Assessing German Armed Forces Operations abroad. A Call for Evaluating Humanitarian Interventions

The latest HSFK-Report No. 8/2016 contributes to the current debate on the evaluation of German Bundeswehr operations. What can and should be achieved by an evaluation? What are the benefits and disadvantages of different evaluation approaches?

Cover des HSFK-Reports Nr. 8/2016

In January 2016 the parliamentary groups of CDU/CSU and SPD introduced a bill to the Bundestag with the aim to evaluate the operations by the German Armed Forces abroad. Matthias Dembinski and Thorsten Gromes endorse the plan to learn lessons from past experiences. However, the authors of the HSFK-Report No. 8/2016 "Auslandseinsätze evaluieren. Wie lässt sich Orientierungswissen zu humanitären Interventionen gewinnen?" caution against the approach envisioned in the proposal.

Dembinski und Gromes discuss benefits and limits of different evaluation procedures and recommend to analyze the intended and not-intended effects of these missions.

Many of past operations by the German Bundeswehr fall within the category of humanitarian military interventions and it seems that this will not change in the near future. These interventions are highly contested. Therefore the report argues that knowledge about the success probabilities and success conditions of these interventions is of utmost importance.
The authors propose to evaluate humanitarian military interventions and recommend procedures, which make the effects of these missions visible. They also clarify what politics and the public can expect from evaluation results.

This HSFK-Report (in German) can be ordered at PRIF for 6€ and is also available as free PDF download.