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German White Paper 2016: Changing Strategic Culture

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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At first glance, the German White Paper 2016 seems to be very close to a US National Security Strategy NSS due to its outline and listed topics. On second glance, however, it deviates due to the lack of willingness to present future guidance on security policy. The White Paper 2016 and the US NSS 2015 and 2017 show strong similarities in structures and main topics. The US NSS has a vision and pursues a top-down approach to guide subordinate organizations. In contrast, the White Paper 2016 sets only a minimum common security policy framework. Comparing the German White Paper 2016 with the last two US NSS, all three government security policy documents are not strategies due to the failure to meet the essential criteria for strategy. The White Paper 2016 bears witness to a slowly changing strategic culture and a greater sense of responsibility. The traditional drivers for German strategic culture restraint and pacifism as well as a diminished will for long-term planning strategy capability remain intact, albeit to a lesser extent. If it is desirable, a number of steps could be taken to further develop the white paper as a German NSS.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

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