Germany: The government agreed to end military conscription on 1 July 2011 and to reduce the size of the army from 240,000 to 185,000 troops. This would be the biggest contraction in the German Bundeswehr in 53 years, DPA♠ reported 15 December.Do we, as Americans, think that terrorism is a police issue or a military issue (or do we really think there is some very secret organization, for which the CIA is only a cover, that is working this problem)?
Comment: Since the collapse of communist East Germany, the Germans have sought to reduce defense expenditures. Intelligence services have been consolidated and other military functions have been merged. The process has been in progress for more than 20 years. In short, the absence of a clear, conventional military threat to Germany undermines the defense establishment. The German involvement in Afghanistan is overwhelmingly unpopular; the Germans will not stay beyond 2011.
The Germans, French and most European Union states treat Islamic terrorist attacks as law and order problems. The significance is that the Europeans and most Asian states judge that police forces are more effective in dealing with terrorist threats than military forces.
Regards — Cliff