Austria's Commitment to International Peace Missions Remains Upright

PeopleOther ♦ Published: October 29, 2023; 20:50 ♦ (Vindobona)

On National Day, the Council of Ministers announced an important decision: The foreign deployments of the Austrian Armed Forces will be further extended. With this decision, Austria underscores its commitment to stability, security, and peace in various crisis regions around the globe.

Peace support and peacekeeping operations are important tasks within the international community, which the Austrian Armed Forces would like to continue to perform in the future. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons /6jgbrig ÖÄ & KOMM, CC BY-SA 3.0

Currently, around 800 Austrian soldiers are deployed in 16 different foreign missions to ensure stability in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus region. In doing so, they work under the banner of various international organizations such as the UN, the EU, NATO, and the OSCE. The reinforcement forces of the Austrian Armed Forces are also available for international tasks in Austria.

For example, soldiers perform their foreign service in Austria's three major foreign missions under the leadership of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, under NATO leadership in the Kosovo Mission, and in the UN Blue Helmet Mission in Lebanon. Since the beginning of the 1990s, foreign missions - after military national defense - have been among the main tasks of the Austrian Armed Forces.

Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner stressed the high priority of international peacekeeping missions for the Austrian military: "In addition to military national defense, international peacekeeping missions are a central component of our security policy responsibility." She added that meeting global challenges is only possible through international cooperation and praised the commitment and reliability of Austrian servicemen and women in these missions.

Since 1960, more than 100,000 Austrian men and women have been active in more than 100 different missions abroad. These missions have not only strengthened Austria's international role but have also had a lasting impact on the military organization and training of the Austrian Armed Forces.

Austria's international commitments go beyond military deployments. As a member of numerous international organizations, the country is actively engaged in peacekeeping efforts, whether through diplomacy, economic initiatives, or humanitarian assistance. In recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War, the number of international missions in which Austria participates has increased significantly. In addition to classic peace missions, humanitarian disaster relief missions are playing an increasingly important role.

The ongoing deployment of hundreds of soldiers in the service of peace demonstrates Austria's strong commitment to a more stable and secure world. By extending the foreign deployments of the Austrian Armed Forces, the country reaffirms its position as a reliable partner in the international community and underscores its willingness to actively contribute to overcoming global challenges.

Austrian Armed Forces