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
Bundeswehr/Christoph Liesmann
  • 37 completed operations abroad

  • 12 current operations abroad

  • more than 3.000 military personnel deployed outside Germany

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 UNIFIL 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 OSCE.

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: November 2019

Mission (name)Mission areaFirst mandateCurrent mandateEnd of mandate

Mandated personnel ceiling

RSM (Resolute Support Mission)

Afghanistan

1 Jan. 201521 Mar. 201931 Mar. 2020

1,300

KFOR (Kosovo Force)

Kosovo

12 Jun. 199928 Jun. 2019indefinite

400

UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan)

Südsudan

8 Jul. 201121 Mar. 201931 Mar. 2020

50

UNAMIDUnited Nations - African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur)

Sudan

15 Nov. 200721 Mar. 201931 Mar. 2020

50

UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon)

Libanon

20 Sep. 200628 Jun. 201930 Jun. 2020

300

EUTMEuropean Training Mission in Mali Mali (European Union Training Mission in Mali)

Mali

28 Feb. 20139 May 201931 May 2020

350

MINUSMAUnited Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)

Mali

28 Feb. 20139 May 201931 May 2020

1,100

MINURSOUnited Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)

Western Sahara16 Oct. 201316 Oct. 2013indefinite

20

Sea Guardian (NATO mission)

Mediterranean Sea29 Sep. 201621 Mar. 201931 Mar. 2020

650

NAVFOR Atalanta (European Union Naval Force – Operation Atalanta)

Horn of Africa and adjacent sea areas19 Dec. 20089 May 201931 May 2020

400

Anti-IS operation/Capacity Building Iraq
(support for the anti-IS coalition, stabilisation of Iraq)
Middle East4 Dec. 201524 Oct. 2019

31 Mar. 2020 (CD )

31 Oct. 2020 (Iraq)

700