Munich (dpa) – German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a leading candidate to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel, said on Thursday that the country should have a national security council to enable it to “do even more” when it comes to defence.
The council would help coordinate diplomacy, military planning, business and trade, internal security and international development, she said in a keynote address at the Federal Armed Forces University in Munich.
Germany’s existing Federal Security Council could be developed to play this wider function, she added.
“We must talk with each other more about the politics of German security and defence so that in the end we do more and are able to do even more,” she said, urging the country to be more bold in the sphere after years in the shadows because its 20th Century past.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, long-seen as Merkel’s successor when she steps down ahead of 2021 federal elections, made a big play last month of her idea to create a security zone in northern Syria but she came in for heavy criticism and events overtook her plan.
She reiterated a call for a significant increase in defence spending, which would need to increase to two per cent of GDP by 2031 at the latest.