Germany’s armed forces full of flaws, parliamentary report says

  • Martin Macq
  • 26.2.2018 13:05

Hans-Peter Bartels, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, presented on 20 February a report on the German armed forces worrying poor shape. While Germany is committing to take on more responsibility in NATO, its armed forces have to still cope with serious equipment and personnel shortages, significantly reducing its readiness to fulfill its commitments and plans.

Bartels points out that only a fraction of the crucial weapons system is operational while some 21,000 positions are vacant within the German army. As the country will head the NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in Eastern Europe from 2019 and take part in 13 foreign missions in the coming years, including Mali or Iraq, investment in military capabilities are urgent, stressed Bartels. General Volker Wieker, Germany’s Chief of Defence, assures the armed forces will be able to fulfil all its commitments, although the government failed to provide the necessary financial backing. The armed forces situation of the biggest EU member state raises concerns for EU collective defence. Even with the planned increase of €5.4 billion by 2021 in the defence budget, Germany will still only spend 1.15% of its GDP in defence, far below from the NATO’s 2025 target of 2% of GDP.  

About author: Martin Macq

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