Federal Armed Forces deployment in Iraq to continue

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Extended mandate Federal Armed Forces deployment in Iraq to continue

Up to 500 soldiers may be deployed up to 31 October 2024 to help bring about a long-term stabilisation in Iraq. The Federal Cabinet passed the relevant resolution on 13 September 2023. The German Bundestag has yet to give its approval. The most important questions and answers about the deployment.

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An interpreter helping a German trainer to explain the objective of a military exercise in Iraq.

Exercise with a German trainer and interpreters: Germany is providing support for Iraq during a decisive and challenging phase.

Photo: Federal Armed Forces/Jana Neumann

What has been decided?

The Federal Government has taken the decision to continue the deployment of the Federal Armed Forces in Iraq until 31 October 2024. The objective of the deployment is to enable the Iraqi armed and security forces to guarantee the long-term security and stability of Iraq without external assistance, to promote a process of reconciliation within the country, and to prevent a resurgence of the terrorist organisation known as Islamic State (IS) there. The German Bundestag now has to approve the resolution adopted by the Federal Cabinet.

Why was the decision taken to extend the deployment?

IS has been defeated in its former strongholds in Iraq and Syria but continues its attacks and terrorist activities against Iraqi forces, local administrative structures, and critical infrastructure in Iraq. Whilst the objective of the mission has not yet been achieved, the international community has come much closer to achieving it in recent years. It is necessary to continue with the mission in order to consolidate, expand, and further develop what has been achieved so far.

The Federal Government's military engagement furthers Germany's interests in the region and is supporting Iraq during a crucial and politically challenging phase. This deployment is also making an important contribution to Germany's commitment to and responsibility for ensuring peace, freedom, and prosperity throughout the world in accordance with the coalition agreement. The Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence produced a report in the penultimate mandate period recommending that the deployment be extended. This assessment has not changed, which means that the recommendation to extend the Federal Armed Forces mandate continues to apply.

During his visit to Berlin in January 2023, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani called for the continued involvement of the Federal Armed Forces in the fight against terrorism in Iraq. The Federal Armed Forces deployment against IS is part of Operation Inherent Resolve, which is being coordinated by the international Anti-IS Coalition as well as the NATO Mission Iraq.

What are the Federal Armed Forces contributing?

Up to 500 soldiers may be deployed. Among other things, the Federal Armed Forces duties include:

  • Air-to-air refuelling
  • Air transport
  • Ground-based airspace surveillance and headquarters personnel
  • Participating in the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) programme
  • Providing the international Anti-IS Coalition and NATO with advisory personnel

By 31 October 2024, this deployment will cost an additional 91.6 million euros (approximately).

How else is Germany involved, in addition to its military contribution?

As well as providing military support, Germany also has a civic involvement in Iraq. The Federal Government has provided over 3.4 billion euros since 2013. Germany is providing disaster management support as well as assistance with de-radicalisation and reintegration measures for formerly radicalised and internally displaced persons. It is also involved in explosive ordnance clearance, economic recovery, and the development of an inclusive local police force.

Among its development collaboration activities, Germany is focusing on the transformation and diversification of the economy and creating training opportunities and jobs for young people.

The Iraqi government, the Kurdish Regional Government, and military and civil society representatives repeatedly emphasise their desire for Germany's continued engagement and state their appreciation for the contributions Germany is making.

What is the legal basis for the troop deployment?

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, which is enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter as well as various resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, which 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 situation is subject to ongoing reassessments.