"Germany celebrates two important 50-year anniversaries in the year 2005. On May 9, 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany became the 15th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), signaling that the country was ready to be considered an equal partner in the common defense of the Western Alliance. November 12, 1955 is the founding day of the German Bundeswehr when the first 101 members of Germany's new armed forces received their letters of appointment from the new Minister of Defense Theodor Blank in an old vehicle warehouse in Bonn. This paper describes the important role that the concept of 'Innere Führung' has had, and continues to have, in the armed forces of Germany. It will first give a brief account of events and circumstances that preceded the inception of the post-World War II German armed forces. The paper then will outline the idea and underlying philosophy of Innere Führung in the context of civil-military relations theory by examining the importance of values and legitimacy as it relates to its distinguishing feature of the 'citizen in uniform.' It will chart the objectives of Innere Führung and their application on both the institutional and the individual level in order to address the proper balance between the functions of the armed forces on one hand and the values of society as a whole on the other. The paper will conclude that this 50-year-old concept is still valid today, that its dynamic characteristics have allowed it to respond appropriately to developments in civil society, and that it may well serve as a model for emerging democracies facing the challenges of civil-military tensions."
Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Contemporary Conflict: http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil
Strategic Insights (April 2006), v.5 no.4