What Difference Does It Make?

Germany: Bundeswehr grounds ‘Tiger’ helicopters due to technical faults.

Tiger

The Bundeswehr and Bundesmarine (German army and navy) ain’t ever going to be deployed anywhere anyway so who cares if nothing works or not?

Bundeswehr’s enduring equipment woes – The incident is the latest in a series of embarrassments for the Bundeswehr and the German government concerning equipment, especially as regards government-issue aircraft. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz have all been delayed by faulty airplanes while carrying out official duties in the past year. Bundeswehr officials have also long complained that much of their equipment is outdated and broken, as increasing defense spending becomes more and more unpopular politically.

“Security is the top priority for the Bundeswehr.”

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An Absolute Shocker!

That the US would even waste time asking Germany in the first place, I mean.

Germany

Germany rejects US request for help in the Gulf – Foreign ministry focuses on ‘de-escalation and diplomatic efforts’ as tensions rise.

And dialogue. The journalist here forgot to mention dialogue. Whenever Germany shirks its responsibility as an ally (and this happens with astounding regularity) the German foreign minister du jour suggests opening a so-called dialogue instead – knowing, of course, that this dialogue will never lead anywhere but that it will enable Germany to shirk its responsibilities in a more subtle, indirect manner.

Tensions in the Gulf have reignited a German debate over the country’s readiness to take on a larger role in global affairs with critics charging that Berlin should step up its involvement by taking part in a possible naval mission to the region.

Berlin has come under pressure from the UK and the US to increase its engagement in the Gulf after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz this month.

But on Tuesday Germany rebuffed a formal Washington request for support, saying it would not contribute to a US-led naval mission in the region.

“This is a classical case of ducking your responsibility. You see that something has to be done but you say: Not me.”

German Word Of The Day Except That It’s An English One: Mull

That means to study or ruminate, ponder, to think about carefully, consider, again and again, with great care, for an exceedingly long period of time, until the thing you are mulling about has taken care of itself and you are conveniently off the hook. Again.

Gulf

It also means to mess up or make a failure of.

Germany mulls joining European Persian Gulf naval mission – Pressure is growing on the German government to lend its military weight to a potential European naval mission in the Persian Gulf. The UK government floated the idea of a joint European operation last Monday.

“Hardly any other country is as dependent on the freedom of international shipping as export champions Germany.”

Mein Kampf-Karrenbauer

I mean Mein Kramp-Karrenbauer, of course. But she is a Kampf-Karrenbauer now, you know.

AKK

Or you can just call her AKK, if you prefer, although that sounds like a machine gun, too. Or just call her Mini-Merkel if you like that better (that’s her official unofficial designation). But I dunno. Mini-Merkel just doesn’t have the punch a defense minister needs to have with his name, don’t you think? Especially when it’s a she. Again. It just doesn’t exude any shock and awe. Well, shock, maybe, but nothing this government does can awe me anymore.

Merkel protege AKK given defence job seen as poisoned chalice – Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeds new EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen as German defence minister.

Angela Merkel’s favoured successor as chancellor has been appointed Germany’s new defence minister in an unexpected and potentially risky move after Ursula von der Leyen’s confirmation as European commission president…

The job of defence minister is widely seen as a poisoned chalice. Germany’s armed forces, which critics maintain have long been chronically underfunded, are consistently accused of inefficiency and of having inadequate or defective equipment.

The Perfect Choice

This woman  has been in charge of the German Bundeswehr for what feels like decades and has accomplished absolutely nothing other than to stumble from one self-inflicted scandal to the other without ever having to face the consequences because, being one of Angela Merkel’s top girls (and therefore being more equal than the other girls), she is simply too good and too big to fail.

Leyen

That is why she is the ideal choice to head the European Commission. Un-freakin’-believable.

Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen nominated to lead EU Commission – EU leaders have put forward their nominations for the bloc’s top jobs, with a woman for the first time proposed as European Commission chief.

The surprise choice of German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen to replace Jean-Claude Juncker came after the main front-runners were rejected.

“Von der Leyen is a very good candidate and a very good choice to head the European Commission. Her capacities and competences totally qualified her.”

Two Down, One To Go

After yesterday’s tragic crash of two Eurofighters during a training mission over Northern Germany, the German Luftwaffe is down to one operational plane of that design.

Air Force

But they are really, really good planes, we are told. Again and again. Top of the line state of the art. But state of the art isn’t even good enough these days, especially when most of them don’t even fly. That’s why the Eurofighter is now to be replaced with the “Future Combat Air System.” This one won’t have to leave the ground, either, I assume, which will make things a lot easier. It will just beam to the future and do its future combat fighting there.

Nach Unglück: Hat die Luftwaffe wirklich nur noch einen einsatzfähigen „Eurofighter“?

History Really Does Repeat Itself

The German navy does this regularly, I guess. Commit suicide, I mean.

Suicide

So I suppose you could call the one going on presently a ritual suicide, albeit slower than those of the past (look what’s been going on with the Bundeswehr for the past thirty or forty years or so and you’ll get my drift).

One hundred years ago, the German High Seas Fleet committed suicide. On June 21, 1919, the crews of seventy-four German warships attempted to scuttle their vessels in order to prevent the Allies from taking them. Over the course of a few hours, fifty-two modern warships sank. In the modern history of naval combat, there has never been an event as devastating as the self-destruction of the German fleet at Scapa Flow. The scuttling immediately became legendary, closing one chapter of German naval history and opening another…

Indeed, the Germans had prepped the ships for scuttling over the previous several months, removing doors and taking other steps to reduce watertight integrity. They waited for motive and opportunity. As the Paris Peace Conference dragged on, both the French and the Italians had made claims upon the fleet. As the deadline for signing the treaty approached, both the Germans and the British made their preparations, the latter to seize the ships and the former to scuttle them.

On June 21, a comedy of errors ensued. The signing of the treaty was postponed two days, although it is unclear how aware the German sailors were made of this fact. The British commander decided that the fabulous early summer weather offered a great opportunity for practice, and the bulk of the Grand Fleet left Scapa Flow for maneuvers on the morning of June 21. Only a few patrol and utility ships remained.

Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the order for scuttling, and every German ship obeyed. The British didn’t notice until around noon, when the battleship Friederich der Grosse began to list noticeably. At this point, the rest of the fleet raised the Imperial German Naval ensign, which the British had officially forbidden. At that point, the scuttling became a race between the water and the Royal Navy. The Grand Fleet, notified by radio of the sinking, began to return immediately. The few Royal Navy ships in attendance picked up survivors, but were unable to save very many of the sinking ships.

Broke Weenie Bundeswehr Planes Now Endangering Commercial Traffic

When not failing to get the Chancellor lady to important international meetings on time or leaving the Federal President stranded in Somalia, German government planes also like to bring commercial air traffic to a standstill.

Plane

A rough landing by a German government plane at one of Berlin’s airports brought flights to a standstill for more than two hours on Tuesday, adding to a long list of embarrassing mishaps for the military-operated fleet.

The German air force, which operates the aircraft, said both wings of the Bombardier Global 5000 jet touched the ground as it landed at Schoenefeld airport after turning back because of a malfunction. It said the crew was undergoing medical checks and the cause of the incident was being examined…

The city’s airport operator tweeted after the incident Tuesday morning that flights headed for Schoenefeld were being diverted because of an “inoperative aircraft on the runway” and check-in was suspended. Flight operations resumed around noon, though the airport warned that there could still be delays.

Piloten der Flugbereitschaft verhinderten wohl Schlimmeres.

Bundeswehr Update: This One Doesn’t Fly, Either

The Bundeswehr doesn’t have any money, remember?

But the little it has it burns as fast as it can. Among numerous other spending scandals, this one went originally like: The German navy will continue operations with its Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft until 2035, with Berlin having signed a $158 million contract for modernisation work to be performed over the next five years.

Now the word is that the costs have run out of control. What would the Bundeswehr do without Miss Management herself (Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen)? She’s that good. Just like her buddy Angela Merkel, she’s too big to fail.

Es werde “kaum gelingen, alle Flugzeuge bis Ende 2025” flottzumachen, urteilt der Bundesrechnungshof.

On Course, Of Course

Don’t anyone ever tell you that Germans aren’t reliable.

Bundeswehr

As noted yesterday, the equipment used by the German army is still as inadequate as ever, despite repeated promises by the German defense minister to make improvements.

And now, despite claims by the German government to one day reach the official NATO target of 2 per cent GDP on defense spending it agreed to years ago, it won’t even be able to make the 1.5 percent it set for itself by 2024. This is “round,” as the Germans say. It all fits like a glove.

Germany is on course to miss its self-declared target for defence spending in a development that threatens to trigger a new row with the US and raises further questions over Berlin’s military contribution to Nato.

The government of Angela Merkel agreed last year to raise the German military budget to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024 — a marked increase but still short of the official Nato target of 2 per cent. 

But the 1.5 per cent target is now under threat after Olaf Scholz, the Social Democrat (SPD) finance minister, rebuffed plans for an ambitious increase in military spending in the years ahead, citing a worsening economic outlook.