BERLIN, KOMPAS.com – The German defense minister said he had ordered the dissolution of some of the elite commando troops, the KSK, which continued to be criticized for the influence of right-wing extremism in his ranks.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told a newspaper that some of the KSK troops were acting independently of the German military command chain.
Last May, German police confiscated explosives and weapons at the home of a KSK soldier.
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Then in January, military intelligence said there were nearly 600 suspected right-wing supporters in the army last year.
They also said the KSK (Special Forces Command) was a special problem, because there were 20 members suspected of being right-wing extremists.
The KSK has “become partially independent” from the chain of command, with a “toxic leadership culture”, Kramp-Karrenbauer told the newspaper southgerman newspaper.
Kramp-Karrenbauer formed a working group last May to examine this issue, and the team presented its findings report on Tuesday (1/7/2020).
The existence of the CWC “cannot be continued with the current form” and must be “better integrated into armed forces [angkatan bersenjata Jerman]”, the report said, as quoted by the news agency AFP.
One of the four companies in the elite force, whose extremism is called the most violent, will be dissolved and will not be replaced, the minister said.
“Anyone who turns into a right-wing extremist has no place in the Bundeswehr and must leave it,” he told German radio.
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KSK operations will be transferred to other units, and they will not take part in international training and missions until further notice.
Kramp-Karrenbauer further said the latest findings – including the loss of 48,000 ammunition and 62 kilograms of explosives – were “disturbing” and “alarming”.
Internal investigations will be carried out to determine whether the items were stolen or lost due to a careless accounting system, he said.
German Special Forces Command (KSK) was established in 1996, and has around 1,000 trained soldiers to handle crisis situations, for example freeing hostages abroad, which at that time was not possible without the help of troops from other countries.
Problems in the military body marked by the rise of support for right-wing groups, emerged in 2017.
Inspections were ordered in all military barracks when Nazi-era memorabilia was discovered in two barracks.
Many of the soldiers were suspected of having links with the right wing and were considered sympathetic to Germany’s main opposition party, the AfD.
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