Determinants and politics of German military transformation in the post-Cold War Era
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Since 1990, Germany has changed its role from a passive beneficiary of collective defense to a "co-producer" of security in international affairs. At the same time, however, Germany has been reluctant to transform its military, the Bundeswehr, into an all-volunteer force and to develop capabilities for expeditionary warfare. It has also spent less on defense in relation to its resources than other European partners. This case study attempts to elaborate on this apparent inconsistency and to answer the question of why and how the Bundeswehr has changed after 1990. The thesis argues that German military transformation during this period is informed by driving forces and limiting factors on the international level, as well as the domestic level. Given Germany's preference for multilateralism, it is unsurprising that NATO and the European Union (EU), as well as the military missions conducted by these two institutions, have had an impact on the evolution of the Bundeswehr. Against this background, the notion of a distinct German strategic culture helps to explain the ambivalence of German security and defense policy. Other variables on the national level, above all the limited defense expenditure and the political interests of key decision-makers, have affected military transformation as well.
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