Germany presents a different case than France. Germany has had no bold strategic military project defining its existence as a postwar state. The new Federal Republic of Germany has sought to find itself within a new Europe and in close alliance with the United States. The struggle for reunification has been its strategic objective.
With the end of the Cold War and the process of reunification, a new Germany at the heart of a new Europe is emerging. What kind of strategic concept makes sense for the new Germany? What kind of European policy? What kind of policy toward the United States is required for German leadership within the new Europe? And what role does military power play for the new Germany within the new Europe and the new Alliance?
A revolution in military affairs can take root in Germany only in the context of a strategic project for Germany and Europe. It also requires rethinking the military instrument within German and allied policy.
The Context of Change
Upheaval characterizes the new Europe. This upheaval brings with it the need to create a new order (such as existed after the Vienna Congress). Interests must be balanced. Security, in the sense of the absence of violence, remains a central issue. At the same time, transnational trends in economics and technology must be recognized. A unifying imperative has arisen in Europe that drives states to transfer sovereignty and core competencies to Europeanwide organizations. Integration in the West is very advanced, with NATO and the EU providing the cornerstone, yet a core of national sovereignty will remain.
The idea of a "United States of Europe," once vociferously propagated by Chancellor Kohl, no longer finds his support. He maintains that he underestimated the loyalties held by the peoples of Europe for their respective nation-states. A "Europe of the Fatherlands," integrated where possible and appropriate, is the best way to describe the currently predominant perspective.
The decisive measure of integration's continued success will be whether the Euro functions or not. If monetary union works, European integration, including a European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), however construed, will receive a significant boost. If not, European integration will experience a major setback.
Germany was prepared to transfer national sovereignty rights to a supranational institution, to a Political union, to a greater degree than practically any other member of the EU, but Germany's partners, particularly France and Great Britain, were not ready for this. Consequently, Germany was compelled to take a new approach, seeking pragmatic advances in the direction of further cooperation, coordination, and harmonization, with the long-term hope of arriving at the desired level of integration. Maintaining close ties with the United States has a key role in this approach. (1)
It is important to underline that for Germany, strengthening a European armaments and technology basis and a European defense identity does not have the goal of excluding the United States. Rather, it is directed at creating the conditions for an enduring--and perhaps more balanced--partnership with the United States. Germany's thinking is that the United States will remain interested in Europe over the long run only if Europe presents itself as an attractive partner.
Germany insists that the cooperation or merger of companies occurs only among private, nonstate-owned operations. British companies, aside from a few exceptions, are better prospects than French state-owned ones.
Perceptions of Risks and Challenges
Developments in Russia need to be closely watched, as do developments in the Baltic Republics and tile Baltic Sea, the maintenance of an independent Ukraine and the implications of a Russia without the historical Rus or Kiev, and the situation in the Caucasus. Can a revisionist policy be excluded over the long run? What role will Russia play in Europe, that of partner or opponent? Moreover, even in the case of a partnership between Russia and Europe, it is better for Europe to be a strong partner of Russia than a weak one. Finally, will there be tensions with NATO? And what kind of rivalries will develop between Russia and the United States?
Other challenges include tense relations in the southeast (Balkans, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus), the tensions around the Mediterranean and in the Mideast, and global risks (economics, trade, finance, overpopulation, and environment). There is also the question of reordering global strategic relationships and defining Europe's role in the new global system. In this context, one must examine whether the stability of West-West relations is permanent. Can the transatlantic community be strengthened? Does symbiosis or rivalry predominate in relations between the United States and the EU? It is important for Germany to secure ties to the West (Westbindung), particularly the German-American relationship. (2)
Perceptions of NATO's Further Development
The question of NATO's further development raises the issue of the Alliance's purpose and competency--in other words, should Article 5 remain the foundation of Alliance military activity for Germany? By the same token, can "non-Article 5" action remain a flexible instrument for overcoming crises, or does it portend paralysis through conflict over competencies? This also raises the issue of NATO military integration and the relationship among NATO, EU, and WEU--even if it is clear that the cohesion of the EU/WEU will not be strong enough to replace NATO in the future.
Setting clear priorities is important; without a militarily integrated NATO, there would be no security for Europe. Europe needs to be wary of wasting time and effort on unrealizable goals. There can be an independent role for the Europeans, but the definition of independence should not be needless political rivalry with the United States but enhanced strategic capability. Equal rights and equal influence depend on comparable capability; those who want to be Indian chiefs need to provide the braves. The same applies to France and AFSOUTH--i.e., for the time being there is no alternative to the United States remaining in control.
The Tasks of the Armed Forces
Armed forces are only one of security policy's means, but an essential one with influence underlying almost all aspects of security policy. For Germany, the basic strategic idea revolves around the following concepts:
* Security is defined by the absence of violence between or against states
* Strategy should prevent such violence from arising
* Where this is not possible, violence must be contained and prevented from being directed against one's own community.
From this follow two main tasks, both connected with one another:
* The creation and the maintenance of military stability in Europe (this prevents the development of realistic options for the use of military power to change the status quo)
* The pursuit of military-crisis management. Political authorities must determine the optimal time for this. At the same time, in determining priorities there should be no a priori exclusion of particular types of crises or geographical areas.
Finally, a central condition for most European states is international cooperation. A nation-state can avoid cooperation, but it can no longer carry out military-crisis management on its own. Five tasks for the German Armed Forces need to be addressed:
* Securing military stability through the maintenance of a balance of military power
* The classic tasks of territorial and alliance defense
* Military-crisis management
* International humanitarian assistance
* Military cooperation.
Military Stability through Balance
Maintaining a defense capability of the proper magnitude is important, and this is the responsibility of the individual states. On the basis of the nonconfrontational order in Europe, states must see their armed forces as contributing to the maintenance of European stability, whereby individual countries should refrain from having forces either too large or too small. An excessively large force implies, from the perspective of the other states, a danger to security. Excessively small forces would also be undesirable for a country, as its neighbors would see this as "free riding" and shunning common responsibilities for maintaining stability. Finally, the presence of the United States on the continent is essential to the military stabilization of the commonly agreed peace order in Europe--and this is what maintaining a balance is all about.
The Classic Task: Territorial and Alliance Defense
Territory is the most important physical precondition of both a state's existence and its ability to pursue its political values and goals. Territorial integrity is thus synonymous with political and structural integrity. Defense of the state territory against all forms of outside violence remains the most important task of national strategy and the basic requirement of the armed forces. The probability of having to defend territory can affect the manner of implementation, but not the principle.
The operational conditions have changed and will in all probability continue to change: space is shrinking, and defense along the territorial boundaries is no longer sufficient (think of today's air defense and the new threats that aim directly at targets within one's territory). This creates problems particularly for small states whose territory no longer gives the defender enough space and time.
Defense within an alliance compels armed forces to prepare for and, when necessary, carry out operations of all sizes, including those outside one's own territory (for most NATO members, this has been the case for 50 years). For political and strategic-operational reasons, alliance defense for Germany is synonymous with territorial defense.
Vital interests must also be protected outside one's national territory at the point where the threat arises (one thinks of Italy's action in the last Albanian crisis). It is necessary to oppose negative changes in the strategic environment in a timely manner (here, it is important to keep the optimal point of time in mind). Consequently, it is a strategic anachronism to limit armed forces (or elements thereof) jurisdictionally or politically to one's own territory. What is necessary is a new definition of defense.
Military-crisis management is a broad, perhaps intentionally fuzzy term. Nevertheless, it can be said that it involves actions below the threshold of defending against direct aggression against national territory.
* There are different levels of activity involved in crisis management for the military: observer missions, peacekeeping, peace making, etc. The common characteristic of all of them is the need for forces to be prepared to fight, but that is not the main purpose of the operation.
* There are also different geographical situations: in principle; the farther away the action, the less direct the consequences. From this follows the need to provide a political justification for such actions, which in turn creates the bounding conditions for the operation.
Military-crisis management contains a double uncertainty, which needs to be continually considered during military planning and implementation:
* In terms of the area of operation, the crisis can reach a point where the element of combat dominates or where the operation has to be ended.
* Seen strategically, the crisis can escalate to normal war, or further crisis areas can arise. The latter is facilitated by modern transportation and communications technologies.
Regarding crises in Europe or on the European periphery, above all when the interests of the larger European powers are involved, a constant guard must be maintained against possible escalation to a larger, more serious crisis. For example, an external power could involve NATO in the Baltics if it wanted to distract it from the Black Sea. Thus, forces earmarked for crisis reaction must have the appropriate dimension (numerous crises could occur simultaneously, therefore sustainability and the ability to escalate are necessary).
Military-crisis management means, in essence, being able to overcome crises at a distance. In technical terms, this involves a military intervention. Even if the force of arms is not in the foreground, it is nevertheless a determining element (otherwise one could send the Red Cross). Thus, the same rule that applies to every use of armed force applies to military-crisis management: those who deploy forces must have a clear goal and must want to prevail; otherwise, political defeat threatens.
The difference between military-crisis management, at least at higher levels of conflict, and defense becomes fluid. Structure, armament, training, and method of employment of the armed forces cannot and must not be sharply divided between crisis management and defense capability (a key word is versatility, to include universality of concept and flexibility of instrument).
Limited resources require the setting of priorities. For Germany, these lie in Europe, including central and eastern Europe. Additionally, the following must be considered: no abstinence (above all no ideological abstinence), but also no a priori prioritization. Alliance solidarity is the justifying interest!
A balanced relationship is required between role specialization and general force versatility; the efficiency of the whole is more important than the optimization of partial areas. This also corresponds to preventing an inappropriate expenditure of resources for peripheral tasks. Drilling wells in Patagonia or clearing mines in Angola is not a pressing task for German military policy; such tasks are to be carried out, if at all, within existing resources.
Permanent cooperation of the armed forces with a set agenda is a normal part of security policy in Europe. This is unique, both in terms of European history and in terms of other continents. Further elements include confidence building and arms control. Moreover, there is project-related cooperation, e.g., in the context of the Partnership for Peace (PfP), to strengthen interoperability.
A comparably new tendency exists in the increased development of multinational, integrated force elements. This has long been common practice within NATO, but this should be pursued with caution and not to a greater degree than the purpose of the Alliance and common political interest warrant. The commonality of politics must precede the commonality of the instrument, not vice versa. A common instrument without congruent political objectives is, in periods of conflict, more likely to be a reason for division than an incentive for harmony.
Summary of Military Goals
Stability in Europe, Alliance defense, and crisis management (for its own defense as well as for its role in maintaining Alliance solidarity) are Germany's priorities. Expanding and strengthening European capabilities with the aim of greater equality of rights and influence in the transatlantic relationship are also important.
Critical Issues for a German RMA
Germany's "military reform project" needs to be seen in the context of a restructuring of Germany's society and a rebalancing of Germany's European and transatlantic interests. Germany and Europe have seen much in the way of revolution since 1989. The costly challenges of German unity have been compounded by the heavy burden of reintegrating Eastern Europe. The 1990s have seen the Bundeswehr undergo by far the most radical transformation in its 40-year history: incorporating the East German military (NVA), shrinking its military from 495,000 to 340,000 personnel, and moving toward a crisis-reaction footing. It is important to remember that revolution is relative and Germans have seen much in the way of change in recent years. An impending revolution in military affairs is thus placed in a much broader context of change within Europe and Germany.
But there is more to why the RMA debate has not received the prominence it has in other advanced industrial democracies. Germans remain reluctant to delve into heavy strategic debate. The purpose of German power, the role of military force, and the nature of strategic interests--Germans do not discuss these things easily. The shifts in German strategic focus, the reorientation of German forces--these changes are occurring without a clear and open discussion of the interests behind the transition.
Until a clearer idea of Germany's strategic interests has established itself in Germany's political discourse, it will be difficult to say anything definitive about Germany's long-term outlook toward an RMA. Should such a revolution come to Germany, it will be a revolution by default. Germany will go with the new technologies because they make sense in the context of specific needs (i.e., versatility or force-to-space problems), and not because of any overarching concept for achieving revolutionary change in the way force is applied. For a Germany uncertain of its strategic interests, the RMA will be an expedient, not a vision. Indeed, Germany's most immediate preoccupation with the RMA is driven at least as much by Germany's interest in being a good ally as by any clear sense of how and to what purpose Germany forces might be used in the future.
Clearly, being a good ally is one of Germany's vital strategic interests, but the RMA is about the future, and it is unlikely that the future will allow Germany the luxury of defining its national interests solely in terms of its allies. Even being a good ally does not answer the question of whether it is more important to be able to plug in to European or American forces.
Declining Defense Budgets
While strategic uncertainty makes many of the questions raised by the RMA difficult to answer, radically reduced defense budgets make many of the technologies driving the RMA difficult to afford. The enduring costs of unification, the Maastricht criteria, and rising unemployment (now over 10 percent)--these have all reduced Germany's defense budget from DM 59 billion in 1995 to DM 47 billion in 1998, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London. Tight defense budgets have little left for research and development, for spending on anything beyond personnel, and for the upkeep of legacy systems (R&D is about 5.4 percent of the German defense budget and 14 percent of the U.S. budget.)
Indeed, the question of affordability dominates the discussion of the RMA in Germany. There is an inherent tension for the Germans between the need to maintain basic military capabilities (and thus have the need to modernize across the board) and investing in new high-technology capabilities. Hence, the Germans will not put all their money into unproven concepts and high-tech weaponry for highly specialized tasks, but rather into those high-tech systems that promise to improve general capabilities.
As a rule, high technology is not expected to bring greater capability at least cost. In cost-conscious Germany, advanced systems are seen as both more capable and more complex and thus more expensive. The EF-2000 and the F-22 aircraft confirm this impression.
Fragmented Defense Industry
Declining procurement budgets (and exports) have forced the German defense industry to lay off 80,000 workers (27 percent) since 1990. The German defense industry shrank 48 percent from 1987 to 1995, whereas France's declined 11 percent and Great Britain's 28 percent. Many firms are on the brink of bankruptcy. If cross-border mergers do not accompany consolidation, many of Germany's defense firms will disappear entirely
Nor is Germany's defense industry poised to exploit the new technologies associated with the RMA. Fragmented and torn between national and European consolidation, Germany's traditional defense industry makes little effort to encourage German military authorities to think about the implications of the RMA. Restrictive arms export policies hinder cooperation in an ever more global market. Specializing in component production, the industry engages in little thinking about the growing role of systems integration. With little industrial system competence, there is little capacity for system leadership.
Many German observers are wary of RMA enthusiasts who overemphasize the importance of aerospace at the expense of Germany's traditional areas of high-tech expertise. These include submarine building, fuel-cell technology, mine clearing, armor, and NBC defense as exemplified by the superior capability of the Fox Chemical Defense Reconnaissance Vehicle.
At the same time, the German defense industry has certain advantages over its French counterparts in that it is largely in private hands. Germany's approach to its defense industry is more pragmatic than emotional, and there is less political attachment to "national champions." Flexibility to move between the civil and the military sectors is high, and there is a greater inclination to acquire commercial off-the-shelf technologies.
Crowing flexibility in equipment design is also apparent. German military authorities recognize the need for giving platforms inherent growth potential in the sense of the British approach, built on concurrent engineering and the integrated program development model. Modular design receives increasing emphasis.
The Military Organization and the Information Revolution
Technological developments alone will not lead to a revolution in German military affairs. If progress is to be revolutionary as opposed to evolutionary, organizational and doctrinal changes must also occur. In thinking about how the information revolution might affect the organization of German forces, it is important to keep several points in mind.
First, much more than the information revolution has driven the reorganization of Germany's Armed Forces over the past decade. Second, the organizational culture of the German military is shaped by the notion of Auftragstaktik (mission tactics)--i.e., a strong emphasis on innovation and flexibility in carrying out particular missions. Strong opposition to micro-management from central authorities prevails in the German military. The RMA and the associated technologies will be supported to the extent that they enhance the possibilities of Auftragstaktik. The German military can be expected to resist technologies that allow greater meddling from the top.
Third, while the Minister of Defense has commissioned a series of studies on the RMA, most German military authorities do not see quantum changes coming quickly. Germans have not ignored the RMA debate, but there are few revolutionists in Germany, in part because of significant financial constraints and in part because the German military is also wary of technological fixes, placing relatively greater emphasis on leadership and strategy. While e-mail connections and hyperlinks are foreseen for all forces, new information technologies are by no means the main determinant of the German military's organizational restructuring.
Jointness Among Services
An organizational issue often discussed in terms of the information revolution is the relative degree of jointness that prevails among the various services. Germans very much recognize the need for greater jointness in strategic planning and operational doctrine. They are reluctant, however, to see this as simply a derivative of technological change. The emphasis is on creating effective forces in the classic sense and not on any new management style per se.
The jointness discussion in the German military must also be seen in the context of the Bundeswehr's historical legacy. Germany has not had a general staff since 1945. Germany's top military commander, the General Inspector of the Armed Forces, does not have command authority over the three services. During the Cold War, joint operations were planned and would have been commanded at the NATO level.
While the Bundeswehr is not planning to change the command authority of the General Inspector any time soon, it is seeking to address the jointness deficit. A joint planning and command element has been established in the MOD serving the National Command Authority (NCA) (i.e., the MOD in peacetime or the Chancellor in wartime). It plans and coordinates on behalf of the NCA.
There is also a need to focus on the best command arrangement for Germany's crisis reaction forces. Currently, any crisis reaction package would be under the command of one of the services, with cells from the other services attached. There are those who think this should be changed, such that the commander of any large crisis-reaction force (CRF) package should take off his service hat and put on a joint one. Indeed, some argue that all generals should wear a joint and not a service hat. A number of military authorities contend that most future employments are going to be joint and combined; hence, most future weapons systems will be used in joint operations. They complain that Germany's past reluctance to address the need for greater jointness reflects a conceptual deficit in understanding of how to use current technological options to their full potential.
Germany's postwar military culture is very much focused on effective cooperation with allied forces. Germany's leading role in NATO's new multinational corps is one direct consequence. Combined operations and the interoperability they require clearly occupy a central place in German military thinking.
Yet there is concern that the information interfaces between Germany's forces and those of its allies, in particular those of the United States, will not live up to future needs. With Germany's shrunken defense budget, the ability to plug in to U.S. sensor-shooter networks is by no means assured. This explains the repeated warnings about "strategic disconnect" from former German military chief and current NATO military committee chairman, General Klaus Naumann. The NATO Standardization Agency is important in this context--Germans hope this agency will be able to facilitate a plug-and-play capability among allies. It is likely that German modernization programs will place greater emphasis on being able effectively to plug into NATO information systems than on matching weapons capabilities across the board.
The overall importance of interoperability should not conceal the different ways in which Germany's services approach the question. The German Air Force and Navy have significant experience with close cooperation as junior partners to the more advanced U.S. Air Force and Navy, where the United States sets the terms for interoperability. The German Army's experience, however, is somewhat different in terms of equipment, training, doctrine, and leadership. The German Army sees itself as less of a junior partner and more of an equal to the U.S. Army.
German military authorities are not particularly concerned about the United States becoming a sole-source provider of information--in the sense of a strategic "information umbrella"--and the political leverage this could imply. Concepts and ideas are what count, not raw information, maintain German military authorities--and here, they are not so convinced of a great disparity. While Germans do not see information becoming the primary currency of exchange in the alliance, they do recognize that intelligence assets translate into influence and that specialized capabilities have their value.
Multinational Development and Procurement
German firms recognize that both competition and strategic cooperation will take place simultaneously, both in Europe and transatlantically.
In regard to the newly formed European procurement agency, OCCAR, optimism is greater at the political level than at the working level. In Germany, the question is less whether Germany will be able to play a large role in pushing the advanced technologies associated with the RMA than whether OCCAR will be able to function at all. The political obstacles to greater cooperation remain large. Even in Germany, there is little support at the political level for rescinding the Treaty of Rome's Article 223, which permits the protection of national arms industries. (3)
What is clear in regard to multinational cooperation programs is that Germany, faced with tremendous financial constraints, will be much less willing to pursue cooperative programs with the French, or anyone else, merely for the purpose of political symbolism. And Robert Rudney is correct in observing that German officials are "less strident about the potential for a European preference and more accommodating toward cooperation with the United States" than France. (4)
Nevertheless, America's aggressive commercial tactics disturb Europe. AWACS is good but extremely expensive. Europe will seek to play a larger role in the development of a new Air-Ground Surveillance capability for NATO. Many Europeans see an American unwillingness to truly cooperate on such projects. The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) will be the real test, particularly in regard to equal rights on the definition of the necessary military capabilities.
CRF and Strategic Goals
The biggest change coming to the Bundeswehr is the creation of a 50,000-man CRF. According to IISS,
The CRF are designed to deploy in one major operation (up to an army division along with corresponding air assets) as well as participating simultaneously in smaller missions, such as peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance.... The CRF will constitute, when completed, 70% of the air force, nearly 100% of the navy but only 16% of the army." (5)
Various units will be earmarked for CRF duty, but German authorities want to maintain as much flexibility as possible in putting together CRF packages. No division-sized element will be solely devoted to CRF. For a Bundeswehr that was designed to defend the German-German border, this will be a dramatically new mission.
The priority for Germany's developing 50,000-man CRF is supporting Germany's primary geostrategic interest: contributing to the military stabilization of Europe through preventive action. This means territorial defense of the Alliance--no longer on the German-German border but along more distant frontiers. Germany is tailoring its forces first for NATO's strategy of counterconcentration, giving them offensive capabilities first for NATO's flanks, and only second for out-of-area peace support.
Germany's strategic focus remains the East and the Baltics, not only in terms of defense but also of military cooperation of these formerly Communist countries. Major out-of-area warfighting missions do not have priority unless they are of strategic importance.
Nevertheless, the ability to participate in multinational peace support operations along the alliance periphery, from the Baltics to the Mediterranean, is also defined as an important German interest.
While a strategic division of labor raises certain problems, in operational terms there is value on focusing on the specific contributions Germany can make to CRF. Germany's chemical defense capability, particularly with the Fox detection vehicle, is superior. Its reconnaissance Tornadoes, minesweeping capabilities, and Patriot batteries also provide a significant contribution. For Germans, the issue of interoperability must also be viewed in terms of these comparative advantages.
Germany's emerging CRF implies not only a shift in geostrategic focus, but also major restructuring of German Armed Forces. For almost 40 years, Germany built forces to defend the German-German border against a massive armored attack; the CRF will leave that behind. Doctrine, command, communications, mobility, equipment, logistics, sustainability--all these things will change. This flux clearly creates an environment conducive to innovation--even in the face of budgetary constraints. In thinking about the RMA in the Bundeswehr, it thus makes sense to closely follow developments in the CRF. In many cases, innovation will come to the CRF first.
Information Technology and Information Warfare
Most German military authorities have come to recognize that information dominance is not just a force multiplier but also a strategic instrument. Yet translating this general proposition into military doctrine and force structure remains a distant prospect. Moreover, skepticism regarding the revolutionary impact of information on warfare is widespread.
Today, Germans still approach information warfare, in the sense of information strikes and information defense, in the traditional way. The focus is on assuring secure communications while being able to destroy, jam, or otherwise disrupt enemy communications. Strategic information warfare across the depth of a battlefield is still very much in the conceptualization stage.
In regard to European and transatlantic strategies for cyberwar and network vulnerability, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France have a great interest in the way in which the NATO Military Communication Committee will address this issue.
Crisis Response Force [C.sup.3]I
In trying to identify incipient changes in Germany's approach to information warfare, particularly in terms of battlefield awareness and battlefield knowledge, it makes sense to look at the new headquarters elements being put together for CRF. These new mobile headquarters provide the opportunity for redesign in a way that modernizing a main defense force (MDF) [C.sup.3]I does not. Here, a number of points can be made:
* Germans planning for crisis reaction emphasize the need for establishing an "information space" when deploying abroad.
* Systems like AGS/JSTARS are not sought as surveillance platforms. Instead, there is greater interest in their role as mobile command posts or for target acquisition roles. Such systems make [C.sup.3]I more versatile, giving it both CRF and MDF roles.
* Systems that are proving themselves in CRF will likely be introduced to MDF.
The increasing information intensity of German Armed Forces will also have an impact on their relationship to German and European telecommunications industry. The Ministry of Defense recognizes that innovation in military communication will be commercially driven.
Nevertheless, relationships with other European, American, and Asian telecommunications companies are growing slowly. The German telecommunications market--in line with EU guidelines--opened up in 1998, generating significant competition for the formerly state-owned Telekom. Many new providers will establish themselves in Germany, providing the Ministry of Defense with a wider range of potential suppliers for military systems as well. The mobile telephone market is flourishing, and German systems are competitive. Many of these companies (for example, Siemens) have had a long-standing relationship with the German Ministry of Defense.
German military authorities are skeptical of the ability of sensors to find significant threats. Opponents hiding in schools and hospitals will remain a problem, as electromagnetic signatures do not tell all. By the same token, German officials are skeptical that computer-driven "battlefield awareness," let alone "battlefield knowledge," could replace leadership and strategy. New technologies, Germans tend to believe, will not alter the essence of war: a violent battle of wills for the control of territory. Even perfect battlefield awareness and knowledge would not change this.
To the degree that Germany specifically seeks improved battlefield awareness and battlefield knowledge, this will be less space based than France or the United States. Germany is focusing on high-altitude and endurance systems for reconnaissance and surveillance of both large areas and point targets. UAVs will also have a role in air-space management and as "air stationary" platforms for switches. UAVs are not foreseen in a major strike role--at least not any time soon.
Germany and the Future of Space Policy
Germany recognizes the changes coming to the space business in terms of greater commercialization and greater internationalization. It also recognizes that future military systems will be based to a much greater extent than now on commercial technologies. Germany's Minister of Defense sees a need for German firms to work with both European and American counterparts. Nevertheless, German military authorities do not give space the priority that either the Americans or the French do. Germans see space as a tool, not as a battleground.
Germany has no vision of itself as a space power. Its military priorities are elsewhere. Qualitative change in the importance of space-based capabilities is not likely in the German Armed Forces in the next decade; budgetary constraints are a big part of this.
Long-Range Precision Strike
With declining manpower and larger territories potentially in need of defense, German forces must plan for much lower force-to-space ratios than in the past. This increases the need for long-range precision strike (LRPS). This also increases the need for joint operations, but when it comes to modernization, the German services remain somewhat parochial.
There is clear recognition of the difficulty posed by the rapid obsolescence of even new weapons systems. Germans recognize that platforms and systems must be built with inherent growth potential and that modular systems are the way to go. By the same token, weapons systems need to be more than flexible, more versatile. The TAURUS, a modular stand-off weapon is an example of this; it will have a range of 350 kilometers and a radar/IR sensor (by 2003).
Germany does not have a wide variety of options for how it will respond to the prospect of a revolution in military affairs. Procurement and force structures over the next 10 to 15 years will largely proceed on the basis of current planning. This planning and the ongoing budgetary pressure point in the direction of a moderate German RMA capability. Germany will continue to acquire high-technology equipment. Greatest flexibility in future procurement decisions will exist in the area of modern [C.sup.3]I, particularly to the degree that it draws on commercial, off-the-shelf technology. Less flexibility will exist in the area of platforms, where many planning decisions have already been made.
A move toward an extensive RMA capability would come only if the chancellery made a national commitment to a much more aggressive approach toward both civilian and military high technology. Such a shift remains highly unlikely, primarily for financial reasons. Nor is it likely that Germany will completely ignore the implications of high technology for its military affairs, which would significantly damage Germany's strategic position, particularly by denying it the ability to "plug in" to American forces. In short, Germany will seek to maintain modern and balanced forces that are both affordable and capable of joint and combined operations.
On the European level, the German armaments industry will, in most cases, seek true integration. On tile transatlantic level, it will pursue cooperative options, but the motivation will be more economic than political. Moreover, this cooperation will have to be based on true partnership. There is little interest in one-way streets, where Germany buys "black boxes" but has little role in their development and production.
(1.) See Holger H. Mey, "View from Germany: A European Security and Defense Identity--What Role for the United States?" Comparative Strategy 14, no. 3 (July-September 1995): 31 1-316.
(2.) See Holger H. Mey, "A View from Germany: German-American Relations: The Case for a Preference," Comparative Strategy 14, no. 2 (April-June 1995): 205-209.
(3.) As underlined by Gunnar Simon, State Secretary for Armaments, in Soldat und Technik no.1 (1997).
(4.) Armed Forces Journal International 134, no. 1 (August 1996): 16.
(5.) See "Germany's New Look Security Policy," Strategic Comments 3, no. 1 (January 1997).
Robbin F. Laird is a defense and business strategy consultant based in Washington and Paris. Dr. Laird has published widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has written more than 500 articles on virtually every aspect of U.S. and European high-technology, defense, and strategic policy and is the author of 19 books. A new book on America in the 21st century will be published in 1999 in France.
Holger H. Mey is the President of the Institute for Strategic Analyses, a policy-oriented think tank based in Bonn. Dr. Mey is also a consultant to aerospace and defense companies as well as a lecturer on international relations at the University of Cologne. He is Vice-President of EuroDefense Deutschland and a board member of the Politico-Military Society. Dr. Mey publishes frequently in national and international journals and newspapers and is the author and editor of books on security policy.…