Turning point?

An interim assessment of Germany's and Austria's defense capabilities

Apr 23, 2024 / Vienna / European Security and Defence

© Eva Dohalova, KAS Wien

On April 23, 2024, the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES), in close cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation Austria - Multilateral Dialogue Vienna, hosted the panel event “Turning point? An interim assessment of Germany's and Austria's defense capabilities” at the Vienna School of International Studies.

The opening speakers were Dr. Werner Fasslabend (President of the AIES) and Sebastian Enskat (Director of the KAS Vienna). In the subsequent panel discussion, General Rudolf Striedinger (Chief of the General Staff, Austrian Armed Forces), Surgeon General Dr. Nicole Schilling (Vice President of the Federal Office of Personnel Management of the German Armed Forces) and Prof. Carlo Masala (University of the German Armed Forces Munich) gave detailed assessments of the defense and war capability of Germany and Austria. Finally, the moderator of the discussion, Michael Zinkanell (Director of the AIES), gave the approximately 150 guests present the opportunity to participate in the discussion by asking specific questions.

Particular attention was paid to the attitudes of the German and Austrian population towards the military and national defense. Aspects such as the advantages and disadvantages of compulsory military service and the resilience of the German and Austrian population were discussed. The importance of resilience within the population was highlighted in the discussion, as Prof. Masala in particular emphasized that a resilient society is of crucial importance in order to meet the challenges of the modern security landscape. Strategies to increase awareness and support among the population were therefore discussed in depth.

Another focus of the discussion was the significance of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine for European security and defense. During the discussion, the speakers referred to possible lessons that can be learned from the war and how European countries should act together to ensure their security.

© Eva Dohalova, KAS Wien

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