geändert / updated: 17/04/08


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(Procurement; 05-03; p.3)

Operations of the Bundeswehr, serving the mentioned goals - in respect to the goals sometimes defined as Petersberg-tasks, in respect to the area of operations sometimes defined as "out of area" - are in accordance with the Basic Law, provided the German parliament decides about them. That is, what Germany's Constitutional Court has ruled on 12/07/1994.
Whether such operations are an adequate political means in a given situation, the parliament has to decide respectively; thus, Germany has a parliament's army, not a government's or head of state's. Possibilities already discussed, to deploy armed forces "more rapidly" or "more flexibly" will have to be scrutinised exactly under the aspect of preserving the parliament's prerogative.


The question of the armed forces' nature

The forces' nature comprises the question of conscript or professional army, a mixture of that or of militia.
States have perceived different threats and operational spectra for their armed forces and have found different solutions to that question adequate. Great Britain e.g. has preferred a professional army, but has regulations to draft others if needed (the so called "territorial army"). France is about to drop its draft forces in exchange for a professional army.

Germany, on the contrary, wants to stick to conscripts, as is stated in the 16th paragraph of the DPG: "Conscription in its adapted form remains an indispensable requirement for the operational readiness, effectiveness and economic efficiency of the Bundeswehr." All the same, German armed forces already yet consist of conscripts, professionals and soldiers serving for a contracted amount of time. In operations abroad at least for the time being, only the latter both or, if any, volunteering conscripts are deployed.

Keeping in mind that a soldier nowadays is less a slaughterer than a mediator, who if needed backs his efforts with power, one may see, why the Minister of Defence connects conscription to operational readiness and effectiveness.
Firstly, it is a strong argument that personnel needed for complex tasks such as peace-keeping and -enforcing is not easily available: all professional armies are in competition with civil employers.
On the other hand, one should consider that conscription provides for "transitional careers", i.e. conscripts become contracted or professional soldiers; their decision however, will probably more owe to a lack of civil employment than to a gained conviction.
Much more important for a vocational choice are presumably criteria like payment and career opportunities - this view is obviously shared by the current government: the 2003 budget preserves money for improving payments especially for the lower ranks and enabling more promotions. (read on here)

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Struktur / sitemap 2003 (i)

Struktur / sitemap 2003 (ii)

Ausgaben / issues



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