Ministry Draft

Berlin Considers Civil Defense

ARCHIV - Soldaten des Panzerpionierbataillon 4 gehen am 06.06.2016 in Simbach am Inn (Bayern) durch ein Wohngebiet, um sich an den Aufräumarbeiten zu beteiligen. Foto: Tobias Hase/dpa (zu dpa "Fünf Wahrheiten über Bundeswehreinsätze im Inland" vom 29.07.2016) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
During floods earlier this year, soldiers helped to clean up.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The dangers to civil society posed by terrorism and what Berlin calls “hybrid conflicts” need to be incorporated into Germany’s dated civil defense protocols.

  • Facts


    • The last time Germany modernized its civil defense concept was in 1995.
    • An interior ministry draft document seen by Handelsblatt outlines how the government plans to prepare for contemporary threats.
    • The interior ministry is set to submit the plans to the cabinet “soon,” but insists they are not a reaction to the recent terrorist attacks in the country.
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  • Pdf


The German government concept of civil defense dates back to the year 1995. Helmut Kohl was chancellor, the Warsaw Pact was history, and the world was looking forward to a peace dividend.

Then came the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, followed by wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Syria. Now there are terrorists armed with bombs and assault rifles staging attacks in Europe.

The world is certainly a different place than it was 21 years ago. Which is why Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière is updating Berlin’s civil defense concept.

“The main forms of conflict to be expected are so-called hybrid conflicts involving  both state-aligned and non-state-aligned conflict parties and opponents,” says an internal draft for inter-ministerial consultation seen by Handelsblatt.

It goes on to say that such “conflicts taking place using terrorist-style methods” could well be a threat to security, as modern infrastructure offers “many targets.”

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