German defence White Paper 2016

The German ministry of defence has published the White Paper 2016 (Weißbuch 2016) a few days ago. At first I didn't want to write about it at all, but now I decided to do it after all.

I read it quickly, but found nothing really interesting or new. It's a patchwork of uninspired fashionable talk and ministerial self-interest in my opinion.

There's but half a page on "Interstate conflict", which is actually THE constitutional purpose of the entire military and its ministry. I can easily quote all of it here:

The renaissance of traditional power politics, which involves the use of military means to pursue national interests and entails considerable armaments efforts, elevates the risk of violent interstate conflict – even in Europe and its neighbourhood, as is illustrated by the example of Russian actions in Ukraine. The stability of the international system is being jeopardised by the increasing role of the military in the ambitions of emerging powers in combination with ongoing territorial conflicts and struggles for regional hegemony. This is happening not only in and around Europe. Regional territorial disputes in connection with power projections are a source of concern in particular for the countries of Southeast and East Asia. Furthermore, the risk of escalating interstate conflict increases when nationalist sentiments gain in importance and are instrumentalised.
Yeah, as if East and SE Asia issues were relevant for German security or NATO collective defence [sigh]. Also nice how they recognize a risk of violent interstate conflict in Europe AFTER it happened in Georgia & Ukraine.

Chapter 5.2 ("Mission of the Bundeswehr") is at the very least close to unconstitutional IMO.

and I don't like politicians making up further missions to enrich their choice of gaming options.

(1) The Federation shall establish Armed Forces for purposes of defence. Their numerical strength and general organisational structure must be shown in the budget.
(2) Apart from defence, the Armed Forces may be employed only to the extent expressly permitted by this Basic Law.
(3) [...]
(4) [...]
The federal constitutional court expanded the interpretation to include collective defence and UN missions.

Chapter 5.2 should better quote the basic law than making stuff up.


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