For the first time in its history, the Bundeswehr’s 102-page document – kept under wraps – shows how social trends and international conflicts could influence future German security policy.

The report called “Strategic Forecast 2040” was published by the head of the Ministry of Defence at the end of February this year but was kept secret. It has now been seen by the German weekly newspaper Der Spiegel.

The confidential report outlines six scenarios for how social trends and international conflicts are likely to play out and influence German security. It includes a worst-case scenario in which the EU unravels and Germany is forced into a “reactive mode”.

The study sets the framework in which the Bundeswehr is likely to encounter challenges, but the paper does not provide estimates for equipment and strength. While the document expressly makes no prognosis, all scenarios are “plausible with the 2040 time horizon” the authors maintain.

The simulations were developed by scientists of the Federal Armed Forces Planning Office.

In one of the six scenarios “The EU in Disintegration and Germany in Reactive Mode”, the authors assume a “multiple confrontations”. The future projection describes a world in which the international order erodes after “decades of instability”, the value systems worldwide diverge and globalisation comes to an end.

“The EU enlargement has been largely abandoned, other states have left the community Europe has lost its global competitiveness,” the Bundeswehr strategists state. “The increasingly disorderly, sometimes chaotic and conflict-prone world has dramatically changed the security environment of Germany and Europe.”

In the fifth scenario “West to the East”, some eastern EU countries are no longer interested in pursuing European integration while others have “joined the Eastern bloc”.

In the fourth scenario “Multipolar competition”, extremism is on the rise and there are EU partners who “even occasionally seem to seek a specific approach to Russia’s state capitalist model“.

Last year, billionaire financier George Soros said Brexit had made an eventual dissolution of the 28 member bloc “practically irreversible”.