German security policy is facing big challenges in the 1990s. Four of them are dealt with in this paper:

• The development of Germany’s position on the relationship between the reform of NATO in its function as the Atlantic Alliance and the possible development of a European security structure in the framework of the EC and the WEU;

• The issue of future military engagements of the Bundeswehr out of the NATO area;

• The problem of reorganizing the Bundeswehr including the question of whether it will change from a conscription-based force to an all volunteer professional army.

• The German arms control and disarmament policy.

The results can be summarized as follows:

Germany will continue to be engaged both in NATO reform and in the development of an EC/WEU security policy. In the long run, however, it is possible that the EC/WEU will become more important, particularly if NATO is increasingly perceived as an institution whose main purpose is to contain Germany. A compromise with regard to Bundeswehr engagements outside of NATO is not in sight because the differences between the governing coalition and the opposition are too great. In case the constitution (Grundgesetz) will be changed so that Bundeswehr engagement out of NATO will be allowed, it is likely that the Bundeswehr will become an all-volunteer, professional force. The field of arms control and disarmament is where the greatest continuity can be expected. Germany will continue to be interested in disarmament in Europe, the reduction and elimination of weapons of mass destruction world-wide, and the prevention of their proliferation.

© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition fes-bibliothek | 9.1. 1998

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