Security policy White Papers perform several functions. They serve to inform the German Bundestag and the German public, outline the Federal Government’s security policy priorities with other countries, especially Germany’s most important partners, and assist communication within the Bundeswehr. The White Paper 2016 is the first of its kind since 2006 and upholds this tradition. Its authors seek to redefine Germany’s current and future security policy based on events and developments such as the global financial crisis, financial turmoil in the euro area, the suspension of conscription in Germany, upheavals in the Middle East and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. The Federal Government aims to inform the public and its allies in NATO and the EU precisely what the intentions of its security policy are. However, the contours of the Bundeswehr itself and its future remain blurred. The White Paper process, as it is known, was founded on the expectation of being able to openly and publicly discuss all aspects of defence policy. In continuing this process, it is now important to highlight security policy successes, to recognise deficits, to specify action plans and to propose any follow-up work that may be required.
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Markus Kaim, Hilmar Linnenkamp / Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik © 2016