100 billion for the army – Corriere.it

From Paolo Valentino

Berlin says yes to the $100 billion special fund for the Bundeswehr, and the constitution has also been changed. Here’s What You’ll Buy (and Why It Might Not Be Enough)

from our reporter
BERLIN – When Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense in the first Reagan administration, was asked on the basis of what criteria he wanted to spend the large appropriations for rearmament decided upon by the president, the Pentagon chief replied: More of everything. Christine Lambrecht, Germany’s defense minister, could say the same, more about everything, Now that the Bundesrat, the upper house of the Federal Parliament, has given the final green light for the €100 billion special fund to strengthen and modernize the German army.. Huge amount, to adopt any It was necessary to change the constitution With the majority of national unity, The largest rearmament operation in the last 70 years of German history. are aligned withChancellor Olaf Schultz has pledged to devote at least 2% of GDP to defense in the futureThus respecting the goal agreed upon by the Allies in NATO.

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For years, after the end of the Cold War, Germany has been the target of criticism for its military spending economy. Long before Donald Trump and his mantra Angela, you have to pay, the United States unsuccessfully asked Berlin to take its fair share of collective defense. Barack Obama even talked about parasites that exploit US security guarantees.

backward army

The 2 percent target set at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014 has remained a dead letter, although since 2015, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea,German military spending increased without exceeding 1.5% of GDP. Especially in years Gross Qualification Between Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU and the SPD, a party with a strong pacifist orientation, the defense has always been a Cinderella of the federal budget. The result was that the German army was in dire straits. In a speech to the Bundestag in April, Minister Lambrecht made it clear Only 150 of the 350 Puma tanks supplied to the army are in service, while only 9 of the 50 Tiger attack helicopters are capable of flying.. In NATO exercises, colleagues from other countries taunt German soldiers for still using outdated analog radios, while their combat helmets are 30 years old and new ones, ordered for years, never arrived.

The turning point

According to a recent parliamentary report, There is also a shortage of ammo and those available will only be enough for an eight-day campaign. The Russian invasion of Ukraine turned everything upside down, because it exposed the disastrous state of the defense apparatus, which hampers the German ability to supply Kyiv with weapons, but above all because it profoundly changed the public perception: happy Germans surrounded by friends says Eckhard Bruce, head of the Federal Academy for Security Policy They are dedicated to making money and are not at all worried about security. The fact that according to a survey conducted by Der SpiegelAnd the 78 percent of the population support Schultz and his government’s decision to create a $100 billion special fund.

future expenses

The shopping list, which we illustrate in the graph, demonstrates the new Germany’s will to improve its contribution to NATO’s strategic plans, at least to those already decided by NATO, for which there is no funding yet. but actually, According to many experts, even 100 billion will not be enough to allow Berlin to take full responsibility in the European security architecture. Also because the idea of ​​reintroducing the debt brake into the budget in 2023, pursued by Finance Minister Christian Lindner, will make it difficult to respect the target of spending at least 2% of GDP on defence in the future, if not more. every year.

Jun 13, 2022 (change on Jun 13, 2022 | 7:39 am)

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