2011/03/12

Draft for German security policy: discussion parts (1) to (4)

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Comments and discussion on:

(01) The basic assumption
(02) The weighting of dangers
(03) The assignment of competencies
(04) The mission of the government

from the two previous posts (in German and English, but with identical content).

(More discussion posts will later be added for the topic. First, feel free to discuss the foundation of the concept!)
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16 comments:

  1. (1) “National security policy shall be policy for national self-protection, not policy to further national interests in general.”

    Security policy does not just include protecting a state’s territory, population, … (or an ally’s) against armed force. It is rather defined as any military and civilian measures taken to prevent or avert dangers to a state.

    (2) „Conventional war: Small probability in the next few years, severity could range from essentially an economic crisis to national catastrophe.

    Border conflict: Very small probability, low severity for Germany because our borders aren't disputed. An economic crisis could ensue.”

    Here I disagree, there are still several border disputes in Europe or the continents periphery, e.g. Moldova and the Caucasus region. Small probability.

    “Small war: A no-show because a distant small war cannot infringe our national security and a domestic or neighbouring small war is implausible for Germany.”

    Refugees, negative impact on foreign trade, interruption of trade routes (seaways, pipelines).

    “Ideological organized crime (terrorist) attack: Small probability in short term, medium probability in long term. Severity is roughly on the scale of a large traffic accident.”

    The severity of a terrorist attack cannot be measured exclusively in human lives and money. It also has a psychological effect.

    My own list of dangers:

    War
    - Interstate war
    -- Large scale nuclear war
    -- Small scale nuclear war
    --- Regional
    --- Global
    -- Non-nuclear war (& conflicts)
    --- Local
    --- Regional
    --- Global
    - Intrastate war
    Other Than War
    - Arms Proliferation
    - Illegal organized activities
    -- Narcotics
    -- Piracy
    -- Smuggling
    -- ...
    - Natural and man-made disasters
    - Nuclear Weapons Proliferation
    - Terrorism
    -- National
    -- International

    There is a wide variety of military and civilian measures that can be taken against these dangers. We have to evaluate all of them on their effectiveness and efficiency.

    (3) “The ministry of foreign aid is not relevant because its activities are geographically too distant to be relevant (keep in mind the initial statement!). This is obviously in stark contrast to the peace-through-development approach of many peace activist groups.”

    BMZ should be dissolved anyway and the GTZ, … given to the AA.

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  2. As an example, the German wikipedia definition of "Sicherheitspoltik" disagrees with your idea of it.
    "Als Sicherheitspolitik werden alle Maßnahmen eines Staates oder einer Gruppe von Staaten bezeichnet, die zur Abwehr bzw. Vermeidung von Gefahren ergriffen werden, deren Ursprung außerhalb des Hoheitsgebietes des betreffenden Staates oder der Staatengruppe liegt."

    The separation of AA and BMZ makes sense unless you trust foreign politicians to not use economic aid as petty bargaining chips.

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  3. I don't see much difference between my definition and wikipedia's.

    Regarding foreign aid: Foreign aid should be part of a country's foreign policy and security policy. There has to be some direction and coordination with the military and civilian organisations.

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  4. Wikipedia's definition includes the actual defence, while you seemed to exclude in disagreement with my post.
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    I see no merit in pursuing security policy purposes with development aid in the case of Germany.
    Development aid should also not be treated as bargaining chip for foreign policy, which is about national interests. Development aid could too easily slide into petty bribery and regime-support as the U.S. aids. I think the majority expects it to be a selfless friendly assistance to fight poverty if anything.
    A coordination of German development aid with military organisations is a very alien thought. We don't have regional commands that allow the military to meddle in distant regions.

    Again; development aid is not relevant for German national security. I know that the Greens love it because they assume otherwise, but there's simply no connection in my opinion.
    It would be different if we had a Third World country as neighbour as do the Americans and the Spanish.

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  5. I wrote "does not just include".

    Well, I don't see it as some sort of "friendly assistance to fight poverty". Our financial resources are limited and should thus be used to the greatest effect (and of course most efficiently).

    Countries in Europe's periphery have a higher priority than in say Southeast Asia. And those who have natural resources that are important to us like Coltan in the DRC also have a higher priority than e.g. Lesotho.

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  6. @ 1: Ich würde "national" aus dem Eingangsstatement löschen. Die Annahme der nationalen Souveränität ist für einen Mittelstaat wie Deutschland nicht realistisch, besonders im Hinblick auf die Großreiche USA - China und die globalen Ambitionen und Wirkradien dieser und anderer (Russia, India) Mächte. Mit nationalen Resourcen könnte Deutschland nur als Militärstaat Sicherheitspolitik betreiben. Don't think we want that!?

    Die Europäisierung all dieser Fragen sollte for the time being die Priorität der deutschen Politik sein. (Not cause it's so terribly nice to be European, rather out of pure necessity).


    @ 2: Ich würde den Begriff der "Gefahr" viel weiter ausdehnen, sicherlich weit über das rein militärische hinaus. Zuerst einmal die Frage des Zuganges zu Resourcen; dann die Frage des freien Handels und der freien und sicheren Handelswege (real und virtuell); die Frage der Bedrohung durch systemische Korruption und organisiertes Verbrechen; Bevölkerungsverschiebungen und Demographie; und schließlich die Frage der globalen Stabilität im Sinne von Recht und Ordnung, bzw die negativen Effeckte (Wirtschaft, Flüchtlinge, &c) von regionalen Instabilitäten.

    Was den Krieg selbst betrifft, so sehe ich *defensiv* die Bedrohung durch ballistische Flugkörper. Dem kann nur in kontinentalem (theatre +) Rahmen begegnet werden.

    Grenzkonflikte würde ich erweitern um "Konflikte an der Peripherie". Libya for example. Something that makes a strategically defensive, but operationally offensive response necessary.

    Bedrohungen, die Antworten mit kriegs-ähnlichen Mitteln erfordern, wie von außen hereingetragenes Organisiertes Verbrechen oder Extremismus und Subversion, aber auch virtuelle Bedrohungen, würde ich eine gemeinsame Kategorie zuweisen. Die Abwehrmittel hier reichen von nachrichtendienstlich zu paramilitärisch und Special Operations Forces.

    Für die rein defensive Abwehr von realistischen Bedrohungen die Armee die kleinste Rolle spielt.

    Die Armee spielt allerdings für einen weitergefaßten Sicherheitsbegriff eine sehr entscheidende Rolle - expeditionary warfare.

    Spricht man also rein von der Bundesrepublik, ist zwischen einem BMD System, einigen Air Policing Staffeln, einige wenige schnellen Radpanzereinheiten, und eine Volksmiliz nicht viel notwendig. Eine Wahrnehmung von weiter gefaßten Sicherheitsinteressen mit rein nationalen Mitteln würde Deutschland in einen Militärstaat verwandeln.

    Spricht man allerdings von der Wahrnehmung dieser Interessen auf europäischer Ebene, muß das Ziel eine globale full spectrum capability sein - defensiv, offensiv mit voller power projection capability, including nuclear.

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  7. @ 3: Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (und die staatlichen Aussenhandelsbanken! und ein Teil des THW, der extern eingesetzt werden kann!) sollten Teil des Aussenministeriums sein. Teil des non-violent Spektrums der Aussenpolitik. Auch wenn es nicht Frieden schaffen kann, so hilft es der Stabilität und bringt sozusagen eine finanzielle Komponente in die Außenpolitik.

    Die Trennung zwischen BMVg und BMI ist in vielen Bereichen zusehends schwieriger. Ich bin ehrlich gesagt kein großer Freund einer BUNDES-Innenministeriums. Die LÄNDER-Innenministerien sollten die Rolle übernehmen. Gewalttätige Bedrohungen des BUNDES sollten auch im inneren mit militärischen Mitteln = BMVg beantwortet werden.

    That said, bin ich auch kein großer Freund des BMVg. Ich fände einen Generalstab unter der direkten Kontrolle des Parlaments für sinnvoller. Die zusätzliche Ebene BMVg ist fragwürdig.

    Das Aussenamt sollte seinem Namen gerecht werden und ein "Amt" im Bundeskanzleramt sein, kein echtes Ministerium.

    All diese Dinge gehen allerdings wieder vom nationalen Ansatz aus. Again, die Europäisierung sollte Priorität haben.


    @ 4: Again, die Frage des nationalen oder supra-nationalen Ansatzes. I say die Europäisierung sollte Priorität haben. Auch hier ist die Notwendigkeit die Mutter aller Dinge.

    Deutschland war immer ein "starker" Staat, im Gegensatz zur e.g. Jacksonian Republic. Doch ein wirklicher militärischer Schutz Deutschlands, der sich selbst ernst nimmer - selbst ohne offensive Capability - würde massive Bewaffnung erfordern. Inklusive Rüstung für einen Landkrieg gegen andere europäische und außereuropäische Mächte. In other words: Nuclear weapons. Nicht realisitisch.

    "Agressive" ist relativ. Die Wahrung speziell der erweiterten Interessen führt unweigerlich auch die offensiven Aktionen. Machen wir uns nichts vor!

    Eine wahre, rein defensive Ausrichtung der Sicherheitspolitik würde vor allem auf einer Volksmiliz basieren (plus a little BMD and air policing). Das sehe ich dann aber auch nicht als Rolle der Regierung, sondern des Volkes im Sinne der Volkssouveränität, mit dem Parlament - und nicht der Regierung!! - als oberstes Verwaltungselement. (Hmmm ... demokratische Volksrepubik anyone? LOL)

    Der einzige gangbare Weg ist eine Europäiserung der Verteidigung. Btw, ich würde auch in diesem Falle nicht auf eine Miliz (leichte Infantrie, möglw motorisiert) verzichten.

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  8. @Distiller
    Du weißt schon, dass das THW eine 99% ehrenamtliche (weitgehend unentgeldliche) Organisation für's Inland (maximal auch europäische Ausland) ist. Jeder, selbst Angehörige der SEEBA, SEEWA und weitere Freiwillige für Auslandseinsätze, ist zunächst einmal dabei, um hier zuhause im Bevölkerungsschutz tätig zu sein. Daher macht es Sinn für Auslandseinsätze Kräfte als Teil der Inlandsorganisation vorzuhalten, die Koordination/Führung der Einsätze obliegt letztlich dem Außenministerium (bei Unglücken meist ein Krisenstab). Daneben gibt es weitere ehrenamtliche, nicht-staatliche Organisationen die in diesem Bereich tätig sind.
    Die Landesinnenministerien und Behörden darunter sind bereits für eine ganze Reihe von Aufgaben zuständig, das reicht von der Katastrophenhilfe im Inland bis zur Polizei. Das BMI hält mit z.B. dem BKA, BP und THW vor allem Kräfte vor die bundesweit tätig werden können bzw. tätig werden müssen und bündelt zentral bestimmte Fähigkeiten.

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  9. @distiller:
    #1: "National" policy works. No country has ever been almighty, and it's simply misled to believe that no national security policy would be possible unless a country is a superpower. That's a completely wrong idea of security policy.

    #2: I disagree completely, your idea of "threat" is far too wide. BMs are a mere technical nuisance, a mere substitute for bombers. Free trade is definitively no security policy topic and I already addressed global order/stability in the part about international law and organisations.
    It's also illogical to see significantly different interests between a national and a European view. Interests do no grow with capability.

    The BMVg is necessary for administrative purposes. We wouldn't want an all-uniformed bureaucracy for all those administrative purposes that engulf the armed services. The influence on officer culture would be more devastating than the many jobs for uniformed personnel in BMVg and BND already is.


    In principle you disagree with my basic assumption and have a very un-restrained idea of military and foreign policy. Your approach is 'more likely' than mine to exceed both funding and popular support.

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  10. I guess that's exactly what I say: Either obey the bullies on the block, arrange yourself with them, or become a bully yourself.

    Your standpoint might be valid for a predominantly agricultural country - Argentina in 1900 for example. But not for an industrialized one - which Germany still is (till the Luddites switch off the nuclear powerplants). I say "Nationale Sicherheit" does not stop at the Oder river, but includes all external factors that influence the German way of life and fundamental questions of the people's subsistence. Btw! A much better reason to start a war that any ideology.

    BMD isn't just another facet of the air policing and intercept mission, the qualitiy of the threat is so that only the largest countries can manage it, or supranational organisations.
    Playing math games and saying the probability of a ballistic missile launch against Germany is so low it does pay building a system against it, goes back to the question whether or not you take yourself serious as a state or not.

    Of course interests grow with capabilities! History is full of examples. The business world is full of examples every day. And it's quite natural, I guess. And it's not even something you can influence, it's also a consequence how others see you.

    Ja, I'm not a terribly big fan of a civil "control" of the armed forces any more. In reality it doesn't work. The difference between civil and uniformed personnel of the defence establishment is merely the color of their ties these days. Both sides of the Atlantic. The real important question in need of an answer is the detachment of the political leadership from military (or let's say national security & defence) realities that is worrying. The original idea that the troops under a BMVg are more under control than a Grosser Generalstab has historical reasons, I really think we moved on. I'm no militarist, but I see the fundamental challenges today grounded in the political - military rift, not the bureaucratic - military structure, and as such the requirement for any high public official (including the elected ones!) should be to have served.

    Ja, funding a real effective national defence & security policy on a national level is next to impossible for all but the strongest economies with the widest interests. That's why my Euro-talk! Popular support? Hmm. A sorry subject. Public education, creation of awareness for necessities. Germany is la-la land in a lot of regards. Lots of work needed!

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  11. Your views don't seem to stand the test of history, for there were BMDs during the Cold War and we managed the problem without BMD, there were always small nations - and some even managed to stay safe for centuries...

    You're thinking of super power / European security policy with the corresponding level of ambition. I attempted to develop a draft for Germany - and there's much to learn from successful historical small power security policies as well as from failed great power military policies.

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  12. @distiller
    Blood for Oil/Coltan/DAX-Profits etc. it is then?
    Where to draw the line? How much Blood for how many €? Who decides? Who sacrifices the blood? Who calculates the risks?

    Thats Bullshit!

    @Sven
    I like your approach! Defence is about defending the Heimat after all!

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  13. :-) Sven, agree to disagree ...


    @ Eric P.R.

    Steigen muszt Du oder fallen,
    Siegen oder unterliegen,
    Hammer oder Ambosz sein.

    The limit? The limit is set by capabilities, not the do-gooders wishful thinking. There is no stability in a system like ours, stagnation is regression. And this will not change as long as we are depending on energy and resources that are dug up from the dirt. Any country, or any society that artificially limits itself is destined to be dominated by others - either directly, or indirectly. Yes, blood for oil and coltan and all the other nice things.

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  14. @Distiller
    it seems to me that you underestimate the power of good old diplomacy and trade for mutual benefits. Most of the time its cheaper to just buy the goods you desire instead of paying a army to go and steal it for you. Especially if you factor in all the hidden costs of warfare.

    We still need a strong defence to avoid being bullied around though.

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  15. In point 3 you leave a big and difficult issue that I belive needs to be at least explicitly pointed out: The interplay between the actions of the BMVg and the AA is a non-trivial affair of balancing the needs of two agents with different and not entierly overlapping goals (the AA should be expected to work for national interests, not only national security).

    The foreign policy will (hopefully?) influence the actions of the neighbour countries vís their military spending and thus in turn affect changes in the scenarios the BMVg must prepare to meet. Conversely, should the BMVg decide to buy a lot of equipment from certain countries to the detriment of others, the AA will get more work.

    Further, as mentioned above in passing, the AA should(I assume) also work to further national interests, and that goal is likely to come in conflict with the national security goals as defined in 3 and this must be handled somehow while keeping in mind that the AA is likely to be involved in first anything that the BMVg will care about later.

    Then there is the issue of how the threats established in 3 will be concretized enought to base operational descicions on, presumably this would be a task for the BMVg, but since the AA must take care in it's daily business to be mindfull of at least some of these scenarios, the BMVg has the potential to set at least some foreign policy and that can't be very good news in the long run.

    So I put forth that their actions cannot be as cleanly separated as the document assumes, and this should in some way be aknowledged.

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  16. "Further, as mentioned above in passing, the AA should(I assume) also work to further national interests, and that goal is likely to come in conflict with the national security goals as defined in 3 and this must be handled somehow..."

    Yes, and I wrote how:

    "(c) AA; (...) Its general foreign policy shall not increase the dangers to the nation by creating hostility. National security deserves very high priority and the national security policy must be maintained even if in conflict with the fashionable policy pet project of the season."


    Day-to-day business of the government may yield some need for clarification as covered by

    "p(...) the Bundeskanzleramt, the all-round and coordination ministry which supports the chancellor directly:"

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