- German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced on Wednesday that she would disband parts of the Special Forces (KSK) Special Operations Command.
- Kramp-Karrenbauer will soon present her plan for the group's new structure at a press conference.
- It has been controversial in Germany for years to report on incidents involving far-right forces in the German army's special forces unit.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that, due to some cases of extreme right-wing tendencies in the German Special Forces, structural changes are being made in the command of these forces. AKK added that some parts of these forces will be disbanded.
Following a political controversy and widespread criticism in Germany over the existence of right-wing tendencies in the German Special Forces, the Minister of Defense finally reacted. AKK announced on Wednesday that she would disband parts of the Special Forces (KSK) Special Operations Command.
In an interview with the Zuddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, the German Defense Minister said that the department would be disbanded due to “dealing with the second such incident,” without choosing an alternative.
AKK, a member of the ruling conservative Christian Democrats, said that the Special Forces Command “has become somewhat independent, and also cannot remain in its current position due to the toxic leadership of the KSK.”
Kramp-Karrenbauer will soon present her plan for the group’s new structure at a press conference. According to Die Welt and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspapers, the reconstruction will affect 70 members of the special forces. In addition, the “elite unit” is deprived of the responsibility for special education.
Right-Wing Extremism in the Military
It has been controversial in Germany for years to report on incidents involving far-right forces in the German army’s special forces unit. It first began in April 2017, at a farewell party for a KSK commander.
At the party, guests reportedly gave the Nazi salute, listened to rock music from extreme right-wing groups, and organized a pig’s head toss. Police in the German state of Saxony later found a gun depot with ammunition and explosives.
In January this year, the German Army’s Intelligence Service (MAD) announced that 20 soldiers from the Special Forces were suspected of having extreme right-wing tendencies. This number was five times higher than the number of soldiers in a unit, compared to the total number of troops in the army at that time.
Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer formed a special working group in May this year to investigate and prevent the presence of extremist right-wingers among the special forces. The task of the working group was to review and make recommendations to prevent right-wing extremist tendencies in the KSK.
The Defense Minister is scheduled to announce her decisions to the public soon. “We will give the KSK time to press the reset button,” she said. “The vast majority of the men and women in the KSK and in the Bundeswehr as a whole are loyal to our constitution, with no ifs or buts,” she said.
Islamic Extremists and the Left
In 2018, a total of 175,000 people were arrested in Germany, but not all of them were imprisoned. According to German security agencies, about 4,000 arrest warrants have been issued against German Islamists. Of these, 400 are related to Islamists who are German but are thought to be in Syria or Iraq.
Most German Islamists operate abroad. The German judiciary has also issued about 150 arrest warrants against leftists. The possible crimes of these people have not been explained.