Germany to launch cyber-military branch to combat Russian threats


Germany is set to introduce a dedicated cyber branch as part of its military restructuring, the German defense minister announced on Thursday, in a bid to combat Russia’s growing cyber aggression towards members of the NATO.

Germany’s expanded Cybersecurity and Information Service (CIR) will become the fourth independent branch of the country’s armed forces.

“Like the army, air force and navy, it has the responsibility to carry out military actions, in the field of cyberspace and information,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement. . statement.

According to Pistorius, the CIR’s responsibilities will include countering hybrid threats such as disinformation and influence operations, as well as carrying out tactical tasks like electronic warfare.

The four branches of the German military will operate under a new central command, which will combine two previously separate commands for domestic and foreign deployments.

The aim of overhauling the German army, or Bundeswehr, is to adapt it to “changing times” and the growing threats posed by Russia.

“Since Russia challenged the European peace order, a situation of particular threat has emerged for Germany and its allies,” Pistorius said.

“No one should have the idea of ​​attacking us as a NATO territory. We must convey this credibly and truthfully,” he said. said journalists at a press conference in Berlin.

According to Pistorius, the Bundeswehr will need an additional $7.06 billion in 2025 to meet NATO’s defense spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product in the coming years.

As a member of NATO and an ally of Ukraine, Germany faces cyber and cyber threats from Russia. Most recently, German political parties have been target by hackers linked to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

Earlier in March, German prosecutors accused a military officer accused of espionage after being caught spying for the Kremlin’s intelligence services.

At the Munich security conference in February, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russia was trying to undermine German support for Ukraine through disinformation and propaganda campaigns on social media.

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