German defense minister urges more active military role

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Via Deutsche Welle

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warned on Thursday that Berlin needed to take a more active role in military engagements abroad.

Germany must “openly deal with the fact that we, like every other country in the world, have our own strategic interests,” Kramp-Karrenbauer told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Read more: German defense minister floats ‘security zone’ along Syria-Turkey border

‘Our responsibility’

But her proposal was met with caution from other Cabinet members. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the idea of a more assertive German military required robust support from European allies.

“Above all, we must define our responsibility on a European basis,” Maas told public broadcaster ZDF. “That means that we don’t just take care of our own issues alone, but rather that we as part of Europe play a leading role in competition between superpowers.”

Divisive debate

Germany has often taken a backseat in foreign military engagements, largely because of constitutional restrictions put in place to prevent similar atrocities to those committed during World War II.

But Germany’s allies, including the US, have urged the country to take more responsibilities concerning collective security in NATO and the EU.

Washington has notably pushed for significant increases to defense spending, long considered a divisive move in the German public.

German soldiers in Afghanistan

Establishing a more engaged Bundeswehr remains a divisive topic among the German public

ls/rt (dpa, AFP)

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