Joint press release by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Defence on the Federal Government report evaluating the Bundeswehr’s ongoing, mandated missions abroad

26.06.2024 - Press release

With the Bundeswehr’s missions abroad, Germany has for decades made an important contribution to peace, security and stability in the world. The Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Defence today presented the Federal Government’s first report evaluating the Bundeswehr’s ongoing, mandated missions abroad, as set out in the 2021 coalition agreement. This is the first time that the Federal Government has carried out an overarching investigation of ongoing missions abroad. A total of seven missions over a period of two years were analysed using uniform criteria. This evaluation supplements the regular reviews carried out as part of the mandating processes.

The analysis resulted in overarching suggestions for improvement. For example, the Integrated Security approach could be implemented even more effectively, and civilian/military coordination on the ground could be improved. Furthermore, military missions are often subject to high political expectations that cannot always be fulfilled with the resources available to the Bundeswehr.

The Federal Government has drawn five specific conclusions for future military efforts as part of international crisis management.

First, missions abroad should in the future be prioritised even more clearly in line with Germany’s security interests. The National Security Strategy sets out the relevant strategic framework.

Second, realistic goals and expectations should be set for these missions from the beginning.

Third, the Federal Government’s military and joint civilian/military options for action should be designed to be more flexible and scalable. At the same time, the Federal Government must remain capable of responding flexibly to acute new crises.

Fourth, the Bundeswehr should be fully equipped so that it is able to fulfil its core task of national and collective defence. This would also ensure its ability to continue making a substantial contribution to international crisis management.

Fifth, the Bundeswehr’s missions abroad must be adapted to the realities of multipolarity and growing systemic rivalries, so that it remains capable of action in any situation in the future.

In total, the following seven mandated missions abroad from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2023 were investigated using uniform criteria and key questions: Germany’s involvement in Operation Inherent Resolve and NATO Mission Iraq (Counter Daesh / Capacity Building Iraq), the maritime security operation Sea Guardian (MSO SG), the Kosovo Force (KFOR), the European Union Force for Operation ALTHEA (EUFOR ALTHEA), the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI), the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock issued the following statement on the Federal Government report evaluating the Bundeswehr’s ongoing, mandated missions abroad:

We do not live on a remote island – Germany’s security cannot be separated from security in other regions of the world. Germany will continue to take on responsibility in the world, contribute to peace and thus protect our security, too. Bundeswehr missions abroad are part of our foreign and security policy and thus help to uphold peace and security in the world. As we carry out these missions, it is important for us to regularly take stock and comprehensively review our efforts. The new evaluation gives us valuable guidelines that we can rely on when planning future missions abroad. This also applies to the implementation of the National Security Strategy, which the Federal Government has drawn up as a joint strategic framework for our foreign-policy and security efforts.

Meanwhile, Federal Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said:

In line with the Zeitenwende, the Bundeswehr is concentrating on its key tasks and defining its objectives more clearly still. What we have to do now is to translate the findings into action. The results of the evaluation strengthen my resolve to place a stronger focus on national and collective defence and to provide our servicemen and servicewomen with the best equipment possible. Only with a strong Bundeswehr can we guarantee our citizens’ security while contributing to peace in the world, together with our partners. International crisis management will remain an important task and helps us to contribute to stability, security, and international order around the globe. Crisis management must always be an integral part of diplomacy and development cooperation. We can only ensure long-term stability if all strands work closely together.


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