How experienced is the new secretary of defense?
Olaf Scholz and Boris Pistorius competed for the same office some time ago. Both wanted to become party chairman of the SPD and in late summer 2019 they debated the future of the party for months. In the end both lost the fight, two outsiders made the race, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans.
After many years in state politics and in view of the endurance of his political companion, Prime Minister Stephan Weil, Pistorius wanted to risk a new beginning, perhaps even dreamed of a chancellorship. Now he will become Minister of Defense and thus take over the most important and at the same time most difficult office that the Chancellor has to fill. But at the time it was all about them SPD and their membership, especially the Jusos wanted a real new start at the top. Politically, he was certainly the one who was closest to Scholz in the field of competitors, which was also noticed in the countless appearances of the competitors at the time.
Basic training in the now defunct Steuben barracks
Pistorius, who comes from Osnabrück and was mayor in his hometown for many years, returned to his job at the Ministry of the Interior in Hanover as an honorable loser. Pistorius has been in charge of internal security in the state government for almost exactly ten years. During this time he gained a wide range of experience with a larger apparatus and the peculiarities of security authorities. On this basis, the convinced representative of a well-fortified democracy could very well succeed in quickly getting into the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces to find
It is clear that he could benefit from basic training in the now defunct Steuben barracks, but such an early youth service is by no means a prerequisite or even a guarantee of competent leadership. More important in the nomination may have been that, according to the current state of knowledge, Pistorius did not belong to those Putin networks and Russia connections that, starting from the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder maintained and maintained, especially from Hanover in the direction of Moscow. If there is something, that would certainly be a disqualification criterion for the post of Secretary of Defense.
Rather, Pistorius will have to rely on his leadership skills and his quick wits when he now climbs the rugged mountains of bureaucracy in the Bundeswehr and first gets a quick overview of the many conditions in the troops. Because in Department of Defense After a year, it is now important to catch up with the changed times, to deal with the new necessities in view of a brutally encroaching, imperial Russia.
The fact that Pistorius knows politics from the municipal level up like the back of his hand, that he can talk to anyone in his day-to-day work and party politics, will also make it easier for the 62-year-old lawyer to gain access to soldiers and locations. As far as the internal affairs of the Bundeswehr are concerned, Pistorius is very well prepared for his post and the ministry can look forward to a professional minister.
Because of his duties, his international commitment has been less pronounced, but this is now particularly important in times of war. Pistorius will quickly have to establish new connections here and prove that Germany is serious about its close partnership with its eastern allies and, of course, with its transatlantic friends. The new minister will have his premiere in this international format this week. As far as Scholz is concerned, despite the confusion of the past few days, you have to give him credit for making a sovereign and fundamentally convincing choice after a possibly bumpy selection phase.