Federal Armed Forces deployment in Iraq to continue
What has been decided and why is the deployment being continued?
The Federal Cabinet has decided to continue to deploy German armed forces to “ensure stabilisation, prevent the resurgence of IS, and promote reconciliation in Iraq”. Germany is strengthening the Iraqi security sector as part of NATO Mission Iraq, as well as supporting Iraq in the fight against IS within the international Anti-IS coalition OIR (Operation Inherent Resolve).
Progress has been made despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic. Nevertheless, further action is needed to stabilise Iraq and to continue the regional fight against IS.
The territorial rule of IS is largely over, but it still presents a threat. IS aims to regain control from the underground.
The continuation of the deployment is necessary in order to prevent this on a lasting basis and promote Iraq’s sovereignty. The deployment is being continued with a focus on developing the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces and is based on an explicit request for support by Iraq.
What is the contribution of the Federal Armed Forces?
The Federal Armed Forces fulfil the following scope of functions:
- Air-to-air refuelling
- Air transport
- Ground-based airspace surveillance and staff personnel
- Participation in NATO’s AWACS airspace surveillance flights
- Development of capabilities of the Iraqi armed and security forces (consultation)
Why has the German focus been placed on the mission to provide consultation, support and empowerment (development of capabilities)?
The development of capabilities can enable a stable security situation in Iraq in the long term. This development will take the form of consultation, support and empowerment, in order to support the sovereignty of the Iraqi security forces with lasting effect. This will help them in their autonomous and long-term fight against IS.
How else is Germany involved, in addition to its military contribution?
As well as providing military support, Germany also has civic involvement in Iraq. The Federal Government has provided almost three billion euros since 2013. Germany is investing in water, electricity, education and health in order to strengthen the infrastructure. It is also involved in explosive ordnance clearance, economic recovery and the development of an inclusive local police.
The aim is to improve the conditions of life in Iraq in order to enable long-term future prospects. This will reduce the causes of displacement and expulsion in the region and migration to Europe.
What is the legal basis for the deployment of troops?
The German deployment in Iraq is based on the agreement of the Iraqi government.
In addition, the fight against IS is based on Iraq’s right to collective self-defence.
This is based on Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and the resolutions of the UN Security Council. These stipulate, among other things, that IS presents a threat to world peace.
The deployment of German soldiers follows the rules of a system of mutual security as set out in Article 24, paragraph 2 of the Basic Law. The deployment will be evaluated at regular intervals.