The Bundeswehr’s International Crisis Management

Crises in other countries or on other continents can endanger security in Germany. The Bundeswehr is therefore involved in multinational operations that are intended to prevent or manage crises and to restore stability to the affected regions. In international crisis management, the Bundeswehr is expected to take on even more responsibility in the future in order to contribute to the handling of crises.

Soldaten mit ihren Gewehren auf Fußpatrouille

What is international crisis management?

International crisis management includes all measures aimed at preventing, containing or peacefully resolving an armed conflict between countries, different parts of the population or other conflict parties. The main objectives of international crisis management are the prevention and containment of crises and the stabilisation of affected regions.
The Bundeswehr’s international crisis management becomes apparent through operations abroad in multinational alliances and organisations. If the German government wants to send the Bundeswehr on an armed mission within the framework of international crisis management, the German Bundestag must approve the mission. This agreement by the German government and the German Bundestag helps military personnel see themselves as a parliamentary army on operations with broad support and approval.

Soldat schaut durch Fernglas

In the UNIFILUnited Nations Interim Force in Lebanon mission off the coast of Lebanon, German blue helmets also help secure the sea borders and prevent arms smuggling by sea.

Bundeswehr/Jana Neumann

What tasks does the Bundeswehr perform in international crisis management?

The Bundeswehr’s mission in international crisis management is to counter threats to Germany and its allies. To this end, the Bundeswehr makes military and civil-military contributions in cooperation with its allies. The focus is on the following tasks:

  • Early identification of international crises
  • Conflict prevention, crisis management, post-crisis rehabilitation, and stabilisation
  • In international organisations, alliances and partnerships:
  • Involvement in United Nations (UNUnited Nations) peace missions
  • The fight against international terrorism
  • Countering threats from cyber and information space, as well as new hybrid dangers
  • Protection of sea routes
  • Enforcement of embargoes and sanctions

How does the Bundeswehr cooperate with other armed forces?

In the Bundeswehr’s international crisis management, missions are conducted in compliance with international law. German servicemen and women cooperate with allies and partners from NATO, the EU, the United Nations (UNUnited Nations) and the OSCEOrganisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Ad-hoc cooperation programmes may also arise, for example to counter hybrid and terrorist threats.

Zwei Soldaten suchen mit einer Sonde die Umgebung nach Sprengstoff ab

Servicemen and women of the Bundeswehr are also deployed in the post-crisis assistance phase of international crisis management. Here, military personnel are using detectors to search the surroundings for explosives.

Bundeswehr/Marc Tessensohn

Where is the Bundeswehr involved in international crisis management?

The end of the Cold War completely changed the Bundeswehr’s international crisis management: the Bundeswehr became the “armed forces on operations (abroad)” we know today. This development began with involvement in the UNUnited Nations mission in Cambodia from May 1992 to November 1993. This was followed by missions in Somalia, other African states, the Balkans and the Middle East. At present, the Bundeswehr is involved in the following missions:

Last updated: April 2024

Mission (name)Mission areaFirst mandateCurrent mandateEnd of mandateMandated personnel ceiling
KFORKosovo Force (Kosovo Force)Kosovo12 Jun. 199926 May 2023indefinite400
EUFOREuropean Union Force ALTHEA (European Union Force)Bosnia-Herzegovina28 Jul. 202223 Jun. 202330 Jun. 202450
UNMISSUnited Nations Mission in South Sudan (United Nations Mission in South Sudan)Southern Sudan8 Jul. 201121 March 202431 March 202550
UNIFILUnited Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon)Lebanon20 Sep. 200623 Jun. 202330 Jun. 2024300
EUMPMEU Military Partnership Mission Niger (EU Military Partnership Mission Niger)Niger28 Apr. 202328 Apr. 202331 May 202460
MINUSMAMultidimensionnelle Intégrée des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation au Mali (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)Mali28 Feb. 201326 May 202331 May 20241,400
MINURSOMission des Nations Unies pour l'organisation d'en Referendum au Sahara Occidental (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)Western Sahara16 Oct. 201329 Oct. 2013indefinite4
Sea Guardian (NATO mission)Mediterranean Sea29 Sep. 201621 Mar. 202431 Mar. 2025550
EUNAVOR MEDMediterranean (Mediterranean) IriniMediterranean Sea7 May 202026 Apr 202330 Apr 2024300
Anti-IS„Islamischer Staat“ operation/Capacity Building Iraq
(support for the anti-IS„Islamischer Staat“ coalition, stabilisation of Iraq)
Middle East4 Dec. 201518 Oct. 202331 Oct. 2024500
EUNAVFOREuropean Union Naval Forces ASPIDESRed Sea23 February 202423 February 202428 February 2024700