Mark Collins – Europe’s Atrophying Militaries, German Section, Part 2

Further to this post a year ago, the Bundeswehr’s sorry state continues:

Germany’s military doesn’t just choose not to act. It can’t act.
Berlin’s reluctance to act militarily on moral grounds is well known. But over the past week, a series of investigations and the release of a confidential government report have shown that the German military is in a sorry state.

Pacifist and war-wary, Germany doesn’t act militarily because it doesn’t want to. That’s the story line once again at the fore, as Germany stands back while European partners join in airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq.

But in reality, Germany also doesn’t act militarily because it can’t.

That’s the gist of a confidential report on military shortcomings, intended for German lawmakers on the defense committee, but which spurred a series of investigations by the German media last week. Worse, for the German military, those investigations came just as Army instructors were stranded in Bulgaria and Air Force planes were grounded in Spain, amid other gaffes…

Some of the major findings in the past week: Only about half of Germany’s C-160 transport planes are in service. Roughly the same ratio of Eurofighter jets and Tornadoes are capable of flying. The Navy said it couldn’t participate in anti-piracy operations last week because of cracks in the tails of its helicopters. A plane carrying aid to West Africa had to make an unexpected landing in the Canary Islands this weekend…

On Monday [Oct. 12], the government conceded that a follow-up Der Spiegel report – alleging that Germany would not be able to supply the targeted number of aircraft within 180 days if it were called to protect an attacked NATO member – was true…

Bad Vlad takes heart.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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