What is an external existence

External security / defense / NATO

1. Change of the classic threat

The external security (ÄS) of the FRG, located at the interface of both antagonistic systems, was guaranteed by the alliance policy, above all NATO and WEU, but also by membership in the UN and the European Communities. The ES of the FRG was seen as security from the Warsaw Pact states, particularly during the East-West conflict. The majority of the citizens of the FRG perceived a threat from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact states. Conversely, the → GDR was integrated into the eastern alliance system of the Warsaw Pact and the Comecon and was also at the interface to the antagonistic system, so that ÄS was understood as security from the "imperialist NATO states" for the GDR.

With the overcoming of the East-West conflict, the collapse of communism as an ideology and practice for the control of large social organizations, and the collapse of the USSR and the establishment of German unity, the framework data for the ESDs have also changed radically. The CFE Treaty of 1990 with its significant disarmament provisions in the conventional area, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Germany and the territory of other former allies in Eastern / Central Europe have eliminated the former Soviet ability to carry out a surprise attack on Western Europe. A war in Europe between East and West - as it always seemed possible during the Cold War - is now considered impossible. A threat to the ES Ds can only occur today in other constellations (cf. 2.2). The security of D will continue to be guaranteed militarily by NATO. In Art. 6 of the Two-Plus-Four Treaty of 9/12/1990, the united D is granted the right to "belong to alliances with all rights and obligations arising from it". Since the GDR joined the FRG in accordance with Article 23 of the Basic Law, nothing changed in the D's membership of NATO, which was expanded by the GDR. D continues to have a special status in the military integration of NATO. At one point - in contrast to the other NATO countries - it brought almost all armed forces into the integrated command structure. On the other hand, D does not have its own general staff. Thirdly, D has unilaterally limited its troops to 370,000 men, but this is not noticed with a number of less than 200,000 soldiers. Fourth, D renewed the FRG's commitment to renounce the production and purchase of NBC weapons. And finally, fifth, D has undertaken, after the successful withdrawal of the Soviet / Russian armed forces from the former GDR in autumn 1994, to station neither foreign armed forces nor nuclear weapons nor their carriers on the territory of the new → federal states. The two-plus-four treaty enables D's close ties to the Atlantic community and made it easier for D's neighbors to agree to German unification.

However, the European dimension is likely to play an increasingly important role in security policy. On the one hand, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact have robbed NATO of its perceived threat potential and is in a phase of restructuring, and on the other hand, non-military threats to industrial → societies will increase. For example, EU Europe accentuates the political and economic dimension of its security policy by providing the Eastern and Central European states with far-reaching support measures (PHARE program / Europe agreement, bilateral friendship treaties, accession negotiations, European neighborhood policy, etc.) and thus the eastern half of Europe sought to stabilize in his own interest. The mediation efforts of the EC / EU - albeit not very successful - in the war in Yugoslavia must be seen against this background. After overcoming the East-West conflict, the EU is trying to play a stronger international role. The EU has therefore adopted a common security and foreign policy, which may also be used independently of NATO.

2. Stability transfer and international crisis management

After the end of the East-West conflict, the security situation for D has improved fundamentally, since it is only surrounded by democratic and friendly states and most of them are involved in NATO and the EU; however, in place of the risk of a great war, there has been a multitude of other kinds of risks. In the Defense White Paper 2006, international terrorism is named as a central challenge. It threatens freedom and security all over the world, as the 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have made clear. Other threats are the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, so that proliferation is increasingly becoming a threat for D. Both state and private actors try to obtain high-tech goods for criminal purposes. The attempt by a number of countries - albeit still small - to gain possession of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems can also pose a threat to D. The consequences of internal and regional conflicts, the destabilization and internal disintegration of states and the associated denationalization of violence mean not only a challenge, but also a threat to security. Unresolved political conflicts on the periphery of the stability area EU are increasingly affecting D's security. "The erosion of state structures, the collapse of entire states and the resulting civil war, as well as the emergence of areas that are outside the international order, open up areas of action and retreats for armed groups and terrorist organizations. They promote organized crime, corruption, and human trafficking the drug economy "(White Paper 2006: 25). In addition, as intra- and inter-ethnic-cultural conflicts still exist in some states, these internal disputes can turn into interstate conflicts that have spill-over effects on Western Europe and thus in turn pose a threat to Western Europe. The test case took place in the spring of 1999, when NATO waged an air war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia due to the "ethnic cleansing" by Serbia in Kosovo. This war was waged without a mandate from the UN, but NATO asserted the massive violation of human rights by Serbia for humanitarian intervention. In this way, German soldiers were included in combat missions for the first time after the Second World War, albeit only in the form of air force personnel.

Furthermore, growing poverty and political chaos in many third world countries are likely to cause waves of refugees and accelerate migration flows to Europe. The increasing pollution of the environment is now just as much a global challenge as the spread of pandemics and epidemics (e.g. AIDS, bird flu).

The change in the international framework for German security has also led to a complete change in the parameters of German security policy. The active alliance policy is still practiced in NATO and the EU, but D was very committed to the expansion of these alliance systems to the east. The integration of the eastern neighbors in NATO and the EU was seen as an important means of increasing mutual reliability of expectations and long-term peacekeeping. However, German security policy today goes far beyond the European dimension. D sees his security no longer only endangered on its periphery, but through global political threats, so that his defense begins in the Hindu Kush (ex-Defense Minister Struck). D participates in the international missions of the UN on the Asian and African continents (→ Bundeswehr). While D was an importer of security at the time of the East-West conflict, D has now developed into an exporter of security. The Schröder government in particular sought to express this global expansion of the security policy design claim by striving for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. But this attempt failed because D did not receive the necessary support both in the Security Council and in the UN General Assembly. German security policy today is based on a comprehensive security concept. Emerging dangers must be countered with a coordinated set of diplomatic, economic, developmental, police and military means. The global political challenges are, if at all, only political. H. to solve politically by peaceful means. The existence of armed forces in alliance systems can only be a reinsurance agency.

Source: Andersen, Uwe / Wichard Woyke (ed.): Concise dictionary of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. 7th, updated Aufl. Heidelberg: Springer VS 2013. Author of the article: Wichard Woyke