print close

Security policy on the wrong track!

The fight against terrorism cannot be won by military activism

Critical soldiers urge the coalition government not to repeat the well-known mistakes of past military interventions. The working group Arbeitskreis Darmstädter Signal demand the members of the “Bundestag” to vote against the proposed mandate for the “Bundeswehr” (German armed Forces) deployment in Syria.
The planned contribution of the “Bundeswehr” to the fight against Islamist terrorism in Syria has no military benefit. To defeat an asymmetric enemy in a civil war, air strikes without forces on the ground are not advisable from a military point of view. An un-coordinated international coalition which relies merely on regional combatants with diverging interests is doomed to failure from the start. Arms sales to civil war parties do not result in the desired military success.
It is without strategic vision that Germany is once again engaging in a military adventure with tactical dubiousness. Again the armed forces follow a politicking that neither defines the target and planned ending scenario nor clearly regulates the political framework; and they do so without warning their political authorities from a professional perspective. The terrorist groups cannot be defeated this way, and Germany will merely lose credibility with respect to its foreign policy.
A UN Security Council mandate under Chapter VII does not exist that would be strictly necessary – in terms of international law – to get involved militarily in a non-international armed conflict (in everyday language: civil war). The horrific attacks in Paris are not to be attributed to any state, they would enhance the IS per se and therefore do not provide a reason for war, in which the United Nations can be bypassed. A legally unclean mandate, as proposed by the Federal Government, damages the international community and our soldiers in the field.
It is absurd to assume that a political end to the conflict can at all be achieved without a political security agreement between the Security Council members and with major players such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the rest state of the Assad regime. The unstable and violent situation in Syria and northern Iraq remains a diplomatic Herculean task for all participating States, including Germany at the side of France.
Germany would be well advised not to squander its international credibility as a mediator in the diplomatic process, but it must now more than ever, by military restraint, strengthen its own voice across the conflict lines. The aim must be to prevent financial flows, weapons supply, new fighters and covert support from the region.     •

Source: Comment of the Working Group “Arbeits-kreis Darmstädter Signal” from 2.12.2015

(Translation Current Concerns)