2011/03/09

About the state of the Bundeswehr reform

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Days ago the German minister of defence had to step down, and brazenly claimed that all was well in the ministry.

A short article that had appeared days earlier revealed that not all was well, not at all:His major project, the reform of the Bundeswehr, was apparently criticised harshly by the chancellor's office.
It was apparently the conceptual wing-in-ground effect flight that it looked like.

I think i's be worthwhile to point this out because it basically means that

a) the reform planning so far was likely the crap it seemed to be
b) the firing of the state secretary who was responsible for the reform planning was probably based on his 'performance'
and
c) the real planning for the reform is probably only about to begin.


I've been 'critical' (to say the least) about much that originated from our ministry of defence during the last, well, about twenty years. This merely added to the pile.


S O
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7 comments:

  1. I fear it will prove a vain hope that the reform died along with Gutenbergs career.

    It puzzles me that there isn't more of an outcry at the prospect of creating a mobile intervention force that will make it easier for us to take part in the hegemons foolhardy military adventures.

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  2. Screw the Bundeswehrreform! The way ahead can only be a joint EU force. Anything else is wasting money and of zero security policy value. Just look at the EU non-performance around Libya. No way for European nation state forces to generate any meaningful security effect. Funny! Reminds me of the Suez crises - the last hurrah for the European colonial powers. Now Libya - hopefully the end of that impotent European nation state "forces" clusterfuck. Or in 10 years the ChiComs take over MENA region ...

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  3. The political foundation for a joint EU force is not even in sight. Moreover the different countries have different interests (see Italy-Libya) and the decision of a military intervention would need an ok from every country in an joint force - the effect would be an even slower decision...
    A joint military force without a joint government is pretty useless.

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  4. Defiant: I kinda think thats the point, a Joint EU force could -only- be used for actual defense, which at least would stop the EU barging into other countries' affairs.

    While that might in theory stop the EU from interfering in horrible genocides in other countries, the history of the last 20 years suggests that this isn't going to happen anyway, so all that's actually lost is the ability to get sucked into another American clusterf**k

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  5. NATO is/was a joint military force without a joint government. Although one might argue that US dominance over the alliance provided for that kind of government.

    Historically no such steps have ever been taken without direct pressure from outside (threat) or inside (dominant power) to do so. So unless one of the European nations rises to the status of superpower (which happens, when hell freezes over), it will take an outside threat to create a unified European force and command structure. Unless the Chinese annex Libya, I cannot see such a threat on the horizon for the time being.

    Regardig the reform...it matters nil, wether its being executed or not. No one in a position of influence has the slightest clue what to do with the armed forces and this isnt exactly a problem just for Germany. This will remain the state of things until a more clearly defined threat to national interests (neither terrorism nor piracy are such threats) arises.

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  6. The point is, a Joint EU force could -only- be used for parades, which at least would prohibit the EU from having any real importance or standing in the world.

    While that actually will in theory stop the EU from interfering in horrible genocides in other countries (on the borders of Europe), the history of the last 20 years suggests that this will be happening again someday soon, so all that's actually lost is the ability to get sucked into another joint European clusterf**k, and those accursed Americans will have to step up again to provide some leadership that has disappeared amidst the public squabbling in the new Europe.

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  7. Of course a joint EU force would have to - in the end - mean an *offensive* force for global power projection. If that is not achievable then Europe is screwed anyway.

    There are already a number of joint or selectively joint paramil/mil organisations, some under CSDP, some not: PCS, EUMS, EDA, SAFE, EEAS, Frontex, Clearing House, Eurogendfor, the air transport pool, the Benelux military cooperation, the European military industry consolidation, &c &c. There is progress, but awfully slow - too slow for a critical era (but isn't it always critical?). As long as the U.S. meddles or takes care of Europe (depending on the viewpoint) European defence & security isn't going anywhere. Fact.

    Back to Bundeswehr: Individual financial limitations are what will drive a joint EU force more than anything else. No even near-full spectrum capability is achievable for any European nation state force. So look what you're best in and then coordinate with the others!

    What is Germany good at? Light infantry mountain troops? Combined armored warfare? Aerial forces? Submarines? Pick some and concentrate on becoming real good at them. That's what I would do and how I would focus the reform. Then talk to others and start to fill in the gaps to create a full spectrum force in the end.

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