Willing and (un)able. New Defence Policy Guidelines and Reorientation of the Bundeswehr

Ryszarda Formuszewicz, Marcin Terlikowski.
Content Type
Policy Brief
The Polish Institute of International Affairs
On 18 May, after two and a half months in office, defence Minister Thomas de Maizière presented updated cornerstones of the ongoing Bundeswehr reform, which has been rebranded as a “reorientation” (Neujustierung). On the same day, new Defence Policy Guidelines (DPG) were published, replacing the previous document of 2003. The core message directed to internal public opinion and to international partners both disappointed and displeased with Germany's troubled record in the security policy domain is laid out in the title of the DPG: “Safeguarding National Interests – Assuming International Responsibility – Shaping Security Together.” The DPG delivered a conceptual foundation for the armed forces' transformation process, which will now be based on defined security policy assumptions—a feature lacking in the original reform announced in 2010 under the pressure of a financial consolidation plan. The document is both an outcome of the deteriorating German stance on the international security stage and an opportunity to push Berlin on the road towards assuming a new, more visible role, as a security actor.
Security, Defense Policy, NATO
Political Geography
Afghanistan, Europe, Asia