At first it was only an officer’s letter, now the MAD also speaks of widespread right-wing extremism in the force. The cases have risen sharply. The elite KSK unit is to be reformed.
The Military Shield Service (MAD) sees a “new dimension” in the problem of right-wing extremism in the Bundeswehr. The President of the Authority, Christof Gramm, said at a public hearing of the Parliamentary Control Panel on Intelligence.
The suspected cases of right-wing extremists and so-called Reich citizens have increased to more than 600. “We take a closer look at extremists and also at people who lack constitutional compliance. We find what we are looking for,” said Gramm.
Investigators focus on KSK
The MAD’s work focuses on countering extremism, although the vast majority of soldiers are in line with the constitution. Excessive patriotism without a commitment to the Basic Law, the State of the Basic Law and open society will not be tolerated in the Bundeswehr, said Gramm. “Such false patriots have definitely not lost anything with us.”
The elite Command Special Forces (KSK) is at the center of the defense against extremism. There are around twenty people in focus there, said Gramm. It was possible to gradually bring more light into the dark. In the KSK in particular, one could not only assume isolated cases, although the shielding service had not discovered any underground army.
“Wall of Silence”
Cooperation with positions in the Bundeswehr, which could also take disciplinary measures, has improved. There is a pronounced corps spirit with the Special Forces Command, said Gramm, who spoke of a “wall of silence”. However, his authority succeeded in creating cracks here.
In order to solve the right-wing extremism problem of the KSK, the elite unit should be reformed quickly – without rendering it unable to act or even smashing it completely. The Union proposes to add the second KSK location in Calw, Baden-Württemberg, to a second one. The coalition partner SPD also considers it a problem that the strictly shielded force is only located at one location.
Minister wants to sweep through at KSK
Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is visiting the KSK today, had announced that she would use an “iron broom” to combat right-wing extremism in the isolated special unit. And she had deliberately not ruled out any measures from the start.
In the past few years, the KSK had repeatedly hit the headlines because of right-wing extremist incidents. Around 1400 commandos and support personnel belong to the secretly operating unit. Her duties include rescuing Germans from war and crisis areas, arresting war criminals and terrorists, gaining information in crisis areas, training allied forces and fighting strategically important positions of an opponent.