Defense Minister says German armed forces will act under new strategy from 2016, marking a formal end to its post-WWII pacifist policy.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced in Berlin on Tuesday that Germany, which has been traditionally hesitant in taking part in international military operations mainly because of its Nazi past, would act “without any taboos”.
Speaking at the start of a meeting of experts, civil and military officials and politicians on the construction of a new defense strategy for Germany, der Leyen said: “Today, we are beginning our work on a new White Paper on the security policy and the future of our armed forces, the Bundeswehr.”
She said the White Paper would form the basic strategic document of the German military.
In another milestone decision last month, the German parliament approved deploying up to 100 soldiers in northern Iraq to train Peshmerga forces, clearing the way for the first German military deployment abroad without any NATO or UN Security Council mandate.
Public opinion in the country has been largely against Germany taking any military role in international conflicts but, in recent months, German government officials have been advocating a more aggressive foreign policy, supported by military measures, stressing Germany’s responsibility for international “peace and stability”.
Von der Leyen emphasized that “alarming developments” relating to “international terrorism” along with the rise of the self-proclaimed ISIL and the Ukrainian crisis had shown the need for a change in Germany’s existing White Paper, which dates back to 2006.
The announcement came after German President Joachim Gauck, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and der Leyen repeatedly pushed for a more aggressive foreign policy for Germany.
Full article: Germany to launch new military strategy (World Bulletin)