Thursday, September 12, 2019

Germany: the Weak Sister

Of course, no one likes dunking on the German military like the Brits, but strip away the chortling, and this article from SpectatorUK has a few good datapoints to the very sad condition of the military of NATO's central state;
The most recent embarrassment for the Bundeswehr — the grounding of all 53 of its Tiger helicopters this month due to technical faults — is just the latest in a long series of humiliations to have sprung from Ursula von der Leyen’s spell as defence minister.
Christian Democrat Rupert Scholz, who served as Helmut Kohl’s defence minister: ‘The Bundeswehr’s condition is catastrophic. The entire defence capability of the federal republic is suffering.’
...when Germany took control of Nato’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, charged with combatting the threat from Russia. Germanypromised to have 44 Leopard 2 tanks and 14 Marder armoured infantry vehicles available for the task, yet in the event could only muster nine and three respectively.
...for a period from October 2017, when a Type 212A submarine damaged its rudder, none of the country’s six submarines were available for use.
What von der Leyen has done is increase the military budget, which rose sharply last year from €38.5 billion to €43.5 billion. A further €3 billion a year is planned by 2024. But even at that level, Germany will fall well short of its obligation as a Nato member to spend 2 per cent of GDP per year on defence — it will merely take its spending from 1.2 per cent to 1.5 per cent. True, few of Nato’s European member states fulfil this obligation, but of all of them you might expect the continent’s largest economy to be setting an example. Since the end of the Cold War, Germany has found it all too easy to exempt itself, or play only a token part, in joint military operations around the world — its aggressive past serving as a convenient excuse, as if it is telling the world: now, you wouldn’t want a Germany which was flexing its military muscles, would you?
There is no small bit of truth to that last part. With each year, that dated excuse has less bite and its overuse has further degraded its usefulness to almost parody.

Under the CDU/CUS, Germany by acts of commission increased her economic reliance on Russia - as policy - and under-invested on her and NATO's defense. The parties of the left; SDP, Greens, The Left etc most certainly will not promote a stronger defense. AfD and FDP? No.

Germany is a weaker and more fragile partner in the West under what for them is a conservative government. She seems incapable of righting herself any time in the near future - and the rest of the alliance needs to keep that in mind and act accordingly. 

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