(Procurement; 05-03; p.2)
The guidelines now in force represent the sum
of discussions within the last decade about re-structuring the
Bundeswehr. They should go beyond party politics and so stay in
force for more than one election period.
Their first and ostensibly most important statement
is the following: "At present, and in the foreseeable
future, there is no conventional threat to the German territory."
(Bundesministerium der Verteidigung [German Ministry of Defence]:
Defence Policy Guidelines,
- This on first sight not astonishing insight has various consequences:
for the justification to keep armed forces, for their nature,
structure and size and for their equipment.
What is defence?
In Germany's constitution, the Basic Law, one
finds the sole reason that allows to keep armed forces. Art 87a,
par 1, s 1 states simply: "The federation preserves armed
forces for defence." (unofficial translation, original
in German) - But if, as the DPG indicate, a conventional threat
in the foreseeable future doesn't exist, what does "defence"
An answer to that is presented in the 37th,
72nd and 79th paragraph of the DPG. In the given order one finds:
"Nevertheless, the political will and ability to enforce
or restore freedom and human rights, stability and security with
military means, if necessary, are a sine qua non of a credible
comprehensive approach to security policy. [...] In order for
Germany to safeguard its interests and international influence
and to play an active role in peacekeeping, it provides forces
of adequate strength ... . This includes the support of allies,
on the periphery of allied territory or in a geographically even
wider context. Support of allies comprises the preservation of
their territorial integrity, to include their territorial waters
and airspace, as well as their political sovereignty and freedom
of action. It also includes support in the fight against terrorism
and the protection of their populations and vital infrastructure."
(read on here)