The German Minister of Defense officially announced the dissolution of the second company of Special Forces Unit (KSK, the release of hostages in war zones, special intelligence, etc.) of the Bundeswehr due to far-right extremism within its ranks
Germany’s defense minister on Wednesday disbanded a unit of the country’s elite commando force, known as the KSK, following an official report earlier this year that found far-right extremism within its ranks.
In January, a report by Germany’s Military Counterintelligence Service revealed that some 500 soldiers in the German military, or Bundeswehr, were being investigated for far-right extremism. It noted that 20 of those cases involved soldiers who were part of the Command Special Forces, or KSK – an anti-terrorism and hostage rescue unit with approximately 1,300 soldiers.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the KSK had created a “wall of secrecy” around itself and she told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Tuesday that the elite force had developed a “toxic leadership culture” and “cannot continue to exist in its present form.”
Some of the 70 soldiers from the disbanded company would be reassigned to one of the KSK’s three other combat companies, Kramp-Karrenbauer said.
“We will give the KSK time to press the reset button,” she said.
However, Kramp-Karrenbauer insisted “we need the KSK.”
“The vast majority of the men and women in the KSK and in the Bundeswehr as a whole are loyal to our constitution, with no ifs or buts,” she said.