In view of new threats, the German Bundeswehr Association is calling for an increase in troop personnel. Chancellor Scholz is also expected at the Bundeswehr conference in Berlin.
The chairman of the German Bundeswehr Association, André Wüstner, is quickly calling for more personnel for the troops in view of new and complex threats to the country.
“The Bundeswehr must stop the downward trend in terms of personnel by the end of next year at the latest. If this does not succeed, the operational readiness on the timeline threatens to fall to a level that would hardly be justifiable,” warned Wüstner in the “Rheinische Post” before the Bundeswehr conference that begins today.
The Bundeswehr must become combat-ready
Wüstner welcomed recent statements by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) that the Bundeswehr must become combat-ready again. It’s good that Pistorius calls a spade a spade. “Germany must become capable of war again in order to be able to credibly deter and, in extreme cases, defend itself,” emphasized Wüstner.
Pistorius and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) are also expected at the Bundeswehr conference on Friday. “The fact that the Chancellor is coming again is an expression of a new appreciation, which is certainly related to our world in transition,” emphasized the head of the association. “I also expect clear messages from the Chancellor that the traffic light coalition is crystal clear in its commitment to the troops despite all the challenges.
This also includes a clear commitment to the two percent target and how he wants to achieve this apart from a special fund.” It is clear to everyone that the special fund of 100 billion euros can only be the beginning of the investments. “We will probably have more than two in the future percent of the gross domestic product must be invested in the Bundeswehr in order to be able to defend itself,” Wüstner continued.
The Bundestag is deliberating
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Scholz declared that Germany would immediately invest two percent of its gross domestic product in the Bundeswehr and also set up a debt-financed special fund of 100 billion euros for the modernization of the troops. Pistorius estimates that the special fund will be used up in 2027/2028. Two percent would then mean around 20 percent more money for the defense budget than today, the minister recently emphasized.
The Bundestag is also discussing the financing of the Bundeswehr today. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group has submitted a proposal for this. In it, the Union calls on the federal government to spend two percent of the gross domestic product on defense in accordance with the NATO agreement and to only include “undoubtedly” defense-related expenses. In addition, the defense budget in 2024 is to be increased by ten billion euros compared to 2023.
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