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The New Unpredictability – Why Germany Needs a Security Strategy. By James D. Bindenagel

Technological advances will have a considerable influence on future warfare. According to James D. Bindenagel, meanwhile, contrary to many hopes, it is already becoming clear that the use of robots and artificial intelligence will by no means reduce the risk of escalation in armed conflicts. On the modern battlefield, military conflicts will still be characterized by the tendency toward extremes (von Clausewitz). As a result, modern warfare with its high-tech tools threatens to become “even bloodier, more ethically problematic, and generally more unpredictable.” On top of this comes the steadily increasing com­plexity of international relations in the 21st century. In particular, there is an ever-widening gap between traditional international humanitarian law and the possible applications of modern war technologies. Closing this gap now is essential to minimize legal ­challenges and ethical grey areas, and at the same time enable an effective response to security threats.

 

Hence there is an urgent need for a long-term, coherent security strategy – which has been lacking for many years in Germany. Partly also in view of the new isolationism of the Trump administration, the author sees Germany as the “political and geographic heart of Europe.” As such, the country has a duty to lead the EU with a strategy of this kind, based on the broadest possible consensus. This would give national and international prominence to the raison d’état of the Federal Republic of Germany: to respect and protect human dignity.

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