day after Germany's DPA
broke the news that
the Merkel government is considering "bringing back nationwide
conscription in times of crisis", such as situations in which
the country needs to "defend NATO’s external borders",
strongly hinting at the possibility of a future war, which in turn
followed this weekend's
shocking announcement that
Germans should prepare to stockpile several days of food and water
"in case of an attack of catastrophe" as part of the
country's revised "Civil Defense Concept, today NBC reports that
Debates Putting Troops on Streets to Protect Against ISIS."
be sure, plans to involve soldiers in counterterrorism operations.
and the suggestion troops could also be used to beef up security in
public places, have proved controversial in a country only seven
decades "removed from totalitarian rule that's still grappling
with guilt from the Nazi era." However, Wolfgang Bosbach, a
lawmaker from Merkel's CDU party, dismissed an such concerns.
the recent terror threat in Munich the German armed forces, and also
the military police, were put on alert," he told NBC News. "They
have been deployed in other crises,so
why should the military not help with domestic security as well?"
court decision in 2012 allowed Germany's armed forces to be deployed
at home for peacetime missions under an "extraordinary emergency
situation of catastrophic dimension."
"Bundeswehr" solders have since helped during flooding as
well as providing logistical support during the migrant crisis,
deploying troops in peacetime among the broader population is sure to
lead to far broader populist concerns.
some politicians suggested the influx of migrants and refugees had
created security risks and called for tighter border controls, others
warned against overreacting. Boris Pistorius, the justice minister in
the state of Lower Saxony, told
Die Welt newspaper that the three
incidents in a week span "should clearly be distinguished"
and that he would refrain from describing "the series of very
different attacks as a wave of violence."
added: "We are not there yet."
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere stated that Germans are "living
in difficult times" and that police forces are already
Minister Ursula von der Leyen recently announced that the German
military would conduct counterterrorism training with police later
this year. "There
are scenarios we couldn't imagine before the attacks of Paris or
Brussels but that we must address openly and for which we must
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen
full blown military deployment may face logistical difficulties: with
an overall contingent of under 200,000 personnel, the country's armed
forces are spread thin while fulfilling peacekeeping missions in
Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mali and in the the Mediterranean Sea. According
to the German Armed Forces Association, many
servicemen don't want to be used as "stopgaps at home."
favor the planned training under the leadership of police forces in
order to assess a potential role of the armed forces in a large-scale
terror scenario," said Lt. Col. André Wuestner, the group's
head. "But it should not be our goal to protect train stations."
said his counterparts in France and Belgium have warned that their
domestic security duties — such as patrolling city centers — have
kept them from training for their main responsibilities, such as
tried to push their own agenda: the head of Germany's police union
suggested that better equipment and weapons offered a better answer
than troops on the streets of Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg.
we don't need is for that the armed forces to fill a personnel gap,
which would lead to a militarization of inner security," Rainer
despite the seeming acceleration by Germany to militarize at any
cost, some more sover voices did emerge, such as that of Christian
Moelling, a security expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United
States, told NBC News that conservative
politicians appeared to be trying to capitalize on recent events as
they sought to achieve their longstanding goal of allowing the
military to deploy within the country's borders.
noted that since the end of World War II, high hurdles had been
established governing how the armed forces can be used and was
skeptical that any push to change that would be successful.
use Germany's military for interior security, including the use of
force, would necessitate a large majority for a constitutional
change, and this majority doesn't exist," Moelling
said, adding that at least two-thirds of parliamentarians would have
to approve such a measure.
can, however, quickly be achieved should there be a few more
terrorist attacks on German soil, which will promptly provide the
needed cover if not to change the constitution, than to implement an
indefinite state of emergency, bypassing such pesky things as laws.
As a reminder, France has had once since last November.