And how did this request for a stronger German leadership of Nato come about? It was after Russia recaptured Crimea, a move that led Berlin to a strategic reorientation of its global policy. Till then, what the federal government had in mind in terms of military operations, especially in wars in distant lands – were the following:
interventions to install or stabilize pro-Western governments (for example, in Afghanistan or in Mali); and
measures aimed at “maintaining free trade and access, with no strings attached, to markets and raw materials all over the world”.
The government had already articulated its thinking in its 1992 Guidelines for the Defense Policy . However, post-1992, the situation changed. As states like China and Russia “experienced an increasing influence on the economic, political and military plane”, a “multipolar world” is now in its gestation period. According to a recent White Book of the Bundeswehr (the German Unified Armed Forces), in this new world “competing conceptions of how the international political order should be structured” could emerge.
Thus, Russia “is presenting itself as an independent sphere with its own “pull factor” and a global vision”.  German strategists consider that this fact manifests itself clearly and unambiguously when Russia reseized Crimea. When Moscow insists on operating “independently” in terms of foreign policy, the White Book indicates that this is a “challenge for the security of our continent”.
But the multinational divisions that are emerging are not limited to Nato interventions. SWP reaffirms that formally “only the armed forces of Nato members” participate and these forces can freely decide on their stationing. We consider that these forces would give priority to participating in Nato interventions; but “in theory”, combat formations could also be used “in EU operations” . “Faced with the shocks that took place in the transatlantic relation”, multinational divisions “have an importance that stretches beyond the Alliance”.
On this premise, continuing on this trajectory, the Bundeswehr would become “one of the most important armies on the continent”. The SWP writers conclude: “now it seems even more urgent that the debate on the growth of Germany’s importance in Nato and in Europe, offers a bigger place to Berlin”.
Finally, the extremely ambitious project for constructing multinational divisions requires a “determined leadership” - and “by Germany”.
Read complete report: Berlin, we recommend you: Grab the Nato bull by its horns!, by German Foreign Policy