(Defence; 01-02; p.3)
Whereas the Weizsäcker-report provides a learned discussion
of possible aims and means necessary, the papers of the MoD mainly
present possible implementations of already defined and chosen
aims. The report e.g. firstly outlines defence planning of France
and the United Kingdom to formulate the goal of being able to
intervene in conflicts. Secondly, some guide-lines concerning
structure and size of the German armed forces are suggested. The
question of conscript versus professional army is discussed in
detail and the members of the commission do not give a unison
recommendation. Procurement issues are not part of the report.
The concepts of the MoD focus on questions of necessary procurement
and efficient management. Both are assuming that the Bundeswehr
will consist of drafted recruits and professional soldiers as
well and suggest appropriate re-structuring of the armed forces.
They differ mainly in the assumption of size.
Defence secretary Scharping welcomed these concepts and worked
on their implementation. An obvious example for that is the founding
of GEBB, an organisation for procurement and operation lead by
the ministry but guided by managerial virtues. On the other hand,
Scharping did not develop answers to the political questions of
tasks assigned to the armed forces and their respective size and
structure needed. He thus acted like a company's manager: assuming
a clear, not debatable goal and working only on its implementation.
The German political parties have different views on the genuine
political questions: While the Democratic Socialists (PDS) prefer
reducing the Bundeswehr to an army not capable to intervene in
conflicts and sticking to territorial defence, the Liberals (FDP)
can imagine a purely professional army and the Christian Democrats
(CDU) mainly want to increase the defence budget. The current
governing parties of Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens (GRÜNE)
now have agreed on armed forces capable to intervene but not supplied
with an increased budget.
Especially the Bundeswehr's structure shall not be changed according
to the current government. If this may be explained by the fiscally
advantageous institution of alternative service remains open.
(read on here)