Germany’s Military Intelligence Service Seeks Expanded Powers Amid Russian Concerns

Germany’s Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) could soon gain expanded authority to safeguard itself from potential infiltration by adversaries, particularly Russia, according to the news outlet Welt.

Citing a draft bill concerning the expansion of MAD’s powers, Welt stated that the agency aims to utilize its enhanced intelligence capabilities beyond German military bases during overseas missions. Furthermore, it seeks the ability to monitor not only its own personnel but also foreign nationals by intercepting communications and employing informants.

The German Defense Ministry is reportedly seeking these additional powers to bolster MAD in light of the “turning point” previously outlined by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, referring to the evolving political landscape in Europe and the perceived threat from Russia.

“The amendment grants the Military Counterintelligence Service the necessary powers to protect the Bundeswehr against espionage and sabotage by foreign powers, as well as against extremist attempts at infiltration from within its own ranks, even during foreign missions,” a ministry spokesperson told the outlet, noting that the new legislation is expected to come into force this year.

The German Defense Ministry’s urgency in passing this bill stems from the planned deployment of a “war-ready brigade” of approximately 5,000 troops on NATO’s eastern flank in Lithuania, close to the borders with Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad Region, by the end of 2027. Germany dispatched an advance military team to the Baltic nation in April.

According to the ministry spokesperson, the existing legal framework hinders MAD’s ability to counter Russian infiltration attempts, as the secret service is currently restricted to operating within German barracks and only against its own soldiers during foreign missions.

Moscow has condemned Germany’s plans for a permanent presence in Lithuania, claiming that such a move represents the “continuation of escalating tensions and creating pockets of danger” for Russia along its border, which would necessitate “special measures to ensure our own security.”

Russia has consistently maintained that it poses no threat to any NATO member states and has no intentions or interest in attacking any European nations. Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed such allegations as “bulls**t” being promoted by Western officials for their own political gain.