For the first time ever, the Bundeswehr is preparing joint exercises with the police to face terrorist scenarios in Germany. But despite conservative pressure, this decision will not require a constitutional amendment.

Point four of the nine-point plan that Angela Merkel presented on Thursday to deal with potential terrorism suggested that Germany had crossed a significant psychological threshold. From now on, the chancellor said, the German military would operate on German soil in the event of a major terrorist attack – in cooperation with the police.

As if to back up the promise, the Defense Ministry confirmed on Friday morning that preparation for joint army and police anti-terror exercises would begin in August. The DPA news agency reported that Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is to meet with Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and three state interior ministers to hash out the details of the new cooperation.

A Defense Ministry spokeswoman confirmed to DW that the meeting was being planned for the end of next month, but made clear that the scale or nature of the exercises were yet to be agreed. “The idea is to confirm the details and the scenarios of what such exercises could be like,” she said. “But there are no details yet. The aim is to hold such an exercise before the end of the year.”

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