On the Burden of Running the Department of Defense – Culture
Scharping, Guttenberg, Lambrecht: There is hardly a nicer way to stumble than at the head of the Ministry of Defense in Berlin.
Defense ministers are best remembered for their scandals. Or at least one connects their names with errors from their tenure. It has never been different in the last thirty years. The only exception is Peter Struck, who was credited with bringing calm back not only to the troops in his pipe-smoking, blustering way after his predecessor Rudolf Scharping’s years at the baths. In addition, Struck, together with the general’s son Thomas de Maizière and Volker Rühe, was one of the few defense ministers since reunification who were also intensely interested in security policy and even military matters. The officials of the last few legislative periods in particular were mostly more interested in themselves and/or their subsequent assignment, as it is called in the military, than in the Ministry of Defence.