The German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND): Evolution and Current Policy Issues

Wolfgang Krieger

in The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195375886
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND): Evolution and Current Policy Issues

Show Summary Details


This article discusses German's foreign intelligence services through the context of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). Unlike other intelligence services of other nations, Germany has no separate military intelligence. The BND serves as Germany's sole foreign and military espionage agency. It also does not have an acknowledged capacity of covert operations compared to the intelligence agencies of other nations. The BND was established in 1956 as part of the West German rearmament within the NATO framework; however, by the time of its establishment the Bonn government had already abandoned its previous efforts to build a military intelligence organization from scratch and with people of its own. Because of this, the BND was under American operational control during the Cold War and German intelligence professionals have served as mercenaries for the Americans over a period of ten years, giving Americans an unique intelligence asset inside the West German government. In this article, the discussions include the evolution of the BND and the current issues faced by the German intelligence services.

Keywords: foreign intelligence services; Bundesnachrichtendienst; Germany; foreign agency; military espionage agency; German intelligence; Americans; West German government

Article.  7902 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.