Political constraints: Germany and counterinsurgency

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This article examines the challenges for the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, to adapt to the counterinsurgency (COIN) challenge in the context of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. It argues that prevailing German strategic thought makes it very hard for the Bundeswehr to adjust for COIN in a comprehensive way. While adjustments have been made, these are largely on the operational and tactical level. The political and the strategic level of the armed forces are far from embracing COIN as a strategy and as a major task for the Bundeswehr. Germany’s allies and partners like Australia need to recognise the structural factors putting brakes to a rapid transformation of the Bundeswehr for COIN.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalSecurity challenges
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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