Defense Minister Boris Pistorius wants to strengthen the Bundeswehr’s defense capability with a unified operational command. In addition, the Bundeswehr will be reorganized into four branches of the armed forces with a joint support command, the SPD politician said in Berlin when presenting the new structure.

In addition to the army, the air force and the navy, the four branches of the armed forces are now also the force for cyber and information space (CIR). This specializes in electronic warfare and cyber operations, reconnaissance and the protection of electronic infrastructure.

The Bundeswehr has previously had an operations command in Schwielowsee near Potsdam for planning and controlling foreign operations such as in West Africa or now with the frigate “Hessen” in the Red Sea. In addition, a territorial command for national defense was created in Berlin, in which the operational plan (“OPLAN”) for the national defense of Germany was also developed. The two positions have very different tasks, but also some possible overlap.

“Warworthiness as a maxim for action”

In November last year, at the Bundeswehr conference, Pistorius proclaimed “warworthiness as a maxim for action” in new defense policy guidelines. He said that Inspector General Carsten Breuer and a state secretary should also look at the structures of the Bundeswehr itself and explicitly also at command commands. Pistorius wants to take action against double structures that hinder and hold each other back.

Another major construction site now remains the personnel of the Bundeswehr and the question of whether Germany could introduce general compulsory military service after the suspension of compulsory military service. Pistorius has models tested and is based on practice in Scandinavian countries. The Bundeswehr’s so-called personnel offensive has not made any progress in recent years and the number of soldiers has recently fallen to 181,500.