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The 2016 White Paper: Strategic Review and Way Ahead

The White Paper on Security Policy and the Future of the Bundeswehr is the key German policy document on security policy. It is a strategic review of the current state and future course of German security policy. It is thus the principal guideline for the security policy decisions and measures of our country. It establishes a framework in terms of concepts and content and provides starting points for strengthening the whole-of-government approach and developing further ministerial strategies.

The 2016 White Paper: Strategic Review and Way Ahead

The 2016 White Paper: Strategic Review and Way Ahead (Source: Bundeswehr/photothek)

The White Paper defines Germany’s ambition to play an active and substantial role in security policy. It reflects our identity and understanding of security policy. On the basis of our values, national interests and an analysis of the security environment, it defines Germany’s strategic priorities and translates them into key areas of engagement for German security policy.

The last White Paper on German Security Policy and the Future of the Bundeswehr was published in 2006. Our security environment has changed considerably since then. A wide range of different challenges are affecting Germany with unprecedented frequency and simultaneity. New threats and hazards have emerged in addition to those that already existed. The 2016 White Paper is characterised by continuity and, at the same time, profound changes in the security environment.

Security in the 21st century can only be guaranteed in an integrated network of all security actors and instruments. The White Paper therefore lays the foundations for Germany to take synchronised and comprehensive action in the field of security policy. It provides a framework for the use of all security policy instruments available to our nation.

The White Paper will lay the foundation for one of these instruments in particular, namely the Bundeswehr, to meet the challenges of the future. In view of the volatile security environment, the central requirement for the Bundeswehr will be its ability to adapt to new challenges at any time. Its tasks, personnel and equipment must therefore be compatible with one another. The guidelines of the White Paper must be further specified for the Bundeswehr in subordinate documents.

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Current as of 7/20/16


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