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New National Security Strategy: The government is thwarting its own approach

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Jurgen Trittin is the foreign policy spokesman for the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group in the Bundestag.

Against the background of three global crises – Ukraine war, climate crisis, Corona – Germany is preparing for the first time National Security Strategy to formulate. At the beginning of the year, the federal government wants to say goodbye. The strategy is to be presented at the Munich Security Conference in February.

National security? Is that still possible in global crises? Couldn’t military protection be achieved primarily through collective self-defence within the framework of NATO and with UN operations? Is economic security for an export nation like Germany even conceivable without the European Union, without multilateral trade and investment agreements?

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It should be clear that the national security strategy must be based on a global and multilateral framework for action. It must also be compatible with the Strategic compass the EU and the strategic concept the NATO.

The undertaking is ambitious

The undertaking launched by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is therefore ambitious. As early as the drafting phase, she consulted alliance partners and involved civil society in order to address the widespread need for participation in times of deep uncertainty.

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Germany is breaking new ground with its national security strategy, following the example of the USA and other NATO partners. So far, only the Ministry of Defense has dealt with the subject in white papers from a narrow military point of view. Now there is to be a broad-based strategy for the entire federal government – as a response to the mutually reinforcing global crises.

The starting point is therefore an expanded security concept. Today, with Russia’s economic warfare, the deepening climate crisis and fragile supply chains, security is more than just military security.

Security is based on three pillars

Comprehensive security rests on three pillars: First, it must ensure the inviolability of our lives and protect people from war and violence. Secondly, it is about guaranteeing our freedom, i.e. ensuring that we can live the way we want.

Third, it is imperative to preserve the foundations of our lives. Climate protection, biological diversity and intact seas have a security dimension. The hot period, for example, promotes crises and wars, hunger and the collapse of states.

Please no trip into the past

The much-quoted “turning point” should not be misunderstood as a journey into the past. All is not well if only the Bundeswehr receives all the money from the 100 billion euro “special fund” and two percent of the gross domestic product is spent on armaments.


billion euro is the special fund for the Bundeswehr

The opposite impression is conveyed by the CDU and CSU – and the head of the Defense Ministry. According to them, the 100 billion should only benefit the Bundeswehr. Measures to increase cyber security, for example, were expressly ruled out. Minister Christine Lambrecht is doing everything in her power to turn the Bundeswehr back into a force whose only task is to defend the alliance within the framework of NATO.

Anyone who only wants to establish security militarily has not heard the bang of the exploding Nord Stream pipelines.

Jurgen Trittin

This narrow concept of security is dangerous. Anyone who only wants to establish security militarily has the bang of the exploding North Stream– Pipelines not heard. It’s about protecting critical infrastructure, energy security and hybrid warfare.

Security requires military but also robust police, economic and political instruments. Security can no longer be managed separately in the drawers of external and internal security.

A state-of-the-art national security strategy must provide operational answers to this, flanked by a climate-friendly, human rights-oriented feminist foreign policy.

If state failure and the resulting wars spread, Germany must not withdraw from UN military missions. On the contrary, it must step up its efforts to stabilize societies. This includes a functioning police force. Germany must finally have a force of police officers available for use in UN and EU missions.

In line with the increase in defense spending, funds for diplomacy and development should also increase at a ratio of 1:1. This is of great security policy importance. In the federal budget for 2023 that has just been passed, however, there is a gap of a good three billion euros, despite improvements for the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry for Economic Cooperation. In this way, the federal government is in a way thwarting its own planned national security strategy.

The Bundestag must review the national security strategy in each legislative period, above all from the point of view of coherence. Whether a strengthened Security Council in the Foreign Office is needed for this is a question that the traffic light coalition will still argue about.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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