New challenges for the German army | DocFilm | DW | 27.03.2018
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DocFilm

New challenges for the German army

A dangerous UN mission involving German troops is taking place in Mali, West Africa. The German armed forces are acting as an international military peacekeeping task force. But how can Germany’s Bundeswehr master the challenges of the future?

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Around 1,000 women and men of the Bundeswehr are deployed as part of the UN mission in Mali. But what exactly is their task? The documentary’s writers - Djamila Benkhelouf, who served with the Bundeswehr herself for two years, and Nino Seidel - accompanied the soldiers in Gao. They provide a multifaceted insight into everyday life, both in the camp and on patrol. Specialized personnel such as pilots, facility defense staff and explosive ordinance experts are in particularly high demand for such missions; their training can take months, sometimes years. The deficit in these specialized personnel within the German military is becoming apparent to the soldiers in Mali; deployments are becoming longer, while at the same time new missions are being added around the world. This documentary asks: how has the German military changed in recent years? It is no longer a purely defensive force that would respond only in the case of an attack on Germany. How has it been confronting the new crises and upheavals in Europe and in the wider world? Is the Bundeswehr up to this new challenge?