THE GERMAN MILITARY TURNAROUND—REPAIR, REORGANIZATION, OR REARMAMENT?
Seyda, Michael Rainer
Halladay, Carolyn C.
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In May 2016, the German government approved an about-face in its military personnel policy by lifting personnel caps. This measure allowed the Bundeswehr to increase its operational power, strengthen its robustness, and establish new capabilities as part of a comprehensive $150 billion military build-up program—the first since the late Cold War. Germany cut its close ties to Russia and subscribed to the European skepticism about Moscow. This latest reform, with a new personnel policy at its very core, also represents Germany’s coming of age in terms of security and defense policy. The sheer fact that none of the NATO-allied member states objected to this military expansion emphasizes the level of trust that Germany has attained by serving as a reliable—albeit sometimes reluctant—and predictable partner. To provide the theoretical background necessary, the research begins with an overview on the transformation of military organizations in general based on organizational theory. Then, a brief historic overview traces the determinants that have shaped Germany’s role and behavior in defense and security policy since World War II. It highlights Germany´s historical obligation to ensure peace and security with a military uniquely bound to democratic principles. Furthermore, this thesis aims to prove that the recent “Turnaround of the Bundeswehr” is actually an evolutionary phase of the prior reform.
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