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Limits of German Defence Reform: Results of Parametric Analyses for the Commission 'Common Security and Future of the Bundeswehr'

R. K. Huber and B. Schmidt
The Journal of the Operational Research Society
Vol. 55, No. 4, Special Issue: OR in Defence (Apr., 2004), pp. 350-360
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4101990
Page Count: 11
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Limits of German Defence Reform: Results of Parametric Analyses for the Commission 'Common Security and Future of the Bundeswehr'
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Abstract

This paper discusses the conceptual model and selected results of a study performed between November 1999 and January 2000 for the commission 'Common Security and Future of the Bundeswehr'-better known for its chairman as the 'Weizsäcker Commission'-which was tasked by the 'red-green' coalition government elected in 1998 to develop recommendations for a new German force structure capable of addressing, together with its allies, future security risks to the Federal Republic of Germany and its national interests, and for improving the efficiency in managing daily operations. The methodological approach of the study is typical of concepts applied in Quick Response Analyses in support of defence planning. It uses straightforward analytical models for estimating the limits of the multi-dimensional decision space which encompass feasible planning options. Among others, the decision variables include the sustained defence budget level, force size, personnel structure, and design mission capability in terms of both quantity and quality. Based on the conclusions of the commission, that alliance/coalition crisis response operations 'out-of-area' (CRO) characterize the design mission for the future Bundeswehr, the quantity of mission capability is measured in terms of the service manpower that the Bundeswehr is able to contribute to sustained CRO, the quality in terms of sustained capital investment and non-personnel operating expenditures per active service man/woman relative to the respective expenditures of a capable alliance/coalition partner as a measure of the degree of interoperability that may be reached in the long term. The need for a far-reaching reform of the Bundeswehr was underscored by the result that a sustained defence budget of at least 50% above the 1999 level in real terms would be required in order for the Bundeswehr to come within 20% of the mission quality level that British forces would reach if the United Kindom were to sustain defence expenditures on the level of 1999. In addition, the sustainable CRO capability of the Bundeswehr was limited in quantitative terms to less than five percent of its total military manpower because of the significant percentage of conscripts in the peacetime force who are ineligible for CRO deployment while simultaneously requiring volunteers for their training. If-as assumed at the time of the study-future German defence expenditures were sustained at the 1999 level in real terms, the reform model adopted in May 2000 by then Defence Minister Scharping would have permitted an improvement of mission capability by 55% in terms of quantity and by 40% in terms of quality, that is, to about 55% of the British quality level. However, due to further budget cuts since then and because of inflation, the German defence budget will decline in real terms to about 90% of the 1999 budget by the year 2006. Simultaneously, the savings expected from the 15% reduction of both military and civilian personnel foreseen by the Scharping concept will be eaten up by increased personnel expenditures. No significant improvement of quality of mission capability is possible under these circumstances. This is why the new Defence Minister Peter Struck has, on 1 October 2003, announced further cuts in personnel levels and changes in personnel structure that come close to the recommendations of the Weizsäcker Commission dismissed 3 years ago.

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