expanding values ​​& partnership

Talisman Sabre 23

In 2023, and for the first time ever, the Bundeswehr – with its Army and Navy – participates in the Talisman Sabre exercise in Australia, a large-scale binational endeavor conducted by the armed forces of the United States and Australia.

Convoy of military vehicles on a sand road

In view of the Russian war of aggression, the security focus is currently on Europe. More precisely, it is on protecting the eastern flank of NATO’s Alliance territory. However, the Indo-Pacific region is of great importance for the peace and prosperity of Germany and its partners at this particular time. Stability is under threat. For the first time ever, therefore, the Bundeswehr – the Army in cooperation with Air Force and Navy elements – will take part in the Talisman Sabre exercise in Australia in 2023. 

Two soldiers standing near field beds in a large green tent.

In the near future, the servicemen and women will spend quite some time in tents, so they try to make their accommodation as homely as possible.

Bundeswehr/Mario Bähr

The Federal Republic of Germany is a reliable partner in this region. Germany is facing up to its responsibility for safeguarding principles of international law, such as territorial integrity and freedom. Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – these nations are Germany’s partners and share our values. So why is Germany committed in the Indo-Pacific region, and what contribution is made by our servicemen and women at the other end of the world? The answers to these questions are based on our common interests and on our wish to enhance the strong ties that exist between the nations.

Maintaining the stability of the strategic situation in the Indo-Pacific

The stability of the Indo-Pacific region is closely linked to German interests and needs. It is currently under threat. As a consequence of considerable power shifts and growing differences, the fabric of the entire region has been affected. Past conflicts as well as the reverberations of the ongoing war in Ukraine are having an impact on the stability of the Indo-Pacific. There are many contested border lines and unresolved territorial issues, both on land and at sea. International terrorist networks, religious tensions as well as internal and cross-border conflicts and the resulting refugee movements are further causes of instability. The effects of an increasing exploitation of gray areas, particularly in cyberspace and the information environment, piracy and crime can be felt around the world. The region is a fairly blank spot in institutional and normative terms and characterized by increasingly complex armaments dynamics. This is a difficult combination. What complicates matters further is the fact that the ideological, political, economic and military rivalry between the USA and China continues to escalate. 

A portrait of the Chief of the German Army, Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, in uniform
Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, Chief of the German Army Bundeswehr
“Our commitment in the region serves not only to demonstrate our close ties but also to improve our expertise by learning directly from subject-matter experts right here in Australia.”

As Asia continues to rise, the Indo-Pacific region is increasingly becoming a center of political and economic power. For years now, we have seen strategic projections compete and global value chains intertwine. The region is crucial to shaping the international order of the 21st century. 

In order to ensure sustainable stability in this region despite all the imponderables, it will be necessary to regularly consolidate and advance our common values and capabilities. Germany, too, wants to contribute to this goal. By participating in the Talisman Sabre 23 exercise in the Indo-Pacific, the Army – in cooperation with Air Force and Navy elements – intends to test and consolidate its interoperability with partner nations that share our values, both within and outside NATO.

by Peter Müller