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“In the end we have to stand on our own two feet”

In his speech at the turning point after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a program of 100 billion to equip the Bundeswehr.

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“In the end we have to stand on our own two feet”

In his speech at the turning point after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a program of 100 billion to equip the Bundeswehr. The “special fund” has been decided. The aim should be to make the army technically fit for alliances again. But what role does cyber security play in this? Experts investigated this question at the first "WELT Summit Digital Security".

Green Party leader Omid Nouripour stressed: “Cybersecurity is fundamental. We have to take this to the center of society because we see that warfare is hybrid. ”The cyber attacks are now being organized by the state, by China, Russia, Iran and others. "That's why you have to believe in the strength of our society and communicate that." And he warned: "We depend on the Americans, but we don't know where they are going." That's why Germany and Europe "must ultimately stand on their own two feet “. But we are still a long way from that.

Maximilian Terhalle, visiting professor at the London School of Economics asked, "What happens if America has to go to war over Taiwan?" What happens if the deterrent is focused on that? "Then we are, to quote a general, blank." And in relation to the current situation, the scientist asked what the strategy was for throwing Russia back.

Terhalle complained that an army that only had ammunition for a day or two of fighting was not credible for the allies. The investment of 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr is a step in the right direction. But: The SPD in particular finds it difficult to “think war”. Nouripour stressed that spending more money on guns was the right thing to do. You also have to do more for the alliance. Cyber ​​security should and must also be a part of the budget.

A viewer complained that the BND and other authorities could not keep up when it came to recruiting specialists in the field of cyber security and asked what the government wanted to do there. She considers this a security problem.

André Wüstner, Chairman of the Bundeswehr Association, replied: "That's a problem. We have to insist that the money is spent wisely.” But it's not just about whether the Bundeswehr Procurement Office works or not. "It's about the staff. It is frightening how little the Bundeswehr is competitive there.” It is difficult to find qualified personnel in the field of digitization. At least you have to take countermeasures.

Whether in the Federal Intelligence Service or in the Bundeswehr. You have to get away from “thinking in the categories of middle or upper service. If absolute professionals come who do not have the appropriate qualifications for a career, we have to open ourselves to lateral entrants who have qualified differently.” You have to get away from this official thinking. That is a huge challenge.

But Wüstner is optimistic: “We in the associations and unions are very innovative. But I also know the counter-current in the ministries. I'm glad that a lot has already been achieved in the cyber area.” But it's not enough to be competitive. "How do we, as is possible in Israel, transfer from the military to the intelligence service, to the economy and back, because we have a common interest in creating security? We have to create new structures," the officer demanded.

Hans Christoph Atzpodien, General Manager of the Association of the German Security and Defense Industry, said: "To create the Bundeswehr's own cyber defense umbrella, there is a Bundeswehr company, the BWI, which is responsible for the architecture. Then there are many, very specialized companies.” His association and its members are in close dialogue with the Bundeswehr on how cyber IT can be made more secure and how “we can create trustworthy IT for the Bundeswehr”. Analog armament and digitization would have to be thought of and implemented as an overall concept.

André Wüstner added: "We can't just think about protection, we also have to bring things together, namely how to work. At the moment I cannot imagine the separation between internal and external security.” The national security strategy must be considered holistically, explained Omid Nouripour. Which means: remain flexible in Europe. "To do this, we must be able to take enough resources to be able to react to scenarios that are not yet foreseeable," he said.

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