Bundeswehr Reform and Modernization Efforts for the 21st Century
The military plays a very important role in the protection of people’s lives and property in any country. In German, the Federal Military of Germany has been and still is responsible for enhancing the safety of its people both internally and externally. The military conducts its activities through the Bundeswehr. According to the constitution, it is supposed to be used only to defend the country an in other cases as specified by the constitution. “Bundeswehr follows most of the rules that were used in the German’s military past organizations.
After the cold war, most countries in Europe restructured their armies to create fully professional ‘all volunteer forces’. The Germans on the other hand decided to follow its own system of operation through the Bundeswehr (Longhurst, 156). ” The general responsibilities of Bundeswehr include: maintaining a national security and defense by protecting German territories and its citizens, assisting their allies in defense, fostering multinational corporation and integration and contributing towards European and global stability by offering rescue and evacuation operations.
In addition, Bundeswehr was supposed to help in reordering and democratizing Germany’s Civil Military relations (Zilian, 64). “The collaboration between NATO and the EU is very important because they have enhanced the unity of European countries and work effectively to ensure that there are enough skilled army men to enhance the security of countries in the region (Jacobs, 2006). ” German therefore supports these organizations because they develop foreign and security policies that have continually strengthened its position in Europe.
During the 1950’s, emphasis within the military in Europe was on force structure rather than manpower. “The purpose of rearmament and developing a new force was to achieve equality for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) so as to integrate the Western institutions (Readman & Genscher, 87). ” This new developments necessitated the introduction of Conscription in some of the European countries.
Conscription in Germany entailed all German men as required by law to serve in the army for nine months and if they choose not to, they will serve in the civil service for about six years. This was seen to enhance the principle of the “civilian in uniform’ and avoiding creating a large military body that would act like a state within a state (European Security, 2003). ” Conscription endured throughout the cold war with a few amendments in the strategic environment that were made to adhere to the Bundeswehr manpower requirements.
The creation of the benign security environment has been one of the major objectives of the Bonn/Berlin security policy. To do this, “German pursued NATO enlargement so that they could enhance on their missions and goals in helping countries in crisis (Szabo, 9). ” In the 1990s, Bundeswehr was engaged in crisis management missions in places like Cambodia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Bosnia. On top of this, Germany is contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Through these evolutions and changes in the way they the Federal Military of German operates, we can say that the has moved from the territorial based defense and large scale mechanized warfare which they mainly used during the cold war to a new type of force that is necessary for Rapid Response and Crisis Intervention in accordance to NATO demands, EU and other international organizations that Germany has made commitments too. “For them to ensure that they fulfill these demands, they have invested in a large-land based force that is highly trained and is able to be deployed rapidly (Matthias, 2003).
” Efforts being made by Bundeswehr Restructuring and modernization of the armed forces was very necessary to keep up with changing times within the region and also with the advancements in technology. To achieve this, the Bundeswehr was divided into two, the Mobilization-Dependent Main Defense Force (MDF) which formed the national alliance defense and the Operational Crisis Reaction Forces (CRF) that involved recruiting able bodied men to offer national defense services and also to mobilize and deploy the Main Defense forces (Longhurst, 23).
Efforts have also been made in military reform through restructuring in the Bundeswehr manpower by use of various policies. Some of the policies that were formed by the Coalition between the Social Democratic Party (SLD) and the Green Party in 1998 to enhance the work done by the armed forces included: o The new equipment and procurement plan Since the maintenance cost for weapons in the real estate were raising, reforms needed to be made so as to raise money to cater for the needs (Janning & Bauer). This meant that the fixed costs had to be reduced and engaging in procurement contracts.
This initiatives have helped to cut down on stocks ad enhance military operations. o New defense policy guidelines In 2003, the new defense guidelines were resented. These rules ruled out military engagement of the German forces other than in rescue mission. “The guidelines were to enhance the forces involvement in Europe and also globally (Reynold, 439). ” Therefore, territorial defense was no longer the major considerations as the policies largely dealt with what was good for the future of country (Aguera, 198).
Moreover, by withdrawing from their traditional culture, they have increased their commitment in using force other than for territorial defense. o New categorization of the armed forces Proposals for new categorizations were made by the Defense Minister in 2004 such that all the divisions within the army would contribute to the armed force. In addition, manpower was going to be reduced. The new categories were going to concentrate on their specific field thus will be able to offer quality and quality services to the people.
In addition to these reforms, there were improved funding structures which ensured that the military was well trained and they have enough facilities to be able to work well. Successes Successful military missions require a well equipped and trained armed force. Bundeswehr in improving its capability profile has invested in improving its activities, it has invested more in various areas such as command and control, intelligence collection through research, supporting its labor force and while ensuring they are protected.
“Bundeswehr in adapting a dynamic security environment, it is continuously transforming its operations for the better so as to enhance operational readiness and enhance a stronger inter-ministerial approach (White paper 2006). ” They have also had success in the use of Information Technology to run its activities thus improving communication between personnel which has also helped in mobilizing and deploying people. Bundeswehr managed to reunite East and West Germany to form unified Germany. They absorbed the East German People’s Army thus gained from a more skilled army force.
It has been able to offer support to other countries in times of crisis (Hoffmeister, Tubach & Reinhardt, 111). Failures Germany using Conscription has made the force not to fit into the force structures as specified by NATO, EU and other organizations like the UN and that is why it is losing its allies as they cannot see eye to eye on certain issues. The issue of Conscription was returned in 2002. In that the Constitutional Court in Karlsrube said that the universal military service was a government policy and that their services remained in the constitution.
“The SPD still said that the work the military does so far had been a success and should still be used in future (Jacobs, 2006). ” The use of conscription has reduced in some of the European countries as there are movements to abolish it. For example, countries like Spain, Italy and even Portugal are moving to All Volunteer Forces (AVF) so that they can create smaller, better trained and equipped forces; improve deployability and their ability to reorganize organizational structures so as to enhance unity within and outside the armed force by following the principles of NATO and EU.
Another failure in the reforms is that since German unification, the expenses of the armed forces have declined and this is a refection of the dwindling German Federal budget This shows that there is a general decline in defense matters and the Red belt coalition is the not the only party to blame but also the predecessor. In addition to this, Germany has to finance new debts and this is making it difficult for the armed forces to be allocated a lot of money (Longhurst, 31).
Some of the Bundeswehr reforms will create of a mission gap between German military and other countries for example the US. This is because they will both have strong holds in different areas because they stand firm in the policies which they develop some of which conflict thus lead to the division. This will be unsuitable for Germans as well as other European countries. Recommendations For Bundeswehr to solve their budgetary problems, they will need to save money.
To save money, they will need to, reorganize the Bundeswehr and government operation is a more civilized way by embracing the use of technology to make work easier especially ion the keeping of records (Longhurst, 28). In addition, they can also hire private companies to offer certain services, renting or selling the real estates that Bundeswehr owns. “To improve their international relations with other countries, they will need to conduct network enabled operations that will effectively link public policies with military policies (Bailes, 2008).
” Another recommendation for improving the work of the Bundeswehr is that the Federal Government will have to continually reform their security policies because this will enhance the security of German and also enhance global peace (White paper, 2006). NATO and the European Security and defense Policy (ESDP) also need to have a credible military force so that they can have a base with which they will back their diplomatic efforts. Conclusion
Germans ability to transform its military will be a very important milestone and will enhance Europe’s political will and will be more commitment so that they become active in foreign policy and defense matters. The future of the Federal Military of Germany’s future is promising as they have made it their goals to work close with the politicians, humanitarian organizations, the military, intelligence organizations so that they can come up with proper policies for preventing conflicts and managing crisis (white paper, 2006). Works Cited Aguera M.
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