Cablegate: German Out-of-Area Deployment Update

Published: Fri 19 Dec 2008 03:20 PM
DE RUEHRL #1695/01 3541520
P 191520Z DEC 08
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: German Out-Of-Area Deployment Update
REF: A) Berlin 1664
B) Berlin 1604
C) Berlin 1549
D) Berlin 1413
E) Berlin 1387
F) Berlin 1045
G) Berlin 0620
1. (SBU) As of December 3, Germany had 7,200 military personnel in
out-of-area deployments (compared to 6,700 in July), plus 2,500 on
stand-by for the NATO Response Force (NRF) and an additional 1,000
on stand-by for the EU's Battle Groups. All armed military
out-of-area (OOA) deployments, with the exception of those in
support of UN observer missions, require parliamentary approval. A
2005 Deployment Law regulates the parliamentary process, allowing
expedited procedures only for non-controversial deployments. What
follows is a brief run-down on Germany's current OOA deployments.
(Note: OOA deployments are defined as deployments outside Germany's
territory where the German military could become part of an armed
conflict. End Note.)
The Deployment Law
2. (SBU) According to a landmark 1994 Constitutional Court decision
and a subsequent 2005 Deployment Law, the Bundestag must pre-approve
the deployment of any German armed forces outside of Germany. The
Deployment Law does provide for urgent armed deployments to go
forward without the prior approval of the Bundestag, but most German
officials view this exception as applicable only in the most exigent
of circumstances, e.g. when there is literally no time to obtain
Bundestag approval between the outbreak of a crisis and the need to
respond militarily. Even in these circumstances, the Deployment Law
requires the government to seek Bundestag approval as soon as
possible. If approval is not granted, the deployment must be
3. (SBU) In a decision that is likely to make it even more
cumbersome for the government to deploy German armed forces
overseas, the German Constitutional Court ruled May 7 that the
government's decision to allow German air crews to participate in
the NATO AWACS mission in Turkey in 2003, on the eve of the war in
Iraq, without first seeking approval of the Bundestag, was
unconstitutional. The Court dismissed the assertion of the
then-Social Democratic/Green coalition government that the AWACS
deployment was just a "routine," unarmed reconnaissance mission,
holding that there were "tangible, factual indicators" that the
German AWACS air crews could have been drawn into armed conflict.
The Court reaffirmed the Bundeswehr as a "parliamentary army,"
underscoring that the German Basic Law (Constitution) "entrusted the
decision about peace and war to the German Bundestag as the
representative body of the people." The Court emphasized that when
in doubt about whether it is necessary to obtain Bundestag approval,
the government should err on the side of seeking parliamentary
permission. (See Ref G for further reporting and analysis on this
Constitutional Court decision.)
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International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
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4. (SBU) The Bundeswehr currently has 3,530 military personnel
(approximately the same as in July) operating under ISAF in
Afghanistan. These personnel are deployed under mandate approved by
the Bundestag on October 17, 2008, which will run until December
2009. This means the mandate will not come up for renewal until
after the scheduled parliamentary elections in September 2009 and
after the new Bundestag is seated. The mandate authorizes the
German government to deploy up to 4,500 military personnel, 1,000
more than the 2007 mandate. The mandate also includes language that
puts the deployment of German radio operators in the southern
province of Kandahar on firmer legal grounds. (For further
information on the current ISAF mandate and the political debate
concerning its approval, see refs D and E.)
5. (SBU) Germany has been active in ISAF since the operation's
inception in January 2002, and was the first country to volunteer to
lead an ISAF Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) outside of Kabul.
Germany currently commands ISAF's northern region (RC-North), where
it leads two of the five PRTs (Kunduz and Feyzabad) as well as the
Forward Support Base in Mazar-e-Sharif. On February 23, 2008
Germany inaugurated a Provincial Advisory Team (PAT), a mini-PRT in
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Takhar province. At the November 26-27 RC-North Chiefs of Defense
Conference (ref B), Germany announced that it was considerably
expanding the PAT to some 45 soldiers and civilians, up from the
original team of 25, comprised of only military personnel.
6. (SBU) The Bundeswehr has taken on, or has committed to take on, a
number of additional tasks in recent months:
-- Germany took over the Regional Command-North Quick Reaction Force
(QRF) company (consisting of about 200 troops) on July 1. Since
then, the ISAF Combined Joint Statement of Requirements (CJSOR) has
been revised to increase the QRF requirement to a battalion-size
unit (about 600 troops). It appears that Germany will assume most
of the responsibility for providing the additional troops, but
Norway and Latvia may also contribute a company of soldiers. While
the entire QRF has traditionally been based in Mazar-e-Sharif, the
tentative plans are for the battalion to be deployed in a
decentralized fashion, with two companies in Mazar-e-Sharif, one
company in Kunduz and one in Maimana. With its take-over of the
QRF, Germany for the first time has a force that can be quickly
deployed around the country on short notice and that is authorized
to conduct combat missions. Up to now, the Bundeswehr has been
focused almost solely on stabilization and force protection
missions. German officials point out that the primary mission of
the QRF is to respond to emergencies in RC-North, but they also have
said that Germany will come to the aid of Allies (i.e., outside
RC-North) when required. Such exceptions are explicitly allowed by
the ISAF mandate (see para 10 below).
-- Germany is tripling the number of troops (from 100 to 300)
devoted to the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA). Besides
fielding additional Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs),
Germany is expanding a drivers and mechanics school in Kabul into a
logisticians' training center. Germany had been planning to
establish an infantry training center in Mazar-e-Sharif, but since
such a school will be set up in Helmand Province, the Germans have
decided instead to pursue the establishment of a combat engineering
school instead (see ref B for more details on German plans).
-- Germany has increased the number of military policemen devoted to
the training of the Afghan National Police (ANP) in Mazar-e Sharif
from 30 to 45.
7. (SBU) The German government supports COMISAF's request for NATO
AWACS and was hoping to incorporate the authorization for the
participation of German aircrews in the latest ISAF mandate. Those
plans were dashed when France blocked a NATO decision giving the
green light for planning the mission. Therefore, the government
will have to seek a stand-alone mandate on AWACS later, if and when
there is a NATO decision authorizing the mission. (For further
detail on the political debate about the possible AWACS mission, see
ref F.)
8. (SBU) Germany currently provides Operational Mentoring and
Liaison Teams (OMLTs) for ANA maneuver units based in Mazar-e-Sharif
and Feyzabad. It also contributes to two multinational OMLTs -- one
for the HQ of the 209th Corps and the other for the HQ of the 1st
Brigade of the 209th Corps. Both HQs are located in Mazar-e-Sharif.
At the November 26-27 RC-North CHODs Conference, Germany agreed to
transfer responsibility for the maneuver Kandak in Mazar-e-Sharif to
Sweden in 2009, so that the German OMLT can be used to assume
responsibility of a Combat Service Support (CSS) Kandak from the
9. (SBU) Germany plans to contribute five additional OMLTs as a new
ANA brigade (2nd Brigade, 209th Corps) and its subordinate
battalions are fielded in the north over the next year. Germany is
already in the process of building garrisons for the new brigade in
the north. Germany has also starting thinking about how to
accommodate the possible deployment of a third brigade in Region
North as part of the enlargement of the ANA to 134,000.
10. (SBU) The German ISAF mandate defines their area of operations
as the northern region and Kabul. Nevertheless, an exception in the
mandate allows for temporary, limited deployments to other parts of
the country on a case-by-case basis if deemed "absolutely necessary"
to the overall ISAF mission.
11. (SBU) In the fall of 2007 and again in May 2008, Defense
Minister Jung approved the temporary deployment of a small number of
Bundeswehr soldiers outside the north to provide medical and
intelligence support to combat operations against insurgents in
Region West. None of the German soldiers, however, were directly
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involved in combat operations. For the May 2008 operation, German
members of the multinational OMLT for the 209th Corps HQ were part
of a group authorized to deploy, the first time that German OMLT
members were allowed to deploy outside the north (albeit for a Corps
HQ and not a fighting unit). MOD has thus far not allowed German
OMLTs assigned to infantry ANA battalions to deploy outside the
12. (SBU) Meanwhile, the ISAF mandate allows German Tornado
reconnaissance aircraft to operate throughout Afghanistan, but
restricts the resulting information from being distributed outside
of ISAF channels. The information can only be passed to OEF in
instances where doing so directly supports ISAF operations. Since
the end of January 2008, Germany has provided an additional two
C-160 Transall aircraft in Afghanistan to ISAF, for a total of
13. (SBU) The decree issued by Afghan President Karzai in late
November, temporarily transferring the Gormach District of Badghis
Province in RC-West to Faryab Province in RC-North, led some German
parliamentarians to express outrage at what they viewed as a
unilateral move to enlarge Germany's area of responsibility.
Defense Minister Jung reacted initially by suggesting that a new
Bundestag mandate would be required to accommodate this change.
However, it appears that the government has since decided that this
will not be necessary.
14. (U) Germany expects to spend 688.1 million Euros on its ISAF
deployment from October 2008 to December 2009.
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
15. (SBU) The 2008 OEF mandate, approved by the Bundestag on
November 14, significantly reduced the geographic area in which the
Bundeswehr is allowed to operate under OEF. South and Central Asia
(including Afghanistan), the Arabian peninsula and Northeast Africa
were removed from the mandate, leaving just the Horn of Africa and
surrounding waters. Moreover, the overall troop ceiling was cut
from 1,400 to 800 and the controversial authorization to deploy up
to 100 German Special Forces (KSK) was eliminated. This means that
Germany's participation in OEF is now restricted solely to maritime
operations. German military forces will not longer have the ability
to participate in combat operations under OEF in Afghanistan. The
mandate was extended for 13 months (rather than the normal 12) so
that it will not come up for debate and renewal until after the
September 2009 parliamentary elections and the new Bundestag is
16. (SBU) While these changes may be symbolically important, they
had no practical effect on current German contributions to OEF
operations in Afghanistan or elsewhere. The Germans have reportedly
not deployed the KSK under OEF since 2002-03, which was one of the
arguments used by OEF skeptics to push for eliminating this part of
the parliamentary mandate. In preparation for its assumption of
command of OEF Task Force 150 in January, Germany has deployed one
frigate (the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and some 510 sailors to the
Horn of Africa. This constitutes a significant increase in the
German presence since the fall, when Germany had only 90 under OEF.
German navy ships deployed under OEF still are not authorized to
conduct counter-piracy operations, beyond providing emergency help
to stop the take-over of a ship by pirates. However, the
parliamentary mandate for the Bundeswehr's participation in the EU
"Atalanta" Operation provides the option of temporarily reassigning
German OEF ships to the EU so they can carry out counter-piracy
17. (SBU) Despite the removal of the controversial KSK element from
the OEF mandate, a notable number of Social Democratic (SPD)
parliamentarians (25 out of the 222-member caucus) defied their
party leadership and voted against the mandate. The upward trend in
SPD opposition reflects first and foremost that the OEF brand name
in Germany has been badly maligned in recent years. It also
reflects the growing sentiment among left-of-center political forces
that seven years after 9/11, it is time to "regularize" OEF and have
it mandated through a UNSCR, rather than continuing to base it on
the self-defense provisions of Article 51 of the UN Charter. (See
ref C for further reporting on the passage of this year's OEF
18. (U) The German government expects to spend 48 million Euros on
its participation in OEF from November 2008 - December 2009.
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Kosovo Force (KFOR)
19. (SBU) Germany currently has 2,670 military personnel (compared
to 2,240 in July) in KFOR, far below the authorized troop ceiling of
8,500 military personnel. There is a German Operational Reserve
Force (ORF) battalion on stand-by in Germany to reinforce KFOR as
necessary. The mandate is extended automatically each year unless
there is a change to the UNSC Resolution framework for the Kosovo
Force. Germany formally recognized Kosovo's independence on
February 20 in a letter from President Koehler. The government made
clear that it still considers UNSCR 1244 as the legal basis for
KFOR, a position that all parties in the Bundestag, except the small
Left Party (roughly 12% support nationally), support.
European Union Force (EUFOR) Bosnia
20. (SBU) Germany currently has around 120 soldiers (approximately
the same as in July) in Bosnia as part of the EU's Operation
"Althea." Most of the German soldiers are deployed as liaison and
observer teams. The mandate, last amended December 1, 2007, allows
the deployment of up to 2,400 military personnel. This operation
extends automatically unless there is a change to its underlying
UNSC resolution. In 2007, Germany reduced its military presence in
Bosnia by more than 700 military personnel in coordination with
other allies. Germany is relying more on home-based reserve forces
and less on deployed troops to provide the necessary security
support for the implementation of reform measures mandated by the
Dayton Peace agreement.
21. (SBU) While some Allies have been pressing to end the EU
deployment, arguing that there are no longer any military objectives
to achieve, Germany supports EUFOR remaining in place until the
Office of the High Representative closes down and transitions to a
EU Special Representative. German Defense Minister Jung expressed
this view publicly during an October 28 visit to Bosnia.
22. (U) Germany expects to spend 158 million Euros per year on EUFOR
European Union Counter-Piracy Mission
23. (U) On December 19, the Bundestag approved a parliamentary
mandate for the Bundeswehr's participation in the EU counter-piracy
"Atalanta" operation off the Horn of Africa. The mandate authorizes
the German navy to perform the full spectrum of tasks authorized
under the EU Joint Decision, including the use of force to end acts
of piracy and to do "opposed" boardings. The mandate also gives the
German navy authority to sink pirate ships if necessary. There are
no national caveats. Germany has dedicated one frigate with a
200-man crew to the operation, which will include two 10-man
boarding teams consisting of highly trained German SEAL members
24. (SBU) The mandate has a troop ceiling of 1,400 so that other
German naval ships which happen to be in the region on other
operations (i.e., a Standing NATO Maritime Group or OEF's Task Force
150) can be brought under the EU mission temporarily to carry out
counter-piracy missions as required. While the area of operation
extends up to 500 nautical miles from the Somalian coast and its
neighboring states, the mandate does not authorize the pursuit of
pirates on land. The mandate expires December 15, 2009. (See ref A
for further information on the piracy mandate.)
25. (U) The government expects to spend 45 million Euros on this
deployment over the next year.
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United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
--------------------------------------------- ---
26. (SBU) Germany gave up command of UNIFIL's naval component in
March 2008, but still has 220 military personnel deployed (compared
to 460 in July). The current mandate, authorizing up to 1,400
military personnel, was extended on September 17, 2008. On February
29, Germany handed over the command of UNIFIL's naval component to
EUROMARFOR, a joint, non-permanent fleet including Portugal, Spain,
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France and Italy. An Italian officer assumed command.
27. (U) Germany expects to spend 89.6 million Euros over the next
year on its UNIFIL contributions.
Sudan (UNAMID and UNMIS)
28. (SBU) Germany currently has 41 military observers taking part in
the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). These observers monitor the
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The parliament
imposed a caveat barring military observers from going to Darfur
without prior consultation with the Bundestag Foreign Relations
Committee's chairman and ranking members. The mandate, which was
extended for an additional year on September 17, 2008, allows for
the participation of up to 75 German military observers.
Germany spends approximately 1.4 million Euros per year for its
support to UNMIS.
29. (SBU) In November 2007, the Bundestag replaced its old AMIS
mandate, with a new mandate supporting the UN/AU hybrid mission in
Darfur (UN Assistance Mission in Darfur, UNAMID). This mandate was
extended on September 17, 2008. It authorizes the Bundeswehr to
deploy transport aircraft and up to 200 troops in support of the
UN/AU hybrid mission.
30. (U) Germany spends approximately 2 million Euros per year for
its support to UNAMID.
Georgia (UNOMIG)
31. (SBU) Germany has been part of the UN Observer Mission in the
Abkhazian region of Georgia (UNOMIG) since 1998 and currently has 12
personnel stationed there, most of whom are medical personnel and
military observers. To meet a UN request for additional medical
personnel, the German cabinet decided in August 2007 to raise the
personnel ceiling for this mission from 13 to 20.
OSCE Mission to Georgia
32. (SBU) Germany has been a contributor to the OSCE's mission in
the South Ossetian region of Georgia since the operation's beginning
in 1992. There are currently two Bundeswehr military observers
participating in the OSCE mission. They were among the 20
additional OSCE military observers rapidly deployed to the region in
August 2008 following the Russian-Georgian conflict. They were
intended to reinforce and support the long-standing contingent of
eight OSCE military observers. The German cabinet authorized the
MOD on August 28, 2008 to deploy up to a total of 15 Bundeswehr
personnel under the OSCE mission, in support of OSCE plans to deploy
a total of 100 additional military observers.
Other minor deployments
33. (SBU) One military observer serves in the United Nations Mission
in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). One German military observer is
seconded to the United Nation Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
(UNAMA). The Bundeswehr has seconded 41 military personnel to
Strategic Medical Evacuation (STRATAIRMEDEVAC), for which no
parliamentary mandate is required, since it is not an armed
deployment and the stand-by aircraft are stationed in Germany.
Other force commitments
34. (SBU) The Bundeswehr currently has 2,500 soldiers committed for
the twelfth rotation of the NATO Response Force (NRF). There are
currently 1,000 Bundeswehr soldiers assigned to EU Battle Groups in
the second half of 2008.
Bundeswehr transformation
35. (SBU) The Bundeswehr is currently undergoing a transformation
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process, the goal of which is to be able to send up to 14,000
soldiers to as many as five different theaters for stabilization
missions by 2010. The Bundeswehr will be reduced from its
pre-transformation level of 270,000 to a final strength of 250,000
(162,300 Army, 62,700 Air Force and 25,000 Navy). The new
Bundeswehr will be composed of three different groups: 35,000 for
intervention forces, 70,000 for stabilization forces and 147,000 for
support forces.
36. (SBU) Part of the Bundeswehr's transformation is a comprehensive
rebasing program, which is also intended to be completed by 2010.
Moreover, transformation includes the procurement of new equipment
to fill capability gaps, mainly in the fields of strategic air lift,
network centric warfare and armored vehicles. Due to limited
funding (Germany spends just 1.3 percent of its GDP on defense, with
few prospects of significant increases in the future) and defense
industry delays (mainly EADS), the equipment side of the
transformation is behind schedule.
Total Expenditure for Out-of-Area Deployments
37. (U) According to a German government report released in October,
Germany spent 10.6 billion Euros on out-of-area deployments during
the period 1992-2007.
A break-down by fiscal year, in millions of Euros:
FY 1992 39.6
FY 1993 213.8
FY 1994 83.5
FY 1995 131.1
FY 1996 285.6
FY 1997 254.8
FY 1998 182.6
FY 1999 553.9
FY 2000 1,076.1
FY 2001 1,191.8
FY 2002 1,502.1
FY 2003 1,352.8
FY 2004 1,052.3
FY 2005 884.3
FY 2006 893.8
FY 2007 910.7
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