Berlin : For the first time in more than 70 years, the German army is likely to be deployed to city streets, in an indication of protection against growing terror threat in Europe. The news of likely German army deployment has caught global attention.
The reversal of seven decades of precedent follows multiple attacks last week. The country’s southern regions, including Bavaria, were shaken by four assaults, three of which were perpetrated by migrants. A mass-shooting by an 18-year old of Iranian-descent in Munich which left 9 dead and a suicide bombing in Ansbach on Sunday carried out by a Syrian refugee who had pledged allegiance to the ISIS terror group, coupled with a series of deadly attacks in France on Bastille Day and more than 130 dead in November followed by suicide bombings claiming more than 30 lives in Brussels this March has led for calls for greater internal security in Germany.
“What we have here is an entirely new dimension of terrorism, the Islamist-minded terrorism, and we have to have intense discussions on this challenge in Bavaria and in Germany as well as prevent and repress it,” asserted Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer, adding: ‘That is the big challenge we face, and therefore any attempts to contextualize the problem are inappropriate. Every attack, every act of terrorism is one too many. Islamic terrorism has arrived in Germany and the people are rightly expecting us to stand up to this courageously.’
The official gave a joint news conference with Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Hermann, following a summit of the local government, where security issues dominated the agenda. Hermann also suggested that Germany’s army (Bundeswehr) could be used to aid police in dealing with major terror threats. The debate over whether to deploy the Bundeswehr domestically should not wait “until the next attack happens,” he stressed.
“We have an absolutely stable democracy in our country,” he said. “It would be completely incomprehensible… if we had a terrorist situation like Brussels in Frankfurt, Stuttgart or Munich and we were not permitted to call in the well-trained forces of the Bundeswehr, even though they stand ready.” Hermann’s demand is supported by ministers from ‘state of Baden-Wurtemburg’.
Lawmakers in Berlin are also discussing the possibility of establishing “troops of reservists” to aid police during internal crisis situations, German media outlet Bild reported, citing its own sources.
Uncontrolled immigration and open borders are now major concerns in Germany. German politicians who poured scorn on the British for voting to regain secure borders over Brexit have gone strangely silent.
The ‘open door policy’ of Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has led to more than 10 lakh immigrants in Germany. The number could rise up to 25 lakh in near future if the flow of immigrants continues. Critics of Mrs. Merkel argue that by announcing an immigration free-for-all, she has endangered the lives of ordinary Germans.
Officials in Germany are now pushing for greater controls and screenings for asylum seekers. Politicians have become aggressively vocal in criticizing the immigration policy. “We need a deportation culture,” said an MP.“Some people get a feeling they can do whatever they want,”. “We need to know who is in our country,” Seehofer said on Tuesday, insisting that the authorities should now consider various ways of dealing with refugees that commit crimes.
The incoming volume of immigrants is higher than what the available police force and other security forces of Germany can handle, leading to pressure and tensions.
German police like their French and Belgian counterparts, have been overwhelmed by the recent surge in terrorist incidents. They have also to deal with mounting public anger against the terror perpetrators in particular, and against refugees in general.
The deployment of army for safeguarding the cities of Germany is now being considered as inevitable.
After World War II Germany had ignored the expansion and possible need for deployment of the army. The increase of terrorist activities and constant crisis in African and Gulf countries has pushed Germany to rethink. Germany is now marching towards rebuilding what was once Western Europe’s largest army, with a “long overdue” decision to recruit 14,300 additional soldiers over the next seven years, to counter modern threats and overcome pressures “in all areas.” A quarter century of contraction is over. It is time for the Bundeswehr to grow again,” Ursula von der Leyen, the defense minister said in a statement announcing the expansion. “The Bundeswehr is under pressure to modernize in all areas. We have to get away from the process of permanent shrinking.”
As a significant parallel, after the terrorist attacks in France its government had declared emergency and deployed its army throughout the country.
— Samir Dattopadhye (@samirsinh189) July 30, 2016