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Comprehensive Approach 2.0 – ChallengesandPerspectives:- howtooperateacrossvariousdomainsofpower,- howtoimplementtheComprehensive Approach throughtrainingandeducation?By Rainer Meyer zum Felde, formerVicePresident, Federal Academyfor Security Policy, Berlin, Germany (BAKS)Contact:;

Post cold war globalised world strategic focus southeast
„Post Cold War, Globalised World“: Strategic Focus  Southeast

  • Two „arcsofinstability“ since 1990

  • bothoverlapping in Middle East/ Central Asia

  • oneofthe global geopoliticalcenters:

    • energyressources (Europe, China,Indiaincreasinglydepending)

    • mostimportanttraderoutesto Asian and Pacific region (accesstomarkets)

  • theworld‘smoststrategichotspotin termsofnewsecuritychallenges:

    • religiousfanatism, ethnicproblems, nuclearproliferation, regional power competition

    • failingstates, badgovernance (crime, corruption, poverty), weak international structures

Rapid change in nature of threats and risks
Rapid Change in Nature ofThreatsandRisks

  • Cold War threat gone, but old risks remain, and new risks to be added:

    • Direct territorial threat for Germany unlikely. But regional inter-/intra-state conflict still possible (even in Europe “whole, free and at peace”: e.g. RUS-GEO 2008).

    • Internationalterrorism remains a major threat – driven by radical religious, ethnic or ideological extremism. Special concern: islamistic extremism abroad and at home.

    • Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, means of delivery. Special concerns: Non-state terrorist groups (>Port security); Iran and North Korea (>NATO Strategic Missile Defence);

    • Cyber Security: critical infrastructureis vulnerable


    • Regional Powers rivalry destabilizing respective regions. Special concern: the Wider Middle East and Central/South Asia .

    • Trade and energy security: Scarcity of energy resources; disruptions of transport routes, flow of raw materials and commodities can trigger conflicts. Free trade routes, secure supply of raw materials crucial for Germany and Europe.

    • Transnational and organized crime (drugs, human trafficking, illegal migration etc.)

    • Natural or man-made catastrophies;

    • Dissemination of hazardous substances, epidemics and pandemics.


    • Climate change - desertification, water and land shortages, uneven population densities, enormous prosperity gaps; climatic driven natural disasters, migration developments

    • Sovereign depth crisis – reduced financial resources calls for effecitveness and efficiency of missions

  • Greatest challenges: less strength of other states than their weakness (old powers, rising powers, failing states, failed states)

  • Securitynot longer defined in geographical terms only. Crises, conflicts can occur at any time, at short notice, without prior warning. May require rapid response over large distances.

  • External (abroad) and internal (domestic) dimensions of security increasingly linked with each other.

Shift of strategic focus southeast balkans middle east central asia
Shift of Strategic Focus  Southeast; Balkans, Middle East, Central Asia

  • A Nations‘ standingandimpactfrom:

  • Fair share in complexcivil-military

  • expeditionaraymissions

  • Riskandburdensharingaccordingto

  • her politicalandeconomicweight

  • Civ & milCapabilities (deployability,

  • flexibility, sustainability)

  • 1990 Gulf War: Turkishairdefence, seasurveillance, minesweeping

  • 1991 to 1994 humanitarianmissionIraq, Kambodscha, Somalia

  • 1995 NATO IFOR and SFOR in BosniaandHercegovia,

  • 1999 NATO aircampain in Serbia, NATO KFOR (German Lead)

  • 2001 OEF and NATO ISAF in Afghanistan

  • 2006 UN Congomission

  • 2008 UNIFIL Lebanon

  • 2008 UN/EU ATALANTA Somalia Piracy

Potential shift of great powers constellation decline of the west rise of the rest
Potential Shift of Great Powers Constellation: „Decline of the West, Rise of the Rest ?“

  • Will itreally happen?

  • If, howmanydecades will ittake?

  • At least, a wake-upcallfor Europe!


Changing international security institutions














Changing International Security Institutions

UN: Primary responsibility for peace and international security: Prevention of crises, settling disputes, avoiding conflicts; poverty, enforcing international law, universal application of human rights. UNSC mandate key for legitimacy of armed military missions abroad.

EU (CSDP):Commitment to a united Europe - an

integration process across all suitable political areas.

Must improve its ability to take action within and

beyond Europe’s borders. Need a broad spectrum

of civilian and military instruments. More efficiency

through closer NATO-EU cooperation and mutual

reliance on civil and military capabilities. Franco-German relations play a pivotal role.

NATO: Centrepiece of defence. Alliance solidarity part of Germany’s raison d’état. NATO links Europe the United States and Canada. Collective defence guarantees security of Europe and allows for crisis response. Commitment (and unique strategic capabilities) of the U.S. to security of Europeremains a vital interest. Need to preserve the unique quality of transatlantic relations.

US shiftingfocus on China/ Asian-Pacific Region –>Europeansneedtocontributetheirshare in theirperiphery



Territorial Claims



Regional Arms Race


Ressource Competition




North Africa, Syria





Somalia, Yemen

Subsahara Africa



A at national level a whole of government approach to security
a. At national level, a „Whole-of-Government Approach“ to Security

Principles: (MoD Guidelines for Defence 2011)

  • Keepconsequences of crises and conflicts at distance, take an active part in preventionand containment

  • In each individual case, a clear answer needed whether German interestsand the related fulfilment of international responsibility require and justify an operation and what the consequences of non-action would be.

  • Distinction between external and internal security less and less relevant.

  • Use the complete spectrum of national policy instruments including employment of armed forces.

  • Only possible in a whole-of-government/society approach - a national, comprehensive and coordinated security policy that includes political, diplomatic, economic, development, police, humanitarian, social and military measures.

  • Interaction of the foreign service, development cooperation, police, armed forces, civil protection, disaster control, and the intelligence service must be enhanced at all levels.

  • Will adapt national security tools, new demands on armed forces as part of a whole-of-government approach … both at home and in geographically distant regions.

C to Security













b. At international level, promoting a Comprehensive Approach - complementary cooperation of International Security Institutions

  • ... in ordertocombinetheright mix

  • ofpolitical, economic,

  • civilianandmilitarymeans

  • in themosteffctiveandefficientway

  • ... andgobeyondthefamiliarframeworks:

  • AU, ECOWAS, ASEAN > CapacityBuilding

  • G 8, G20, … > Informal formats

  • ofmulitilateralism

  • World Bank, IMF, .... > Synergiesneeded

Germany s performance in global security
Germany‘s Performance to Securityin Global Security

  • Perception by Critics:

  • Germany disengaging - focused on welfare state, spending too little for defence,

  • reluctant to participate in military missions; caveats; no fair burden and risk sharing;

  • not living upto self-declared preparedness to take responsibility for global security

  • failing to co-lead Europe according to Germany‘s political and economic weight.

  • German Government‘s and Public‘s view:

  • Europe‘s dramatically improved security allowed for defence cuts, deep force reductions

  • We kept Europe stabile by economic and financial performance rather than military power

  • Turned from supported to supporting role, providing still high contributions to NATO, EU

  • UN – both in terms of budgets and substantial force contingents to agreed missions

  • Not at global „war“;Iraq a war of choice – not necessary, not legitimate, not our business

  • Longest way to transform from Territorial Defence & Deterrence towards expeditionary

  • interventions - done step by step with success. Current Bundeswehr-Reform in light of

  • stabilization (Balkans) and combat experience (Afghanistan) last step to catch up.

  • Germany‘s key lesson learned from history to never again make strategic mistakes – i.e.

  • - avoid Great Power behaviour, imperial ambitions, unilateral action, military power projection

  • - prefer soft power approaches, „culture of military reluctancy“

  • Political mainstream meets public desires – like Switzerland, seek prosperity through trade,

  • avoid being pulled into other Nations‘ wars, be a fair mediator by peaceful means.

  • Strategic Community advocates „firmly embedded in West“, careful handling of security

  • themes, but more engaged, with higher profile. Libya decisions triggered debate, has impact.

Deductions to Security

  • Europe tocopewithitsperiphery, USlikelynolonger in leadfor European Security

  • Either 27 national securitypoliciesandalltogethermarginalized, or EU capabletoactandcompetewitholdandnew Great Powers

  • Mustaddressmulitfacetedrisks, wheretheyaccur – thiscallsfor:

    • Consultations, consensus-baseddecisions, jointexecution - needtoharmonizeourpolitico-militarycultures.

    • High time forbigstepstowards an European integrateddefencepostureratherthanrenationalizing.Withcurrent individual defencecutsandreforms, needtoensurethatremaining national forcesandcapabilitiesallowcollectivelyfor a European defenceposturewhichenables Europe toact in collectivecivil-militarycrisisresponsemissonsat least atEurope‘speriphery.

    • Won‘tworkwithoutFrance, UK and Germany togethermaintainingcapable, modern allroundforces - whichofferspartnersto link theirspecificcapabilities.

    • Pooling and Sharingof expensive, criticalassetsrequirespoliticalandmilitaryreliabilityofpartners – needtoacceptlimitsof national sovereignty.

    • Need tocombine soft andhard power instruments in a pragmaticway - requiresinstitutionsworkingcomplementarytoeachother ---> NATO, EU, UN.

    • ArmedForcesneedtohave flexible, deployable, sustainableexpeditionaryforces & capabilities - andthepolitical will tousethem.

Deductions cont d
Deductions to Security (cont‘d)

Comprehensive Approach

  • Need on national levelwhole-of-government / whole-of-societyapproaches

  • Need on international levelpartneringandcomplementaryinstitutionalcooperation

  • Need on bothlevelssystematicpreparationforbothcomplexcivil-militarycrisispreventionorresponsemissions (still likelydespitemissionfatigueness after Irak and Afghanistan)

  • Need engagementacrossthefullspectrumofprocess - genericcontingencyplanning, operational planning, execution, lessonslearned, futheradaptation

  • Need operationalizingtheComprehensive Approach througheducationandtraining, across all levels – tacticallevel , operational level (e.g. Common Effort DEU/ NL Corps), strategiclevelexercises (e.g. SWE Viking series).

  • In Germany, BAKS, Führungsakademie, ZIFactashubsforfacilitatingtheComprehensive Approach at national strategicand operational level.

  • On internationallevel, NATO Defence Collegefor NATO, European Security andDefence Collegeforthe EU, GenevaCentrefor Security Policy (withtheirconnectiontotheGenevabasedhumanitarian UN Organisations)canplay a leadingrole.