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Only 4 Of Germany's 128 Eurofighter Jets Combat Ready


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Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.

 

Or disband them and spent the money on social security and health care. Any asset that you have no intention to use, is just a waste.

 

The simple fact is that no political party:

 

- actually wants to use the forces in a real shooting conflict

- intends to fund them to a level that would make them a credible asset

- it is only a tool to fund the German defence industry

 

 

Your argument is basically saying there is no point in having a police force unless you plan to arrest people. Yes, but...

 

The Central European powers are all enjoying the benefits the peripheral powers have been paying for their security. Its a simple choice, either you man up and play a role, or you can witness your own security go down the toilet. There is a smug belief that the next 25 years of European security is going to look like the last 25, and I for one am wondering where this belief comes from, because Its clearly not supported by any evidence.

 

 

It is not an argument it is a simple, it is a simple observation of facts. There is no political will in Germany to take defence seriously, there is no political will to use the armed forces in conflict and there is no political will to fund them for other purposes than to support the industry. With that in mind, I believe that every Euro spent on the armed forces is money wasted, as it serves no purpose.

 

 

Well there are German forces in the Baltics right now so let's not get carried away with it.

 

 

And all they do is air policing and flag waving. The whole Bundeswehr has no operational value and adds no value to NATO by being unwilling and unable to really contribute anything. The Dutch armed forces have a higher operational value. One could scrap the Navy, most of the Air Force and then concentrate the Army as a heavily mechanized force including SAM systems and mobile AAA only intended for the defence of NATO and Germany. That way they would add more value to NATO than today, because they would cover a core capability that others (Uk for example) might disband.

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And all they do is air policing and flag waving. The whole Bundeswehr has no operational value and adds no value to NATO by being unwilling and unable to really contribute anything. The Dutch armed forces have a higher operational value. One could scrap the Navy, most of the Air Force and then concentrate the Army as a heavily mechanized force including SAM systems and mobile AAA only intended for the defence of NATO and Germany. That way they would add more value to NATO than today, because they would cover a core capability that others (Uk for example) might disband.

One could, but why would one do that? If Germany believes that real conventional threats from Russia exists,then it needs to have a military capable of responding to full array of conventional threats. Wouldn't want to end up without an Air Force just because Spain is having a constitutional crisis and is unable to deploy, for example. If not, what's the point of investing in "heavy mechanized Bundeswehr"?

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The Bundeswehr itself maintains the position, of course, that it wants to be a "complete force" that can take on any task (not of any magnitude, mind you). I don't think they're giving up the airforce or the navy for that reason alone, even if that means that money constraints reduce the actual capabilities to policing in foreign shitholes.

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And all they do is air policing and flag waving. The whole Bundeswehr has no operational value and adds no value to NATO by being unwilling and unable to really contribute anything. The Dutch armed forces have a higher operational value. One could scrap the Navy, most of the Air Force and then concentrate the Army as a heavily mechanized force including SAM systems and mobile AAA only intended for the defence of NATO and Germany. That way they would add more value to NATO than today, because they would cover a core capability that others (Uk for example) might disband.

One could, but why would one do that? If Germany believes that real conventional threats from Russia exists,then it needs to have a military capable of responding to full array of conventional threats. Wouldn't want to end up without an Air Force just because Spain is having a constitutional crisis and is unable to deploy, for example. If not, what's the point of investing in "heavy mechanized Bundeswehr"?

 

 

There is the other way of looking at it, nations having small capablities are still useful as flagwaving units. In that, though the Netherlands might have a small airforce, just contributing 4 to an air policing role means that its fully committed to a NATO burdensharing, which is important politically. So yes, you are right, it does have a value for deterrence purposes. Whether that is actually worth what it costs whenmight actually provide more useable military assets is the point Im beginning to question.

 

Ultimately NATO depends on a US response to be viable, so all countries playing a role in it clearly have a utility for political signalling. The problem is no arising when we cannot take America honoring its commitments to quite the certainty we once did. At which point, it commends committing more resources to capability and concentrating on specific roles, than just elemental units of little more use than flagwaving.

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According to surveys, top threats to Germany are ISIS, climate change and cyberattacks. Conventional adversaries like Russia or China are considered to be threats by very few. It’s no wonder Bundeswher is funded at essentially starvation levels.

 

That's from pollster Allensbach's 2018 Security Report in February, in which 74 percent named the IS as as possible threat to German security, 48 percent the conflict with North Korea, 37 the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, 29 percent Israel-Palestine, 28 percent the Syrian civil war, 20 percent Saudi Arabia-Iran, 19 percent the Taleban, 16 percent various civil wars in Africa. Which is not wrong in the physical sense (except that three months on, Korea looks quite different, showing how rapidly situations might be re-assessed); some random guy who pledged allegiance to the IS is far more likely to commit an attack in Germany than the Ukrainian conflict spilling over on German territory, though of course there are different ways to look at this.

 

More interesting are the countries who are considered a threat to world peace: North Korea 73 percent, the US 40 (which is high even by nutty German peacenik standards, part of the Trump effect; 49 percent don't consider the US a trustworthy partner at this point while only 24 percent expressively do); Iran 37, Turkey 33, Syria 30, Russia 28. As usual there's some difference between West and East Germans - of the former, 38 percent consider the US and 32 Russia a threat to world peace, of the latter 48 and 15 percent respectively. OTOH, trust in NATO has grown from a low of 32 percent in 2007 to 45 (48 of West, 35 of East Germans).

 

At the same time, fear of a war involving Germany has declined from a peak of 24 percent overall in 2016 to 18, which is 2014-level (pre-Ukraine, it used to be 15-16). Future personal risks people worry much more about are poverty in old age (77 percent), natural disasters (74), corporate abuse of personal data (71), terror attacks (69), care dependency or dementia in old age (68), internet data theft (67), violent crime (52) and property crime (49). Overall, personal fears are at a seven-year low, mostly due to a decline of economic worries (loss of income, inflation, unemployment). If asked about what the government should spend more money on, people mostly say schools (76 percent), families with kids (72), healthcare (70), police (69), pensions (64) and traffic infrastructure (56); only 27 percent mention the Bundeswehr.

 

So folks are much more interested in domestic than external security, which many don't seem to connect. In fact trust in the Bundeswehr has declined from 53 percent in 2011 to 45, which is probably in part a self-inflicted wound by Defense Minister von der Leyen due to her utter mishandling of armed forces "scandals" in recent years, but also because of the frequent reports about lack of equipment and capabilities; only 22 percent judge the state of the Bundeswehr as good, 41 less than good, 22 not good at all. It's paradoxical then of course that so few want more money for it, but it's just not particularly high on people's priority list.

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According to surveys, top threats to Germany are ISIS, climate change and cyberattacks. Conventional adversaries like Russia or China are considered to be threats by very few. It’s no wonder Bundeswher is funded at essentially starvation levels.

That's from pollster Allensbach's 2018 Security Report in February, in which 74 percent named the IS as as possible threat to German security, 48 percent the conflict with North Korea, 37 the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, 29 percent Israel-Palestine, 28 percent the Syrian civil war, 20 percent Saudi Arabia-Iran, 19 percent the Taleban, 16 percent various civil wars in Africa. Which is not wrong in the physical sense (except that three months on, Korea looks quite different, showing how rapidly situations might be re-assessed); some random guy who pledged allegiance to the IS is far more likely to commit an attack in Germany than the Ukrainian conflict spilling over on German territory, though of course there are different ways to look at this.

 

My numbers were from a 2017 Pew survey, but yours are in line - this is clearly a legitimate expression of German mindset right now.
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My hat is off to Angela Merkel; I mean, really, I have never seen such a deep-run sabotage operation run by the eastern bloc nations pay off quite like she has. During her tenure she has weakened Germany to the point where a firm shove from the Russians would collapse the entire country. Well done, Comrade Young Pioneer!

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My hat is off to Angela Merkel; I mean, really, I have never seen such a deep-run sabotage operation run by the eastern bloc nations pay off quite like she has. During her tenure she has weakened Germany to the point where a firm shove from the Russians would collapse the entire country. Well done, Comrade Young Pioneer!

 

Disregarding the rest of this loony rant, where and with what should they shove to effect that?

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Though in fairness, the low point of the German defense budget was in 2000 with about 23 billion Euro (from a high of 28 in 1991). It remained in the ballpark until 2009 with 26 billion, then rose by 50 percent over eight years at essentially zero inflation to currently 39 billion, and is planned to reach 44 by 2021 (not including any additional raises demanded by the defense minister). As a share of the overall national budget, it dropped from second place behind social affairs to third behind debt service in 1994, but that reversed from 2012 - though mostly because debt service decreased sharply as a function of the Euro crisis. In fact the share of defense has generally stayed at about ten to twelve percent since 1993, dropping from about 20 in the 1975-1989 timeframe.

 

I also played with historical inflation numbers, and in adjusted virtual Euros, 39 billion in 2018 only correspond to reaching about the 1971 level of defense spending again (around 11 billion). Which doesn't say very much about capabilities actually - the Bundeswehr was of course much bigger but also much cheaper per soldier and system back then, with nowhere near today's combat power per capita - but it shows the dimension in time. Most of all, you don't roll back two decades of austerity with accumulated gaps in a couple years, particularly if procurement still doesn't exceed 30 percent of total spending versus expenditures for personnel and maintenance/upkeep.

 

 

1280px-Verteidigungsetat_Deutschlands_19

 

Edited by BansheeOne
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And of course the Bundeswehr in 2000 still has substantially useable equipment. The only old kit it had was the Marder, which still had over a decade of life left in it. Now, all of its aging. Even that outstanding gun the PH2000 is 2 decades old.

 

Its the same problem with the UK. We coasted 2 decades without substantial investment in military equipment, because it was mostly new at the end of the cold war. We had the warrior in 1989. The AS90 about 1990-94, Challenger 2 from 1996-99. All that had been essentially paid for by 1994 when we had the big defence review which cut expenditure at 2 percent on defence. But of course, now we need to invest in a new generation of equipment after having spent a decade in the war on terror. And now we have to fork out on big ticket items we deferred for overa decade its not helped by an entire generation of soldiers thoughtlessly getting older and straining the MOD pension system. :D

 

The point is, you can coast for quite a long time on not buying new equipment and renewing, but that price will come back to bite you sooner or later. And when it does, you often have very little to show for some substantial expenditure. Look how much effort it took the US military all through the 1970s on renewing equipment. It only started to pay off by the 1980s. And they were able to coast quite comfortably for 2 decades on that expenditure, before they again started to find themselves in a hole they have difficulty digging themselves out of.

 

It would be nice if Politicians learned these lessons, but that is surely expecting too much.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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"The politician" is acting rationally with a coasting strategy, if you look at his personal career. Voters usually don't reward military spending unless there's an obvious, undeniable crisis (at which point it is too late, usually), so if you decide to coast, chances are that it's going to be someone else's problem a few years down the road, when you're probably working on something entirely different.

Budget planners in the army have to deal with the budget that they are being given, and try to minimize the damage that budget cuts could potentially do. If the cuts are becoming serious/if the coasting is maintained for too long, you start with malicious compliance, like "we don't need to pay for AMRAAM maintenance; by the time these missiles expire, we'll have Meteor - according to this 100% reliable plan". Of course you then take a big risk with banking the nation's air defense capability on some other procurement project's fate, but what if the alternative would be something irreversible?

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We see this coasting strategy in many areas in the UK. For example, in the early 2010's everyone stopped funding maintenance of the roads, the calculation being the economy would recover or they would be out of power long before the road network deteriorated. Now where I live the roads are like a tank proving ground, and its an entirely different series of politicians having to fork out over the odds to put the problem right. :D

 

Its happened at least 3 times in defence in the UK in my lifetime. The first time was actually in the 1980s. There was much made for the Thatcher weapons buildup, and in some areas its true, it was very impressive. What they dont tell you is that by the late 1980s increasingly large chunks of the Royal Navy were tied up, partly I suspect because they have been overused in the same decade (Falklands, Armilla patrol etc) but also that the same service was funding the bulk of the development of the Vanguard ballistic missile submarine. Something the Royal Navy found as a problem all the way back to the 1960s when they funded the Polaris boats, but it always seems to come as a surprise.

 

Even the US military had some of the same issues in the 1970s. You can read Admiral Zumwalts memoirs, and read of the desperation to remove WW2 era warships from the inventory, to free up funds to develop the next series of warships, some of which, the Spruances, were some of the best frigates they ever had. It still caused immense pain and straining of resources throughout the 70s to do it.

 

So ive distinct sympathy with some of the German Military's problems. They are not of their making. What is harder to understand is the political culture. Is it just the political left in Germany playing these games, or is it across the board? Is there nobody who can take leadership, and perhaps subtly change Germany's direction like Japan's Shinzo Abe? Or must we rely on the French to save us next time. :)

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Well, I've also heard positive estimations (not the least from British mil intelligence officers) in that Germany, unlike other NATO members, was at least not only acknowledging a new strategic situation in Europe post Krim-annexation, but that there were also tangible changes of the force structure reflecting that new assessment.

That doesn't, of course, address the question of who in western Europe was willing to freeze his ass off (much less to die) for Estonia. Not that _I'm_ advocating that we shouldn't --- but if only 20...30% of the population are willing to put their own life on the line in defense of their own country, well, I guess that 50 years of neomarxist assault on the purity of our essence have achieved strategic victory for the water fluoridators.

 

So, taking the complaint of the population's lack of enthusiasm for self-defense to the Bundeswehr (or any army) is barking up the wrong tree. Likewise, the politicians' actions in our liberal democracies usually reflect the preferences of the population, and I think we can see in many countries a disconnect between the population at large, their trust and support for the armed forces, not just specifically Germany; be it in the US where among some "dissent is the highest form of partriotism" and "criticizing the wars doesn't mean a lack of support for the troops" who however are "the lowest form of life" according to some teachers. :rolleyes:

Or, as I heard from the UK, where some people resisted the establishment of a rehabilitation clinic for soldiers because they didn't want to bear the sight of all those cripples.

 

All these cases have rightfully drawn a lot of criticism (not the least here on TankNet), and I'm not saying that they reflect the attitude of the entire population, but they all create a bit of a worry about the level of political support that we can expect from the general population. To that extent I'm not sure if it is a specifically "German" problem.

Nominally the UK spends more than its 2% GDP on defense, but when half of that is sunk in two aircraft carrier projects that won't have squadrons to carry once that they are ready, I'm beginning to wonder if our current missile & fighter disaster really is so much worse for the overall NATO defense capability. The 1.4% that Germany spends arguably yield a more capable land force, at least.

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In truth, Germany is not under immediate threat from anyone in the forseeable future, is it? The real and present danger is terrorism.

 

So, please let us know when you would like to give away the rest of your Leopard 2 tanks. ; P

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Nominally the UK spends pretends to spend more than its aribtrarily chosen 2% GDP on defense by cooking the books, but when half of that is sunk in two highly vulnerable and fundamentally pointless* aircraft carrier projects that won't have squadrons to carry once that they are ready, I'm beginning to wonder if our current missile & fighter disaster really is so much worse for the overall NATO defense capability. The 1.4% that Germany spends arguably yield a more capable and mostly relevant land force, at least.

 

FIFY.

 

*Or maybe not. Allegedly they could be used to pose a credible threat to the Chinese (the same Chinese we are letting build and own our nuclear infrastructure) over some tiny artificial islands in a part of the world where we have no axe to grind and which is ultimately of no consequence to us.

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I'm not even sure if a lack of funding is the real (or at least the main) problem about the Bundeswehr. It's how that money is mishandled. Rather than investing in sensible capabilities, it always has to be the ultra-high tech gold-plated stuff, with constantly shifting requirements during development and the resulting time and budget overruns. In the end we buy a ridiculously low amount of very expensive platforms instead of getting a more reasonable number of somewhat less advanced but cheaper stuff. And then we forget to order spare parts for the stuff, too. :angry:

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Well, I've also heard positive estimations (not the least from British mil intelligence officers) in that Germany, unlike other NATO members, was at least not only acknowledging a new strategic situation in Europe post Krim-annexation, but that there were also tangible changes of the force structure reflecting that new assessment.

That doesn't, of course, address the question of who in western Europe was willing to freeze his ass off (much less to die) for Estonia. Not that _I'm_ advocating that we shouldn't --- but if only 20...30% of the population are willing to put their own life on the line in defense of their own country, well, I guess that 50 years of neomarxist assault on the purity of our essence have achieved strategic victory for the water fluoridators.

 

So, taking the complaint of the population's lack of enthusiasm for self-defense to the Bundeswehr (or any army) is barking up the wrong tree. Likewise, the politicians' actions in our liberal democracies usually reflect the preferences of the population, and I think we can see in many countries a disconnect between the population at large, their trust and support for the armed forces, not just specifically Germany; be it in the US where among some "dissent is the highest form of partriotism" and "criticizing the wars doesn't mean a lack of support for the troops" who however are "the lowest form of life" according to some teachers. :rolleyes:

Or, as I heard from the UK, where some people resisted the establishment of a rehabilitation clinic for soldiers because they didn't want to bear the sight of all those cripples.

 

All these cases have rightfully drawn a lot of criticism (not the least here on TankNet), and I'm not saying that they reflect the attitude of the entire population, but they all create a bit of a worry about the level of political support that we can expect from the general population. To that extent I'm not sure if it is a specifically "German" problem.

Nominally the UK spends more than its 2% GDP on defense, but when half of that is sunk in two aircraft carrier projects that won't have squadrons to carry once that they are ready, I'm beginning to wonder if our current missile & fighter disaster really is so much worse for the overall NATO defense capability. The 1.4% that Germany spends arguably yield a more capable land force, at least.

 

Well as far as the rehabilitation clinic, ive not heard of such a thing. I wont say it didnt happen because such things can happen, but as they are doing it in Tedworth house in Tidworth barracks, im not sure why it would be an issue.

 

The 2 supercarriers, in part this is part of the problem. In truth, the Germans have ALWAYS been dismissive of the British Army and the Navy having a global role. They complained about our wish to make our forces more mobile in the 1980s, and Im not surprised the logic of a carrier doesnt impress. Ultimately if security is a global problem, somehow thinking that our little tiny European corner is the only significant part should be defended and the rest of the world can get lost, is really just repeating Trumpian logic. If our values are to prevail, we HAVE to think beyond the European corner. Because if Afghanistan hasnt impressed the idea that even the most Godforsaken parts of the world can breed insecurity for us, then nothing will. Its not as if the Carrier wont be useful in guaranteeing European security either, as the 3 invincibles proved.

 

As for the lack of aircraft, well you can blame the dunderhead David Cameron for the lack of Harriers, or they would already be working up the fixed wing component right now. As it stands, they are due to fly on this year, on trials at first, but it usually took RN carriers about 2 years to work up so this is not unusual. So its going to be a small compliment to begin with, but there will be enough to fill up 2 squadrons for each carrier. Id like more, but then F35B is a bit on the pricy side.

 

 

 

 

Nominally the UK spends pretends to spend more than its aribtrarily chosen 2% GDP on defense by cooking the books, but when half of that is sunk in two highly vulnerable and fundamentally pointless* aircraft carrier projects that won't have squadrons to carry once that they are ready, I'm beginning to wonder if our current missile & fighter disaster really is so much worse for the overall NATO defense capability. The 1.4% that Germany spends arguably yield a more capable and mostly relevant land force, at least.

 

FIFY.

 

*Or maybe not. Allegedly they could be used to pose a credible threat to the Chinese (the same Chinese we are letting build and own our nuclear infrastructure) over some tiny artificial islands in a part of the world where we have no axe to grind and which is ultimately of no consequence to us.

 

Thats not quite right Chris. If you mean the Hinkley reactor (of which Im due to be downwind when it fires up..) its actually a French reactor, with the Chinese providing the financing. The only chinese connection is the money they will make every time you and I make a cup of tea.

 

As far as those islands, its freedom of navigation isnt it. If we wont defend it in the Pacific, why should anyone believe we would defend it off the Falklands? Or indeed, the Straits of Hormuz. We like to think these things arent connected, but its notable every time we drop the ball somewhere, say Syrian chemical weapons, someone interprets it as weakness and there is a response elsewhere, say, Salisbury.

 

Thats not a popular viewpoint, but for me its just recognising that the 21st Century is going to be full of pushback, and anywhere we dont stand by our own values, they are going to be eroded. I dont really want undemocratic China laying down the terms of reference for the rest of the Century personally.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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I'm not even sure if a lack of funding is the real (or at least the main) problem about the Bundeswehr. It's how that money is mishandled. Rather than investing in sensible capabilities, it always has to be the ultra-high tech gold-plated stuff, with constantly shifting requirements during development and the resulting time and budget overruns. In the end we buy a ridiculously low amount of very expensive platforms instead of getting a more reasonable number of somewhat less advanced but cheaper stuff. And then we forget to order spare parts for the stuff, too. :angry:

 

Not that different from the British MOD then.

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Well, I've also heard positive estimations (not the least from British mil intelligence officers) in that Germany, unlike other NATO members, was at least not only acknowledging a new strategic situation in Europe post Krim-annexation, but that there were also tangible changes of the force structure reflecting that new assessment.

That doesn't, of course, address the question of who in western Europe was willing to freeze his ass off (much less to die) for Estonia. Not that _I'm_ advocating that we shouldn't --- but if only 20...30% of the population are willing to put their own life on the line in defense of their own country, well, I guess that 50 years of neomarxist assault on the purity of our essence have achieved strategic victory for the water fluoridators.

 

So, taking the complaint of the population's lack of enthusiasm for self-defense to the Bundeswehr (or any army) is barking up the wrong tree. Likewise, the politicians' actions in our liberal democracies usually reflect the preferences of the population, and I think we can see in many countries a disconnect between the population at large, their trust and support for the armed forces, not just specifically Germany; be it in the US where among some "dissent is the highest form of partriotism" and "criticizing the wars doesn't mean a lack of support for the troops" who however are "the lowest form of life" according to some teachers. :rolleyes:

Or, as I heard from the UK, where some people resisted the establishment of a rehabilitation clinic for soldiers because they didn't want to bear the sight of all those cripples.

 

All these cases have rightfully drawn a lot of criticism (not the least here on TankNet), and I'm not saying that they reflect the attitude of the entire population, but they all create a bit of a worry about the level of political support that we can expect from the general population. To that extent I'm not sure if it is a specifically "German" problem.

Nominally the UK spends more than its 2% GDP on defense, but when half of that is sunk in two aircraft carrier projects that won't have squadrons to carry once that they are ready, I'm beginning to wonder if our current missile & fighter disaster really is so much worse for the overall NATO defense capability. The 1.4% that Germany spends arguably yield a more capable land force, at least.

did the loss of conscription system change these attitudes much?

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I'm not even sure if a lack of funding is the real (or at least the main) problem about the Bundeswehr. It's how that money is mishandled.

 

A lot of the perception of mishandling is, of course, a result of army planners fighting a delaying action against the effects of budget cuts. The Eurofighter was a good example where a lot of features that were originally planned for would not be fitted during the initial procurement, so that 148 fighters could still be ordered (of the 200+ that were originally planned). Everybody KNEW that immediately after the purchase a follow-on program would have to be signed to retrofit the very components that had been removed from the initial delivery. In sum, this was more costly, of course.

But whose fault is it, in this case? Parliament could have voted for a higher budget for just this specific program but chose not to do so.

Same with Puma. Everybody knew it would need an anti-tank missile, but to keep the original procurement cost lower so a larger number of vehicles could still be ordered, the order was for a vehicle fitted for, but not with MELLS (should sound familiar to our British friends), and now the Puma, while not yet actually accepted by the Bundeswehr, is already scheduled for a retrofit.

 

The real waste happens when Parliament forces the Navy to order five more corvettes that the Navy actually doesn't want and doesn't really need, so we're blowing billions on tiny ships that won't stop the Russians to close down the Baltic if they so choose to do. We could just as well have used those billions to order more spare parts for army and airforce (and the submarines, which would have accomplished infinitely more for the deterrence value of the Bundesmarine).

 

Compared with the derailing of so many programs internationally, I don't see the Bundeswehr being particularly inept to be honest. Sure, there were blunders, particularly with the Eurohawk. But again, it was mostly a political decision to bleed the (then) BWB dry of capable lawyers and engineers for contracting and project management, at which point it's not a matter of IF contracting and management blunders occur, but only WHEN.

Also, program managers know that they usually get only one shot to push a certain procurement. So they then try to cram everything in there, which of course complicates the systems and drives up costs. But it's a rational behavior if you actually want to get shit done while the whole system is designed to reward low-balling of prices - at any cost.

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So, taking the complaint of the population's lack of enthusiasm for self-defense to the Bundeswehr (or any army) is barking up the wrong tree. Likewise, the politicians' actions in our liberal democracies usually reflect the preferences of the population, and I think we can see in many countries a disconnect between the population at large, their trust and support for the armed forces, not just specifically Germany;

 

did the loss of conscription system change these attitudes much?

 

I think that's confusing cause and effect.

As long as there was a highly visible military threat just across the death strip of the inner German border, people understood the necessity for defense without much thinking; likewise, to counter that threat conscription was a necessity. Plus, you had people that had fled the commie zone to then join the army, and be among the most enthusiastic about training because they knew very well what they were defending against.

 

This discussion seems to belong more into the FFZ than here, see also my remarks on Germany in general (April 3rd) and the SPD (April 4th) in the Nerve Agent Attack thread.

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