Ten years ago, the German government decided about the involvement in the ‘war on terror’ and his Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the intervention in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). This decision based on the resolutions 1368, 1378, 1383 and 1386 of the Security Council of the United Nation from November and December 2001. These resolutions legitimated the general conditions for the intervention from the perspective of the international law. Therefore also Germany’s participation in the war in terms of the system of a reciprocal collective security referred to article 24 of the German Basic Law (2006, p. 22). However, why voted Germany’s government for the deployment of military forces to Afghanistan? The initiative for the intervention came from the United States as reaction to the terrorist attacks from September 2001 to ensure the status as hegemonic power (Buro, 2009, p. 10). But civil war and terrorist networks were not at all a new phenomenon in Afghanistan. The German motives which entail the decision to be part of the OEF and the ISAF are the main research topics for this paper. Moreover, it intends to analyse the decision-making process for Germany’s participation in the war according to the methodological approach of ‘Bureaucratic Politics’, explained by Graham Allison (2008). To guarantee a solid understanding of this complex process, this paper will analyse all three models of Allison’s approach. It seems necessary related to Germany’s political system, in which organisations as well as individuals are closely linked as essential part of the policy and therefore influential actors in the decision-making process of the government. In this context numerous official documents from the German Bundestag, several parties and organizations as well as articles from newspapers and journals permit the reconstruction of this process. Subsequently, this decision will be analyzed and compared on the basis of the theoretical approaches of neo-realism and neo-liberalism to analyse Germany’s ambitions for relative and absolute gains, to define the legitimacy of this war and explain Germany’s rational choice through two of the most dominant theories in International Relations.
The methodological approach of ‘Bureaucratic Politics’
To facilitate a better understanding of the decision-making process in governments, Allison established in his work “Essence of Decisions” (2008) an approach of three different frames to explain the outcome from various prospects: Firstly, the Rational Actor Model (Model I) which explains the actor’s choice as “the alternative that best advances his interests” (p. 223). Moreover, it labelled the national government as ‘black box’ and unified actor to argue that the focus of this model lies just on the decision as output. Secondly, the Organizational Behaviour Model (Model II) focuses “on the existing organizations and their standard operating procedures” (p....