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Interview with Major General Wolfgang Gäbelein, Head of the Bundeswehr Planning Office

ES & T: Mr. General, the Bundeswehr Planning Office is trying to create an overall picture of the political and military situation in order to use this as a basis to examine what capabilities the Bundeswehr actually needs. What are you most concerned about right now?
Gäbelein: The current security situation is characterized by a high level of complexity and diversity. There's a lot going on at the moment. We cannot look at all of this from a military perspective alone. A structure of state and non-state, national, regional and also global actors and acting requires a holistic view. And as complex as this situation is, the security precautions must be as complex and thus cover far more than armed forces.

But still: armed forces are an essential tool for the security provision of a modern state.

Major General Wolfgang Gäbelein in conversation with ES&T editor Michael Horst and the Berlin correspondent of ES&T, Dr. Wolfgang Labuhn (center) (Photo: Planning Office / Bienek)

ES & T: Which topics do you currently have particular priority?
Gäbelein:It is difficult to give a simple answer to this. Of course, a whole series of lines of development have to be taken into account. I am particularly moved by the rapid development in the field of digitization. I am moved by the enormous potential that we can exploit here in the next few years. At the same time, I am concerned with the vulnerability associated with digitization, especially in the area of ​​cyber. As a result, there are a number of issues that we have to monitor closely. We have to think in systems much more than we have done in the past. We have to think much more networked and in overall contexts. And when I look at the keyword Industry 4.0, it shows that not only the pure production process plays a role there. The entire chain from construction through the production process to use is considered and integrated. We will certainly have to focus very intensively on this in the future.

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