Germany’s Military Transformation
The German Bundeswehr is no longer the formidable force that some remember from the Cold War. The force has been downsized, significant quantities of its heavy equipment have been sold off, and Germany’s level of defense spending has fallen sharply over the past decade and a half. Is the German military transforming, or just shrinking?
The last White Paper on the Security of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Situation of the Bundesweh was published in 1994. Now, 12 years later, a revised White Paper has been published and is available via the Ministry’s web site (English HTML page | Full Report [PDF format]). Defense Aerospace adds a report from Deutsche Welle Radio concerning the new White Paper, which notes a low level of public discussion as a result of differences within Chancellor Merkel’s coalition.
For additional background regarding Germany’s military, its transition since the Cold War, and its future, readers may wish to peruse the following resources:
- German Federal Ministry of Defence (April 7/06) – The NATO Response Force: The driving force behind transformation
- SpaceWar (Aug 31/05) – Analysis: Germany’s New Armed Forces
- Dr. Burkhard Theile, Head of the Strategic Business Development and Technology department, Rheinmetall DeTec AG (July 12/05) – The Defence Technology Industry in a Time of Force Transformation and Internationalization
- Defense News (March 21/05) – At 50, Bundeswehr Struggles with Identity
- American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, The Johns Hopkins University (2004) – Policy Report #11: Reinventing the German Military [PDF Format]
- American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, The Johns Hopkins University (2000) – Preparing Germany’s Armed Forces For The Future: The Bundeswehr at a Crossroads