Foreign Deployments

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Half a Century of the Bundeswehr

Fifty years later, the German armed forces look very different

01/11/2005 | by Karl Feldmeyer | Central Europe, German Foreign Policy

The Bundeswehr has been transformed in the past decade. Fifty years ago it started out with a mission of territorial defense–and avoided military involvement in the campaigns of its major allies. After unification and the end of the cold war, however, it routinely joins operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Yet even as the Bundeswehr’s mission has expanded, its numbers and its budget have shrunk.