Anti-terror plans

Let Police Protect, Not Soldiers

ARCHIV - Ein Soldat mit Fernglas steht im Lager der Bundeswehr in Feisabad (Afghanistan) auf einem Gebäudedach (Archivfoto vom 10.03.2009). Die Bundeswehr wird ihre Kräfte in Afghanistan nach Angaben von Verteidigungsminister Franz Josef Jung (CDU) nach der Präsidentschaftswahl nicht verringern. Derzeit liege die Obergrenze des deutschen Kontingents bei 4500 Soldaten. Er hoffe, dass sich die Lage nach der Wahl etwas stabilisieren werde, so dass es bei diesem Kontingent bleiben könne, sagte Jung am Donnerstag 20.08.2009 im ARD- "Morgenmagazin". Foto: Rainer Jensen dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Should German soldiers be deployed domestically? The head of the police union says no.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    In the wake of several terror attacks, Germany is divided over whether to deploy the army on its streets.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The German public remains uneasy after a series of violent attacks in recent weeks in Munich, Ansbach and Würzburg.
    • German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen called for a bigger domestic role for the military in a recent “white paper” review of defense policy.
    • Police across the country have seen their budgets cut and have been left dangerously underequipped to deal with terrorism, the author says.
  • Audio

    Audio

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During recent terror alerts in Munich and other German cities, police special forces units have demonstrated that they know what they are doing.

They quickly arrived at the scene, secured the area, evacuated civilians, communicated professionally and swiftly conducted their investigations. The management of these operations was exemplary, and the level-headed approach taken by law enforcement officers had a calming effect on citizens.

Lawmakers and the media alike have had nothing but praise for these efforts, and rightfully so. But in the same breath, politicians with the center-right Christian Democratic Union are dusting off what should be a non-starter: the domestic deployment of the German armed forces.

They could hardly be doing a bigger favor to terrorists and extremists, who are inflaming the mood in Germany, fueling fear and suspicion and trying to amplify the general sense of insecurity even further.

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