National unification and transition in the German armed forces
Brandenburg, Eric Hugh
Yost, David S.
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This study analyzes the factors that have contributed to the contemporary reshaping of the German armed forces. It describes the burdens of history prior to 1945, treaty and constitutional restraints on armed forces, the establishment of the armed forces in the 1950's and 1960's, and the culture of reticence in military affairs that cannot easily or even willingly be modified. Further sections address national unification, the contemporary determinants of German security policy, the complications of absorbing the veterans of the East German military, and manpower and budgetary considerations. Lastly, from a national defense force posture aligned within NATO forward defense, the German armed forces are making a transition into highly mobile, rapid reaction units that can be deployed at short notice to world trouble spots. These rapid reaction units may eventually conduct peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and crisis reaction missions under the auspices of the UN, NATO, or WEU. Internal and external anxieties about German military participation in such missions have produced a confused defense policy. Germany is nonetheless restructuring its military to demonstrate the achievement of sovereignty and to improve its ability to defend national and allied interests in a new international context
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