The German army is not adequately prepared to meet the new threat. There is a shortage of troops and materials. One of the senior officers sounds the alarm.
Stuttgart – German army officers are usually reluctant to give general information about the combat readiness and equipment of the German army. Army Inspector Alphonse Maes gave up all restraint Thursday morning. Shortly after the start of the major Russian offensive on Ukraine, the general wrote his victim out of his chest on LinkedIn.
“The options we can offer politicians to support the alliance are very limited,” the army chief wrote, referring to NATO. “In my forty-first year of service in peacetime, I could not have imagined that I would have to experience another war. And the German army, which I am allowed to command, is rather empty.”
Army Inspector: I’m angry!
The general openly expressed his outrage at the fact that the political leaders in Berlin did not listen to the warnings from him and the other military: “We all saw that it was coming and we could not get our arguments, the conclusions of the annexation of Crimea. “This is not good! I ate! “
Mies called for the reorganization of the German army with about 180,000 soldiers. “Otherwise we will not be able to implement our constitutional mandate and our alliance commitments with any prospect of success,” he wrote — and warned: “NATO territories are not yet directly threatened, even if our partners in the East feel the ever-increasing pressure.”
neglect of national defense
After the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the Bundeswehr severely neglected its traditional primary task, the defense of the country and the alliance. More and more attention was paid to missions far from Germany – in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East. Soldiers’ training and equipment were adjusted accordingly. The question of how well the Bundeswehr would operate in the far international theaters was more important than equipping it with tanks or howitzers to deter aggressors in Europe.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the disaster of the Afghan mission led to a process of reversal, but so far it has had little practical effect. Shortly before the army inspector, the new defense minister had already taken the oath of revelation.
Defense Minister in the “limits of possibilities”
The Bundeswehr had just brought a few hundred soldiers to Lithuania – as part of what’s called NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP). Also present: NBC’s Artillery and Defense Forces, Engineers, Military Police, Logistics and Medical Services.
Last weekend, Christine Lambrecht (SPD) said the troop relocation proceeded quickly because its capabilities are still available. But if there are other tasks to secure the eastern borders of NATO, they will “reach the limits of my capabilities as Secretary of Defense.”
Lambrecht emphasized that the commitment should be “financially backed,” with a view to the upcoming budget deliberations in the federal government. Defense spending must be increased in order for Germany to remain a “trusted partner” within NATO. Last year, the defense budget was around 47 billion euros – 2.8 percent higher than it was in 2020.
Chancellor Schultz promises greater commitment
Lambrecht said she hopes to secure the support of Chancellor Olaf Schultz in the upcoming budget negotiations. At the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Schulz himself reiterated his willingness to participate further. “I listened carefully to the chancellor” – and added a warning herself: It would certainly be difficult to enforce this because there are other challenges such as the Corona pandemic or the fight against climate change, the minister explained.
However, now that the Russo-Ukrainian war has begun, the question of which challenge is most pressing must be answered again.