Security Policy: Voices from the German Parliament (2)

Written by: Markus Levy; photos by: Katharina Roggmann / Torsten Kraatz / Laura Clayborn

Hamburg, 9 April 2018

Armament and armaments export policy: the benefits of pragmatic debates

Mr. Johannes Kahrs conveyed a similar message in his presentation that covered the parliamentary perspective on the field of armaments policy. Mr. Kahrs, too, confirmed that decision-makers in politics, the armed forces and defense contractors have learned a lot over the past years. However, he also expressed strong criticism with regard to the planning timelines of the responsible agencies.

Calling for more efficient procedures

According to Mr. Kahrs, the current procedures employed in the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (FOBwEITISS) are in need of reform. In addition, he also called for generally more demand-oriented staffing and the employment of qualified personnel. Against this backdrop, payment and career options became a prominent subject of the subsequent discussions. In Mr. Kahrs' opinion, the armaments policy debate must not ignore the fact that, in order to ensure a sovereign and sustainable security policy in the multinational framework, Germany must provide a powerful defense industry, which in turn could not survive in the long term without export sales and an integration into more cooperative European structures.

Coherent foreign policy and Germany's strategic capability

The briefings held by parliamentary representatives were a welcome addition to the "Security Policy and Strategy" conference series. Their contributions help the students to take political perspectives into account. It is fair to say that both sides gained further insights from the event. All three guest speakers agreed on this and thanked the audience for an open and highly fruitful debate. Every single presentation offered ample opportunity for further discussions and led the guests to conclude that one should look on the coming years with optimism.

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