Germany removes the last restraints on its use of the armed forces, while its defense minister declares that there will be “no taboos”.
The year 1993 pivotal for the German military. Germany established its armed forces in 1956, but memories of two world wars meant that they were restricted to defensive operations within nato territory.
In 1991, this slowly began to change. Thirty German soldiers deployed in Baghdad, Iraq, to help with airlift operations. The same year, 150 medics were sent with a United Nations mission to Cambodia.
The first substantial foreign mission came in 1993, with over 2,000 military personnel deploying to Somalia as UN peacekeepers. The same year, German soldiers joined in aerial operations over Yugoslavia.
The world had no problems with these operations. In fact, the UN and United States desperately wanted the German army to do more, but to many Germans, this was too much. Germany’s main left-wing party, the Social Democratic Party (spd), and the free market Free Democratic Party (fdp) complained to the German Constitutional Court that these deployments violated Germany’s Basic Law—its constitution. Continue reading