Germany and the Use of Force

Germany and the Use of Force

Germany and the Use of Force

Germany and the Use of Force

Synopsis

While developments in the 1990s saw Germany move away from its rigidly prohibitive stance towards the use of force, Berlin's policy in the war on terrorism suggested that Germany may be retreating into a new form of self-imposed restraint. In this first major English language study of German security policy after Iraq, Kerry Longhurst considers the evolution of Germany's peculiar approach to the use of force after the Cold War through the conceptual prism of strategic culture. The timeliness of this volume brings with it fresh analysis of the origins and substance of Germany's strategic culture, which the author subsequently explores in a contemporary context against the background of the changing role of the Bundeswehr from 1990-2003. The book also provides unique and in-depth analysis of Germany's troubled efforts at defense sector reform in the 1990s and considers the complex politics surrounding conscription.

Excerpt

This book is inspired by the often puzzling array of continuities and changes that has characterised German security policy since unification in 1990. Change has been manifest most profoundly in the lifting of the legal and political barriers which had formerly curtailed the use of the West German armed forces, a transformation which arguably reached its zenith in Germany’s military contribution to the war in Kosovo in 1999. Since then, German perspectives on the use of force became, especially in the context of the expansion of the US-led war against terrorism in 2003, more reminiscent of the restrictive, amilitaristic, foreign policy style of the pre-1990 Bonn Republic. This mixture of change and continuity also pervades the structure of the Federal armed forces and the pace of defence sector reforms. While the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed force, has become better equipped for modern out-of-area missions, its post-1989 process of transformation and modernisation remains limited and largely inadequate due to the continuation of conscription, coupled with a static defence budget.

On a conceptual level, inspiration for this book derives from the body of literature in the field of security studies on strategic culture. Broadly speaking, strategic culture focuses on the domestic sources of security policy and attempts to identify how the past impacts and shapes contemporary policy behaviour. In contrast to some of the more traditional approaches in security studies, the strategic culture approach is interested in the subjective, nationally specific, aspects of security and defence policy and the ways in which collective historical experiences, channelled through pervading values and norms, play a role in defining interests and thus shaping policy choices.

Reflecting on the critical junctures and ruptures that characterise German history over the course of the past 100 years, the aptness of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.