Europe’s border in Africa | DW Documentary (Migration documentary)

Europe’s governments are breathing a sigh of relief as the number of refugees arriving from Africa falls. But at what price?

Reporter Shafagh Laghai traces the new wall across Africa, built by the European Union. Her journey begins in Mali, where the mission of the Bundeswehr, Germany’s Armed Forces, is not just to combat terrorism but also to prevent migration. Armies around the world are under pressure, especially as they respond to threats from well beyond their own borders. The German and French armed forces, for example, are involved in a range of missions from Afghanistan to North Africa. In a bid to cut costs, some of their core functions have been outsourced to commercial enterprises. But at what price? War and defense are big business and wherever there are armed forces, the private sector is never far away. For example, Germany’s main military training ground is run by a private munitions firm. Politicians and military leaders lobby for weapons exports all over the world in support of arms manufacturers at home. Former politicians move seamlessly into the arms sector. Our two-part documentary takes us to missions abroad and talks to military, political and business leaders as it investigates just how privatized our defense forces are and what repercussions the links between the business and military worlds might have in the future.

First published: October 23, 2018

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