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Twenty-First Century Crusades?

Prediction 13: Continued build-up of the EuroArmy

U.K. Attacks Support Army Deployment in Germany, Schaeuble Says
By Andreas Cremer

Terror attacks in the U.K. lend support to the case for German army deployments at home to strengthen domestic security, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

``Our security is directly affected by all developments around the world,'' Schaeuble said at a defense conference in Berlin today, adding that the June 29 and June 30 attacks in London and Glasgow were likely organized by networks rather than a ``central command structure.'' ``National legal frameworks no longer fit these types of threat,'' he said.

Schaeuble's comments reflect remarks made by Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, when she said that German armed forces should be given more scope to help police defend the country against terrorist attack. Distinguishing between domestic and external security threats is ``yesterday's thinking,'' she said.

Deploying German armed forces within the country is barred under the constitution, a failsafe measure drawn up after World War II to avoid a repeat of German militarization. Any change would require the law to be amended.

``Politics has the responsibility to create clear, reliable legal conditions,'' Schaeuble said. ``If we were to change the basic law, that doesn't mean we will abandon it.''

Coalition Disagreement

Wolfgang Bosbach, deputy leader of Merkel's Christian Democrats in the Bundestag, or parliament, told today's Handelsblatt newspaper that the constitution should be changed to give the armed forces more powers, though troops shouldn't become ``substitute police.'' Their Social Democrat coalition partners reject a wider role for the armed forces, the newspaper said.

The issue emerged after the government said on June 22 that the terror threat in Germany has increased, with intelligence reports suggesting the situation is now similar to before the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. in 2001.

Germany's military and humanitarian involvement in Afghanistan is a focus for the threats, though there are also risks that suicide bombers may attack German territory, the Interior Ministry said then.

Germany has some 3,000 military personnel in Afghanistan as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led mission.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andreas Cremer in Berlin at acremer@bloomberg.net .
 

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