German Institute for International and Security Affairs

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Group.png German Institute for International and Security Affairs  
(Think tankWebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik Berlin.jpg
AbbreviationSWP
Formation1962
HeadquartersBerlin, Germany
LeaderGerman Institute for International and Security Affairs/Director
SubpageGerman Institute for International and Security Affairs/Director
Membership• Volker Perthes
• Nikolaus von Bomhard
• Christoph Geisler
• Barbara Lippert
• Günther Maihold
• Klaus Ritter
• Christoph Heusgen
• Thomas Bagger
• Géza Andreas von Geyr
• Eckhard Franz
• Emily Haber
• Ludger Schuknecht
• Thomas Silberhorn
• Georg Schütte
• Karl-Heinz Lather
• Philipp Mißfelder
• Niels Annen
• Omid Nouripour
• Wolfgang Gehrcke
• Franz Fehrenbach
• Jürgen Fitschen
• Eckard P.W. Minx
• Christopher Daase
• Udo di Fabio
• Margret Wintermantel
• Peter Altmaier
• Hans-Peter Keitel
• Angelika Niebler
• Wolfgang Ischinger
• Eckart von Klaeden
• Jens Hanefeld
• Thomas Matussek
• Stefan Mair
• Hildegard Müller
• Christoph Geisler
• Dieter Kempf
• Allianz
• BMW
• Daimler
• Deutsche Bahn
• Deutsche Bank
• Lufthansa
• Deutsche Shell Holding
• Deutsche Telekom
• Linde
• Bosch
• Siemens
• Volkswagen
• Helge Braun

The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is the semi-official advisor for the German government on foreign and military policy issues. SWP also advises decision-makers in international organizations relevant to Germany, above all the European Union, NATO and the United Nations.

It was founded in 1962 under the direction of the CIA[1] [2]

History

The founding father of the SWP is Klaus Ritter, an employee of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), who got educated in how the US think tank system works during a one year study trip to the USA in 1959. Impressed by the political advisory institutions there and at the urgent request from US foreign policy elite members like Henry Kissinger, he returned to Germany with a project idea[3] [4]

The US power elite had complained: "'We have no interlocutors on your side in the pre-official space' - that is, in the run-up to official politics, in which international political problems are not only discussed freely, but often pre-formulated in the exchange of positions and perspectives, where the terms are thus delimited in their core content before they reach the agenda of the political institutions."[5]

Back in Germany, the intelligence officer Ritter teamed up with like-minded people from the Federal Foreign Office, business and academia to found a think tank for long-term, strategic research and policy advice based on the model of the US RAND Corporation.In this think tank, big business, academia and federal politician was to be equally represented.

For this purpose, they founded a foundation, AWP (which later changed name to Ebenhausen Forum, see below). This foundation was to operate an "independent" think tank, which as a semi-official institution should advise on foreign policy issues. In the logic of the founders, the "independence" of the think tank could only be maintained with a strong role of business and academia, since otherwise the ministries would otherwise be misled into short-sighted and in-house thinking.

Thanks to a start-up capital of DM 50,000 from various companies and business associations, like the Steel industry Association, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and an employee of Friedrich Flick, the SWP was founded in the early 1960s. Soon the Federal Chancellery (initially from the intelligence BND budget) took over the main funding of the foundation and the associated research institute.

Projects

“The Day After” Syria Regime Change Planning

As part of the project “The Day After”, the SWP together with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) gathered Syrian intellectuals and representatives of various Syrian political movements, including the Syrian National Council, to discuss their ideas for the political, constitutional and economic development of Syria following the NATO-planned replacement of Bashar al-Assad's government. The results of the project were made public in Syria and internationally via the report “The Day After. Supporting a Democratic Transition in Syria”.

The “New Power, New Responsibility” War Project

A paper co-produced with the German Marshall Fund (a CIA front organization) entitled “New Power, New Responsibility” (November 2012 – September 2013) called on Germany to use its military more, to show responsibility for dealing with “those who disrupt the international order”. It argued that Germany and the EU need to show more willingness to act on international security issues, recommending that “Europe and Germany need to develop formats for NATO operations that make them less dependent on US support."

Integrity Initiative Cooperation

A leaked II document termed it a "major national think tank" alongside IFRI and Clingendael), where they wanted the think tanks to "launch their own programmes on disinformation and malign influence", similar to the Integrity Initiative efforts, with "Political warfare workshops, Information Literacy Course, Political Warfare Network, 'Information Warfare and Security' Modules".[6]

The Ebenhausen Forum

The The Ebenhausen Forum - Circle of Friends of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs is an association composed primarily of the largest German companies and high-ranking representatives of business life. The association works closely with the SWP and has set itself the goal of strategic exchange between business, politics and academia.[7]

For this purpose, the Ebenhausen Forum firstly aims to exert strategic influence on politically relevant actors: politicians, opinion-forming media, advising academics and young professionals. Second, one can assume that the large companies hope to gain political and academic insights through this exchange in order to optimize their own political and economic strategies.

Concretely, exchange and influence happens through various dialogue forums, such as an annual exchange in cooperation with the business newspaper Handelsblatt "for selected representatives of German business and politics, by experts from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs".[8]

In addition, Ebenhausen has an influence on the HR policy and topics of the SWP through the youth funding program it finances, the research funding and the integration of personnel. The Ebenhausen Forum is also closely linked to the SWP Alumni Club, whose membership contributions benefit the Ebenhausen Forum. Corporate members include: AIDA Cruises, Allianz Germany. BMW, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, Lufthansa, Deutsche Shell Holding, Deutsche Telekom, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg, Linde, Bosch, Siemens and Volkswagen.



References