners, which was accompanied by an insufficient awareness of problems on both sides of the Atlantic: while the USA was suppressing climate change, the European side ignored the continent's demographic time bomb. Neither the US nor the EU currently had any viable answers to these or any other pressing problems. In connection with the military operation in Afghanistan, Guttenberg emphasized that the war could not be won and that NATO, for its part, would rather worsen the security situation there by giving specific withdrawal dates. In the course of the conference, Guttenberg clearly rejected previous speculations about a prompt return to German politics.

Guttenberg at the 51st Munich Security Conference 2015

Against the backdrop of a possible military escalation of the international dispute over the Iranian nuclear program, Guttenberg initiated a public debate in Germany in a guest article for the Wall Street Journal[11] in April 2013 on the consequences of an Israeli military strike against Iran. Guttenberg referred to Chancellor Merkel's declaration on the security of Israel as "part of the German raison d'etre" and called on the German government to send a "powerful signal of solidarity" to Israel[12], consisting of civil and military support[13].

After the German government excluded Germany's participation in a possible military strike against Syria in August 2013, Guttenberg described this in a guest article for the New York Times[14] as an expression of a “culture of reluctance” in German foreign policy.

Other activities

Guttenberg founded Spitzberg Partners in 2013, an investment and consulting firm in New York, in which he is lobbying in an alliance called Atlantic Advisory Partners for the trade agreement CETA planned between Europe and Canada. [15]

He has also been a consultant at Ripple Labs since July 2014.[16]

He has been advising Deutsche Lufthansa on innovation issues since 2015. [17]

In March 2019, Guttenberg became a shareholder in the New York-based technology company Augustus Intelligence; two months later, he was on the company's board of directors and headed the board's general affairs department. In February 2020, he fired two senior Augustus executives from his New York office, who then sued the company in a New York court and accused him of dubious business practices and cover-up activities. The AI ​​company managed by the 33-year-old German Wolfgang Haupt, who seeks proximity to German politicians such as the former head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maassen and the CDU politician Philipp Amthor, was based in the One World Trade Center on the same floor as Guttenberg's own consulting and investment firm Spitzberg Partners.[18][19]


 

Event Participated in

EventStartEndLocation(s)Description
Democracy & Security International Conference5 June 20076 June 2007Czech Republic
Prague
The "Neoconservative International" that reports it was intested in "building a world of free and democratic states"
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References

  1. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/wirtschaftspolitik/wirtschaftsminister-guttenberg-die-steuersenkungen-reichen-noch-nicht-1771135.html
  2. https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Warnung-an-Mutti-3421847.html
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20131222212637/http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/bundeswehr-einsaetze-koalition-erwaegt-erweitertes-afghanistan-mandat-1438792.html
  4. https://www.welt.de/politik/article5334497/Schneiderhan-entlassen-Jung-verteidigt-sich.html
  5. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/kundus-untersuchungsausschuss-guttenberg-in-der-bredouille-1.946833
  6. http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/verteidigung-urteil-zur-kundus-affaere-guttenberg-unschuldig_aid_642309.html
  7. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/kundus-affaere-koalition-entlastet-guttenberg-12031.html
  8. http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/idw_dlf/1143105
  9. http://www.abendblatt.de/politik/deutschland/article1696878/Sieg-fuer-Guttenberg-CDU-votiert-gegen-Wehrpflicht.html
  10. https://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/73000bce-12f8-11e2-bca6-00144feabdc0.html
  11. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323296504578396113845689862.html
  12. https://www.welt.de/print/die_welt/politik/article115026806/Guttenberg-irritiert-die-Koalition.html
  13. https://www.merkur.de/politik/guttenberg-gibt-merkel-ratschlaege-zr-2833650.html
  14. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/31/opinion/global/syria-tests-germanys-culture-of-reluctance.html
  15. http://app.wiwo.de/politik/europa/karl-theodor-zu-guttenberg-ex-minister-soll-das-eu-handelsabkommen-ceta-retten/11773300.html
  16. http://app.wiwo.de/politik/europa/karl-theodor-zu-guttenberg-ex-minister-soll-das-eu-handelsabkommen-ceta-retten/11773300.html
  17. http://www.gruenderszene.de/allgemein/guttenberg-lufthansa-personalien
  18. https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/aerger-fuer-karl-theodor-zu-guttenberg-betrug-illegalitaet-und-korruption-a-00000000-0002-0001-0000-000169828687
  19. https://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/augustus-intelligence-fuer-diese-merkwuerdige-firma-hat-sich-philipp-amthor-engagiert/25914246.html