Breaking News Stories
These are news stories breaking after the publishing of this Word
– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
Continued build-up of the EuroArmy
Prediction 14: Possible
EU troop movements to Israel and/or the Middle East
Preparing Germany's Military for
The German army may in future be required to act militarily in conflict
zones and to consider missions beyond its current peace-keeping and
stabilization mandate, according to Defense Minister Peter Struck.
Germany's mandate for peace missions around the world could change if
Peter Struck gets his way, according to an interview the defense
minister gave to German magazine Focus at the weekend.
|"It is possible that we
will consider going to other countries and separate warring
parties by military means."
Struck wants the armed forces to be ready to engage militarily should
situations in areas, where they are currently deployed, deteriorate into
The defense minister is also proposing that, in future, his department
considers missions other than peace-keeping and stabilization for the
Bundeswehr. German soldiers should be in the position to "carry out
peace enforcement missions anywhere in the world" in support of
Germany's allies, he said. For example, Struck hinted, the Bundeswehr
could be asked to play a stronger role in Africa in the future.
Fatalities a real possibility, says Struck
Struck added that it could not be ruled out that in future German
soldiers could be killed in combat operations.
"For those of us who were born after the war this is an unfavorable idea
but we must be realistic," he said. "It is possible that we will
consider going to other countries and separate warring parties by
Around 6,500 German soldiers are currently serving in foreign
deployments, mostly in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Six weeks ago, the Bundestag also agreed to send troops to Sudan. A
spokesperson from the ministry of defense recently told German
newsmagazine Der Spiegel that the first four of a total of 75 military
observers had already arrived.
The deployment, initially set for six months, would be limited to
southern and eastern Sudan based on a UN Security Council resolution
passed in late March and approved by Khartoum this month. The government
said the deployment is estimated to cost around 1.3 million euros ($1.7
Germans join UN peacekeepers in Sudan
The observers will join a group of 750 UN observers who form part of the
contingent of 10,000 UN peacekeepers. While the Germans will not offer
any direct help to the strife-torn region of Darfur in the west of the
country, they will be able to liaise with African Union troops deployed
Struck is due to meet with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York
at the end of June and will then decide whether the German deployment
will continue past its end date.
The Sudanese agreement followed on from a statement from the defense
ministry in April that said Germany was willing to take on a bigger role
in Afghanistan if NATO requested and the German parliament agreed.
Afghanistan presence to increase on request
Speaking on a visit to Uzbekistan before he left for the Afghan capital
Kabul, Struck said that Germany could take over responsibility for all
the north of Afghanistan.
"Germany is ready to take charge of the entire northern region" of the
country, Struck said.
He added however that Germany would wait until NATO finalized its plans
for the north and that the German parliament would need to approve any
expanded role for the 2,000-strong German contingent attached to the
international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan (ISAF).