Jürgen Menner is University education in Mathematics

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1 142 Jürgen Menner is University education in Mathematics (MSc) and Electrical Engineering (MSc). Officer of the Army Maintenance Corps. German and Brazilian general staff officer s training. Assistant to the Director of Security Policy in the Federal Ministry of Defence until German Defence Attaché in Peru as of October 2013.

2 Brazil Emerging in the Global Security Order 143 German Security and Defence Policy and the Reorientation of the Bundeswehr in Light of the Challenges of our Time Jürgen Menner In Germany the public debate about security policy is dominated by two main issues: firstly the question of how to handle the profound change in the security challenges and secondly the decisions made as part of the reorientation of the German armed forces. Examined more closely, however, these issues are two sides of the same coin, because the adjustment of the Bundeswehr, from the viewpoint of security policy, is a necessary response to a changing world. The Road to Today s Bundeswehr Before 1990, security policy in Germany focused mainly on the Cold War and the bloc confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. A war between the two alliances would have inevitably had disastrous consequences for Germany. The most likely scenario would have been Germany as a battlefield and perhaps complete devastation in the event of a nuclear escalation. This knowledge was not limited only to politicians and military personnel, but for several decades also weighed down on the population and society as a collective fear. Since 1990, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War and the regaining of full sovereignty, Germany has rapidly covered a considerable distance. The preparations for an armed conflict on the border between the two Germanies, which no longer exists, are a thing of the past.

3 144 This also implies a fundamental change in the challenges facing the Bundeswehr. The Bundeswehr has become an army of unity. The integration of personnel and the decommissioning of substantial quantities of materiel belonging to the former National People s Army of the GDR as well as the simultaneous downsizing of the Bundeswehr have become a success story. Today Germany must no longer expect a direct threat to its borders, and this had a direct effect on the orientation of the Bundeswehr. Instead, the German armed forces have increasingly taken on international responsibility during the past two decades. This has not always gained public attention on an international scale. For many years, up to 7,000 German soldiers have been continuously performing their duties on three continents. More than 300,000 military personnel have been on deployment abroad since In Afghanistan, Germany is in command of the entire northern part of the country and therefore one of the largest troop-contributors. The German soldiers on deployment are, on a daily basis, demonstrating that they can accomplish their mission. Today s Security Environment The two decades following Germany s reunification and the end of the Cold War also saw significant changes in the global risks and threats. They exist in different regions and for various periods of time, and they can occur in different intensities or combinations. Besides the classic symmetric conflict, the most prevalent type today is the asymmetric conflict. Developments far away can rapidly have a direct impact on Europe and Germany and may also make common security policy measures within the alliances of NATO and the EU necessary. Security policy today can no longer be primarily defined on a geographical basis. Therefore, rather than national defence and alliance defence, the more likely tasks for Germany s armed forces today are crisis management and crisis prevention operations, potentially anywhere in the world. And these potential operations in particular must determine the capabilities, equipment and structures of the German armed forces. Challenges for the Bundeswehr The objective is clear: in a security environment with little certainty, the primary aim must be to have available as many courses of political action as possible. The German armed forces must prepare for a variety of different scenarios. This also means that, although they cannot be equally prepared for all situations, there should be nothing they are completely unprepared for. This raises the question as to which capabilities the German armed forces should have. Is it sufficient to have a profile limited to specific capabilities, or is it necessary to have a broad and comprehensive capability profile? The wide diversity of potential conflicts and operations requires Germany to maintain armed forces which are operationally ready and capable of meeting its alliance commitments. And this can only mean the capability for flexible operations across the

4 Brazil Emerging in the Global Security Order 145 entire task spectrum. Flexibility means a broad spectrum. The German armed forces need a broad capability spectrum that encompasses disaster relief support, evacuation of German citizens, stability operations, support measures for the military of partner nations and, of course, alliance defence. That is why the Bundeswehr needs a sufficient number of available, highly professional and sustainable units equipped with modern technology that allows mobility and rapid deployments. It must be possible to tailor these units to the mission based on a modular system and to adapt them to the respective local conditions. They should be able to respond to changing situations in a rapid and flexible manner and also be interoperable with the armed forces of our allies. This is also necessary in order to take on leadership responsibilities on operations as a framework nation. Germany s partners can then use their capabilities to provide modular supplements. This makes it easier to ensure the required depth for longer operations. The Reorientation of the Bundeswehr It becomes clear against this background that a mere adjustment of the Bundeswehr s old structure would not have been sufficient. A reorientation of the German armed forces as a whole was necessary in order to effectively deal with the challenges of today. Up to 10,000 military personnel will in future be available in a flexible composition for simultaneous and sustainable deployment on operations across the entire task and capability spectrum of the Bundeswehr. The Bundeswehr will thus have a capability profile with which Germany can assume responsibility as a framework nation for land-based operations in up to two theatres of operation and one maritime operation. Further contributions for smaller operations of land, air, and maritime forces should be possible depending on the availability of national capabilities and third-party support services. To enable high-intensity combat as part of territorial and collective defence, it must be possible to provide a joint set of forces for a duration of up to one year, also at the expense of ongoing operations. In addition, rapid response forces for evacuation and hostage rescue operations will be kept ready as a standing commitment. Commitments entered into within the framework of the NATO Response Forces, the EU Battle Groups or the UN Standby Arrangement Systems will continue to be fulfilled. The overall strength of the Bundeswehr has therefore been set at up to 185,000 troops. Following the now completed suspension of compulsory military service, the proportion of temporary-career volunteers and regulars will be 170,000. There will additionally be up to 15,000 military service volunteers. Moreover, the Bundeswehr will be supported by a total of 55,000 civilian employees. During the next few years, there will be substantial adjustments within the individual services in response to the new requirements. The following examples are taken from a comprehensive catalogue of measures. In the Army, the brigade will be the formation that integrates the different capabilities into an effective overall system. With its broad range of combat troops and its

5 146 reconnaissance, engineer and logistic support elements, the brigade in itself represents a flexible and most suitable formation. If necessary, it can be combined and trained as needed with additional support from the assets of other major organisational elements. In the Navy, the flotillas will combine maritime expertise and weapon systems in a way that allows operational modules to be assembled from fixed structures. It will in future be possible for ships to have several crews in order to achieve better sustainability. This requires a fundamental change in mindset. The new Air Force will no longer have the emphasis of its capability profile on counter air operations. Instead, the objective today is a balanced profile with capabilities to conduct supporting air operations as well as surveillance, reconnaissance and close air support. The newly established Joint Support Service has already featured personnel from all the services working for the entire armed forces for more than ten years. It is unique by international standards and has already attracted the attention of allies who are currently implementing similar measures within their structures. Another essential guiding principle of the reorientation of the Bundeswehr is the strengthening of international cooperation. In the area of planning, armed forces within NATO and the EU are already cooperating closely in order to jointly identify and bridge capability gaps. However, we are not breaking new ground in this respect, because the many years as members of NATO and the EU have also led to the creation of combined capabilities among the states. Recent decisions taken by the EU and NATO show the willingness and readiness of the states to cooperate, besides an increased understanding of the advantages, and this has already resulted in new projects being launched. These key ideas have been rapidly transformed into concrete projects: one example is the establishment of a pool of maritime surveillance aircraft and a multinational headquarters in Ulm to enable operational command and control within the framework of NATO and the EU. Bundeswehr well-equipped for the Future The decisions for the reorientation of the Bundeswehr were extensive and affected all areas of the armed forces. On closer examination, however, they were inevitable, because they are a consistent reaction to the security challenges of today and tomorrow. The adjustments, also due to their extent, are a highly complex task, because the Bundeswehr is an army with ongoing operations. As a responsible member of the international community, Germany will continue to be asked for an appropriate contribution towards security and stability. In the future, in many crisis situations around the world, it will be necessary for armed forces to continue their cooperation with civilian organisations so as to achieve a significant contribution towards their resolution. The reorientation of the Bundeswehr will allow Germany to continue its contributions towards peace and freedom in the world in an effective and credible way by providing military support based on Bundestag decisions.

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