German security policy stands there with its pants down. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine made that all too clear. Our country is in no way seriously prepared for an emergency. Which is now urgently required from a military point of view.

The “turning point” that occurred on February 24, 2022 not only marks the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, it also stands for the oath of disclosure of German security policy and its crashing failure. A failure that not only has a military dimension, but also reveals in a comprehensive sense that the Federal Republic of Germany has never really taken an emergency seriously – not even in questions of energy policy, critical infrastructures such as pipelines, hybrids or anything else threats.

And this is happening only a short time after the inability to manage the crisis in the migration crisis and then in the corona crisis that followed a few years later had already severely shaken this community. What is common to all of these crises is that enormous funds have to be expended, which have completely thwarted the previously achieved savings effects.

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Renovating the total loss of your own house is and will always be more expensive than the timely completion of a few regular checks, corrections and preparations. This avoids suddenly buying disposable items such as FFP2 masks in China for billions or going on a sudden shopping spree with the US armaments companies. But it’s not primarily about the money, it’s mainly about deficits in mentality and reality.

There is a lot to be said at this point about those in security policy. In Germany, we come from a perception of the situation in which there was a cross-party assumption in politics that the country was only “surrounded by friends” and that every major conflict that was looming opened up a year-long warning period in which the country’s lack of defense capability was summarily restored can reinstall.

dr Joachim Weber is a Senior Visiting Fellow in the area of ​​strategic foresight and risk analysis at the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) at the University of Bonn. Before moving to CASSIS, he researched geostrategic and security policy relevant developments in the Far North in the Arctic project of the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel (2017-2019). Weber is co-founder of the Kavoma (disaster prevention and management) course at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (2006 ff.). In addition, Weber held various positions in various authorities, such as the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs (BMWi).

At the beginning of the 2010s, that was perhaps still a justifiable position, but what is the use of the preparation times if they are not used and you don’t want to or don’t like reading the flaming writing on the wall? For many it seems unreasonable to be disturbed in their denial of reality.

As is well known, Putin’s first raid on eastern Ukraine happened in 2014, and two union-led cabinets did little afterwards to really seriously increase the country’s defense capacity, while parts of the opposition at the time couldn’t save the Bundeswehr quickly enough. At the same time, Russia’s dependence on gas for energy policy was increased from 40 to 55 percent.

Germany is 84 million people. Germany is the fourth largest economy in the world. Germany likes to present itself as modern and cosmopolitan. But there are many places in our country’s engine room that are stuck. The effects of Corona and the Ukraine war are clearly noticeable. Of course, we are by no means lost. On the contrary! FOCUS online has asked bright minds from science and practice, from associations and think tanks to draw up a roadmap in their respective fields for the future of our country, for Germany 2025. The question was what Germany must do now in order to be successful in the short, medium and long term. For example in the energy supply, internal and external security, public finances, the fight against pandemics and many other topics.

While the comprehensive analysis of these and other deficits will keep historians busy for a long time to come, a few short theses should be highlighted here as to what we should assume (the situation) and what should now be done in terms of military policy:

Yes, these theses want and should provoke. But those who do not want to see the impositions in them or cannot bear them should now explain what a continuation of our self-inflicted misery would mean for the vulnerability of this country and its completely insufficiently developed resilience. You can be curious. In any case, cold winter evenings invite you to think.