Germany's cabinet has approved plans to increase Berlin's contribution to the mission in Mali. If passed by the Bundestag, 330 more soldiers will be deployed to help train Malian forces and give logisitical aid.
German naval ships have been ordered to sink migrant ships in the Mediterranean after rescuing passengers, according to a report. Bundeswehr rules also call for rescued migrants to sleep on ship decks.
Germany is reported to be planning to expand a training mission for Kurdish fighters battling "Islamic State" militants in Iraq. Germany is already supporting the Kurds with weapons and other military equipment.
Opposition party members say a planned Bundeswehr training mission to Iraq lacks a clear mandate and violates the constitution. The government counters that it's answering calls for aid from Baghdad - and the UN.
The German government has voted in favor of plans to aid Afghan forces when the NATO-led ISAF mission withdraws at the end of the month. Steinmeier said 2015 would "open up a new chapter" for Afghanistan.