Fig. 1-1: Structure and methodology of the study
The investment package of 100 billion euros defined in the Basic Law by the Special Fund for the Bundeswehr (BwSVerm) will lead to considerable consequential costs resulting from the life cycle of armaments. If one includes the foreseeable costs for the environment and climate in the life cycle analysis, the comparison with the tip of an iceberg is probably apt.1The graphic on the title page is adapted from a similar representation taken from Fabrycky and Blanchard (1998) as a source in Estevan and Schaefer (2017)..
This paper is concerned with an account of the material and human resources that will be tied up in the long term by this investment package. The political intention of militarily defined security inevitably comes into conflict with ecological goals, which are also indebted to human security on a global scale.
This paper is primarily an outline of the problem, the analytical treatment of which could only be abridged in this framework. As a short study, however, all methodological points of departure for more in-depth analyses elsewhere should be taken into account.
- Ch. 2: What will be procured with the investment package?
- Ch. 3: What are the follow-up costs?
- Ch. 4: What are the implications for material resources?
- Ch. 5: How can life cycle assessment be carried out?
- Ch. 6: What are the exemplary effects of armament projects?
- Ch. 7: What long-term perspectives need to be contrasted?
Ch. 2: What will be procured with the investment package?
Chapter 2 provides an overview of current arms expenditure and the envisaged role of the Bundeswehr Special Fund. Large-scale armament projects are to be seen as a combination of foreign policy and industrial policy strategies, regardless of who is to be seen as the primary driver. The projects of the Bundeswehr Special Fund are presented here as a brief overview and in more detail in the appendix.
A critical view of the investment package must also point to long-term motives that are not due to the Ukraine war. It is also relevant here whether a civilian benefit can be discerned in the investment package, at least in part.
Ch. 3: What are the follow-up costs?
Chapter 3 deals with the available methods and strategies for an overall recording of costs of major equipment and infrastructure facilities that arise over their life cycle. The underlying term Life Cycle Costs (LCC) was originally introduced by the US military. As with the ecological analysis in chapter 5, the levels of consideration are:
Comparisons with large-scale civilian projects and large-scale equipment. This makes it possible to shed light on the methods already used there, against which the cost and resource management of Bundeswehr armament projects should be measured.
Management methods in the military in other countries. Several studies on this subject are available in the English-speaking world, which also refer to a methodological application that has already taken place in the long term.
On the basis of the analytically ascertainable internal costs (as military expenditure in the federal budget), the external costs can also be considered, which arise as physical environmental impacts.
Ch. 4: What are the implications for material resources?
Chapter 4 deals with the use of physical resources resulting from the industrial production of military equipment. Two levels of consideration are dealt with here:
First, the available sources and methodological approaches for analysing industrial value chains. In part, albeit very incompletely, data on resource consumption is available from corporate reporting.
Secondly: Defence production particularly requires access to raw materials that are only available to a limited extent globally, which results in sectoral competition.
Ch. 5: How can life cycle assessment be carried out?
Chapter 5 provides a compilation of methodological principles for environmental assessment and existing concepts for reducing pollution.
The recording of greenhouse gases (GHG) plays a central role here. In addition to the values reported for the Bundeswehr, the methodology for recording all indirect GHG impacts on which reduction targets are based is presented.
Essential here are the obligations of the Federal Government based on the Climate Protection Act and the methodological bases available for this, as also applied by the Expert Council on Climate Issues (ERK).
A comprehensive assessment of the armament projects in accordance with the Special Fund for the Armed Forces requires an LCA. This is recorded using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, which goes beyond the LCC approach. As with the LCC methodology, the principle here is a bottom-up approach, i.e. the physical effects of an individual product. Due to the complexity of large-scale defence equipment, however, this can only be applied to a very limited extent.
A more far-reaching, but at the same time different approach has become established under the term Organisational Life Cycle Assessment (O-LCA). Here, a top-down approach is pursued. For the present study, this approach can only be used to a limited extent for two reasons:
Firstly, the scope of the individual data to be considered would go beyond the scope of this study.
Secondly, for reasons of military secrecy, essential individual data on the resources used are not available at all or are only very rudimentary, but this also applies to the bottom-up approach.
Only for these reasons is there a focus on the greenhouse gas impacts that are possible with the reduced O-LCA approach.
The allocation and classification of indirect emissions, which are defined with the Scope 2 and 3 levels, is particularly difficult here. The approaches shown for this are to be understood as an impetus for further discussions and updates. The figures given in this study are at best indicative.
Ch. 6: What are the exemplary effects of armament projects?
Chapter 6 presents examples of several defence projects that are to be implemented through the investment package. The presentation is mainly concerned with available estimates of total costs and the expected consumption of resources, with reference to the basic indications in Chapter 4.
Ch. 7: What long-term perspectives need to be contrasted?
In chapter 7, the internal logic of military rearmament is contrasted with the existing alternative concepts. The extent to which these are in direct contradiction to the investment package must serve as an impetus for a social debate.
Fig. 1-2: References to in-depth presentations on individual chapters