Suitability for war in focus: Pistorius seals the restructuring of the Bundeswehr

War fitness in focus
Pistorius seals the restructuring of the Bundeswehr

The turning point has arrived in the command structure of the Bundeswehr: with his signature, Defense Minister Pistorius puts a new leadership organization into effect. The SPD politician wants to counter the threat from Moscow with deterrence and suitability for war.

Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has laid down the principles for the new leadership organization of the Defense Ministry and the Bundeswehr. The SPD politician ceremoniously signed a corresponding decree in his hometown of Osnabrück. Pistorius emphasized that after Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, “national and alliance defense was once again the focus” at all levels. The decree provides “the formal basis for a war-fighting leadership organization.”

The so-called Osnabrück Decree is the fourth such restructuring regulation in the history of the Bundeswehr, which was founded in 1955. As of May 1st, he will replace the previously valid Dresden decree from 2012 by his predecessor Thomas de Maizière from the CDU. “The decree is another key piece, albeit a formal one, of the turning point,” said Pistorius. It brings Germany “closer to the goal of putting deterrence and defense back at the center.” Because the threat situation in Europe has “become completely different with Putin’s war in Ukraine.”

Against this background, Pistorius and his team have been working for months on reforming the leadership structures in the Bundeswehr and within the Ministry of Defense. The background is the war in Ukraine and the fear of Russian attacks against NATO territory. This made it necessary for the Bundeswehr, which had previously focused primarily on foreign missions, to return to the focus of national and alliance defense.

Reform in the ministry and the Bundeswehr

When signing, Pistorius referred to the structures that have been gradually implemented since last year. In the spring of last year, the top management of the Ministry of Defense was first reformed, in the autumn there were further reforms in the ministry, and this year a far-reaching reform of the armed forces themselves followed.

At the beginning of April, Pistorius presented his plans for a “Bundeswehr of the turning point”. The key points are, in particular, a unified operational command for operations at home and abroad as well as the cyber and information space command as the fourth branch of the armed forces alongside the army, navy and air force. The decree now also regulates the classification of support units such as medical personnel and logistics in the overall system, said Pistorius. The responsibilities of the deputy inspector general would also be explicitly defined.

source site-34