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No End in Sight for Germany’s New Military Budget

The revival of The Holy Roman Empire in the making.. Germany prepares for a massive military increase.

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Germany’s military wants more money. Exactly how much money it will receive is a divisive subject within the new government.

United States President Donald Trump continues to demand that Germany spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on its military. Doing so would cause German military spending to parallel that of Russia’s at $69 billion.

In 2017, Germany increased its military budget by 3.5 percent to $44.3 billion. It pledged to boost the defense budget by around $6.5 billion over the next four years. But in light of “outstanding requirements and need for modernization,” the Defense Ministry describes the additional $6.5 billion as “inadequate.”

German newspaper Bild reported on April 29 that Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is trying to hold the federal government to ransom to get more cash. In 2019, she says, the military budget should be increased by $3.5 billion; in 2020, by $4.7 billion; and in 2021, by another $5.9 billion. Those increases would raise Germany’s defense budget by $14 billion, which would bring it up to nearly $70 billion.

“This is about the future capability of our armed forces and Germany’s ability to stand by our allies,” von der Leyen said.

A recent revelation should give von der Leyen’s demand even greater urgency. Der Spiegelreported that only four out of Germany’s 128 Eurofighters are currently ready for combat. But concerns were already on the rise earlier this year. The British Telegraph reported:

A parliamentary watchdog warned in February that equipment shortages are putting Germany’s ability to meet its nato commitements “in question.” Only 95 of the German Army’s 244 Leopard main battle tanks were operational at the time because of maintenance issues. None of the German Navy’s six submarines were operational at the end of last year, and only nine of a planned 15 frigates were in service. None of the Luftwaffe’s 14 A400M transport aircraft were airworthy on several occasions last year, and replacement aircraft had to be chartered to bring serving troops home.

If she doesn’t get her way, von der Leyen is threatening to end joint arms deals with France and Norway. Germany is currently building submarines for Norway, while Norway provides antiship missiles. Germany’s arms industry is also working on six C130 Hercules aircraft for a joint military transport squadron with France. If von der Leyen pulls out, the German arms industry will suffer and Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to deal with the diplomatic fallout.    Read More