This book is about the transformation of Germany's security and defence policy in the time between the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 war against Iraq. It traces and explains the reaction of Europe's biggest and potentially most powerful country to the ethnic wars of the 1990s, the emergence of large-scale terrorism, and the new US emphasis on pre-emptive strikes. Based on an analysis of Germany's strategic culture, it portrays Germany as a security actor and indicates the conditions and limits of the new German willingness to participate in international military crisis management that developed over the 1990s. The book debates the implications of Germany's transformation for Germany's partners and neighbours, and explains why Germany said ‘yes’ to the war in Afghanistan, but ‘no’ to the Iraq War. Based on a comprehensive study of the debates of the German Bundestag and actual German policy responses to the international crises between 1991 and 2003, it provides insights into the causes and results of Germany's transformation.
This chapter traces the origin and post-war development of the competing logics of thinking within Germany's security culture. It shows the importance of the German past in the struggle for moral and intellectual leadership in security policy debates and illuminates the key issues, arguments and taboos of the out-of-area debate by placing them in historical context. It begins by showing how the German defeat of 1945 left a strong imprint on the security thinking of German elites and outlines how different political and social groups learned different lessons from the debacle, respectively ‘never again war’ and ‘never again alone’.
The process of redefining the role of military means in Germany's foreign and security policy can be divided into three phases. This chapter considers the first phase: from German unification through 1994 when the German Constitutional Court ruled out-of-area deployments constitutional. Between 1990 and 1994 the paramount issues in the domestic German battle were the requirements of partnership and the lessons of Germany's past. The battle evolved around the attempt, launched by a handful of Conservative security experts, to win the political mainstream for an extended German role in international security. A majority on the left, however, remained opposed to any expansion of Germany's military role. Even after the Constitutional Court in 1994 ruled out-of-area deployments constitutional, German politics remained split on the issue.
The second phase of post-war German security culture began with the massacre of Muslim men and boys in the enclave of Srebrenica in Yugoslavia in the summer of 1995 and ended with the Kosovo War in 1999. The mass killing of Bosnian Muslims shook fundamental moral convictions and important operational beliefs in German left wingers' world-view. As a result, the common understanding of the precept ‘never again war’ was amended. As greater and greater segments of the left came around to an active understanding of Germany's historical responsibility, Germany crossed several lines that had earlier defined the limits of its international military engagement.
The third phase of Germany's conversion process lasted from 1999 to the outbreak of war in Iraq in the spring of 2003 and the first major EU-led intervention of the same year, Operation Artemis in Congo. Changing constellations of proponents and opponents and changing issues characterised the three phases that gradually moved Germany away from principled military abstention to a policy of conditional engagement in the full spectrum of out-of-area engagements. In the years after the Kosovo War, it became clear how different logics defined the limits and possibilities of the new German willingness to engage in international crisis management. It revealed how the dispatch of German soldiers to distant trouble spots had become possible on the condition, however, that Germany's partners participated and that the mission served a clear and primarily humanitarian purpose.
This chapter analyses how German soldiers, despite increased risk to life and limb, remarkably quickly came to accept the new international tasks and how they were willing to work as part of a multinational military coalition as required in out-of-area operations. It also looks at the approach of German soldiers to the new tasks and points to the distinctly civilised cast of the Bundeswehr's international efforts.
This chapter looks at how the Bundeswehr, which throughout the 1990s remained structured and equipped for territorial defence, struggled to dispatch and sustain ever greater numbers of troops abroad. While pointing to problems arising from the current composition and funding of the Bundeswehr, the chapter explains how Germany is in the midst of implementing a military reform that will enhance the ability to participate in international crisis management.
This chapter attempts to answer the threefold question why Germany changed, what it has become and what that means to Germany's partners. It discusses the respective roles of systemic pressure, domestic culture and individual political entrepreneurs in the German transformation process. It discerns an emerging pattern as to where, with whom and for what German policy makers became willing to dispatch the Bundeswehr and discusses whether Germany's partners have any reason to be concerned over the new German assertiveness. It examines the consequences of Germany's transformation for the organisation of Western security and for the way the Western world goes about managing the security threats of the post-Cold War world.