For the Bundeswehr, after decades of foreign missions, a fight for its own country and its allies is once again the focus of preparations. Now there are new guidelines.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) wants to consistently direct the Bundeswehr towards protecting Germany and its allies.
To this end, reforms, the procurement of equipment and materials and construction projects should be accelerated. In new defense policy guidelines that Pistorius presented in Berlin at the Bundeswehr conference, “warworthiness is a maxim for action.” Pistorius and Inspector General Carsten Breuer write in the document: “We must be the backbone of deterrence and collective defense in Europe. Our population, but also our partners in Europe, North America and the world, expect us to take on this responsibility.”
“Germany must be defensive and resilient”
After the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the policy paper sets the direction for the future course. It is stated: “Without fundamental internal change, the Russian Federation will remain the greatest threat to peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area.” But developments in regions in Europe and its neighborhood, in particular North and West Africa, the Sahel region and the Near and Middle East, could also pose security risks and are of strategic military importance.
Germany must be defensive and resilient, i.e. stable as a society and state in the event of attacks and disruptive actions. Defense capability is a task for the entire state and society as a whole, with the Bundeswehr as a core instrument. “To do this, it must be combat-ready in all areas. This means that its personnel and equipment are geared towards carrying out its demanding missions,” it says. “The benchmark for this is the willingness to fight at all times with the aim of success in high-intensity combat. This is the only way to ensure credible deterrence and ensure peace.” Germany’s security remains inextricably linked to that of our European partners and transatlantic allies.
Final defense policy guidelines presented in 2011
The guidelines call on decision-makers in administration, the military and authorities to also use leeway for the Bundeswehr. When awarding contracts, existing exception clauses must be “applied consistently and options under procurement law to speed up the process must be exploited”. The armed forces’ equipment will be consistently geared towards procurement available on the market. Own development projects would be pursued, particularly in the area of key national technologies. Long-term financing beyond the 100 billion euro pot (“special fund”) remains a prerequisite for functioning armed forces.
The developments of the past decades, in which international conflict management missions were “structure-determining” and national and alliance defense took a back seat, cannot be reversed in a few years. The guidelines state: “If necessary, the Bundeswehr would already make its contribution to national and alliance defense using all available means.” The last defense policy guidelines were presented in 2011.
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