Lieutenant General Hartmut Moede
German Armed Forces
It is my great pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the German Armed Forces in what is known as the Bear Hall of the Old City Hall. I am proud that this Workshop is taking place in Germany for the second time since 1995, on this occasion in Berlin. There is hardly any other city in Germany that can match Berlin, in terms of its development, its essence and its history, and by so pertinently symbolizing the new millennium. Berlin stands for the growing together of East and West, Berlin stands for change and development, and Berlin stands for pioneering and progress. You only have to walk around the city to sense its unique atmosphere, which captivates nearly everyone who visits it. You can see many signs of this renewal as private and public construction projects all over Berlin provide the most striking evidence of it.
The North Atlantic Alliance, too, is undergoing a process of reorganization at the transition to the new millennium. The course is set for the future; the concern is now to continue unerringly in the agreed direction.
Our objective is common security and stability. Both grow wherever democracy is cultivated and human rights prevail, wherever neighbouring states collaborate well and peacefully. Integration and transatlantic collaboration have created a zone of stability in Western Europe that is unprecedented in history. It is in our vital interest to extend this zone of stability to cover the whole of Europe.
We have an inclusive notion of security. Initiatives in all fields of politics are helping to establish freedom, security and stabilityin dialogue and in close cooperation with our allies and partners. The fact that we have met today for this Workshop is a visible expression of our cooperation. This workshop, conducted as it is with allies and partners, stands for our common success.
THE FUTURE SHAPE OF THE BUNDESWEHR
Unfortunately, however, peace, freedom, and stability do not prevail everywhere in Europe. And the current conflicts show that we will not be able to do without credible military capabilities in the foreseeable future.
The Bundeswehr will have to pull its weight as part of these capabilities. We are currently in the process of political, strategic, and military reorientation in response to the admission of the new NATO members, the Strategic Concept, the development of the European Security and Defense Identity, and the lessons learned from our missions abroad. Our aim is to fulfill our obligations more economically and at a higher standard. This is what we are working for; this is where our efforts are aimed.
The Bundeswehr of the future will have the following characteristics:
- The Bundeswehr will be an effective tool for implementing Germanys foreign and security policy. It will be able to master whatever challenges arise with a broadened continuum of military capabilities; from cooperation, peacekeeping, and peacemaking within the context of conflict prevention and crisis management, to credible and effective reinforcement of Allied forces, to collective defense. This includes disaster relief and support.
- The Bundeswehr will act in conjunction with Allies and Partners. Continuing what has proved to be a successful practice, work will be done to optimize the Bundeswehrs capability for cooperation, interoperability, and compatibility with our Allies and Partners. Further development of our command structures will improve the foundation for combined and joint operations and allow us to assume greater responsibility.
- The Bundeswehr will be hard-hitting, efficient and able to attract young recruits. The objective is to achieve maximum military power and economic efficiency. Optimizing our structures and procedures and cooperating closely with industry will facilitate this. Adapting our personnel structures and incentives will also ensure that the armed forces will attract young people, a major requirement for coping with future challenges.
- The Bundeswehr will have modern equipment. To develop the requisite capabilities, new equipment will be procured and existing weapon systems adapted and modernized in compliance with our priorities. We will follow the objectives set forth under the Defense Capabilities Initiative and focus on European cooperation and on enhancing the European capabilities within the Alliance.
During the days of the GDR, the Old City Hall, where we are meeting, was the seat of the Council of Ministers; today, it once more belongs to the city. The Bear Hall, within the Old City Hall, was intended to be a festival hall for public events in Berlin. This hall, which has now been restored to its original function and is again open to everyone, gets its name from a bronze sculpture that was previously on show in the hall and that will soon be reinstalled. Like our Alliance, the Old City Hall and the Bear Hall are successfully being adapted to meet the changes of the millennium. It is a pleasure to welcome you here, and I look forward to an interesting and successful conference.