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– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
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
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
``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.''
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.
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