Years of Underfunding and Overuse Have Stretched Germany’s Military Thin

Soldiers in the German Army attend a military parade ceremony marking the 99th anniversary of the Lithuanian military on Armed Forces Day, Vilnius, Lithuania, Nov. 24, 2017 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).
Soldiers in the German Army attend a military parade ceremony marking the 99th anniversary of the Lithuanian military on Armed Forces Day, Vilnius, Lithuania, Nov. 24, 2017 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).

A report released on Feb. 20 by the parliamentary commissioner for Germany’s armed forces revealed serious deficiencies in the military’s readiness, with many weapons systems nonoperational and 21,000 officer positions vacant. The state of the German military raises concerns for NATO and its response force, the effectiveness of which has gained new urgency since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014. In an email interview, Patrick Keller, coordinator for foreign and security policy at Konrad-Adenaur-Stiftung in Berlin, explains how Germany’s military got to this state, and what it will take to get its house in order. WPR: How concerning for Germany […]

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