German Commitment And A Couple Of Bucks Will Get You A Cup Of Coffee

“Germany wholeheartedly supports @NATO. We will stand by our commitments. True solidarity is measured in terms of commitment, not Euros.”

Coffee

NATO’s German Problem: Who Needs Soldiers or Weapons?

Berlin had promised to hike expenditures to two percent of GDP by 2024—subsequently downgraded to 1.5 percent—but new budget figures indicated that the real amount would be lower still. Germany’s government evidently lacks the political will to put Europe’s defense first.

I love reading these articles but I’ve lived here quite a while so there’s no need for me to spend much time doing so. People who don’t live here should really come to understand that the Germans have absolutely not intention of fulfilling their NATO “commitments.” Not unless they are forced to do so at gunpoint, I mean.

“It is simply unacceptable for Europe’s largest economy to continue to ignore the threat of Russian aggression and neglect its own self-defense and our common defense.”

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Germany Is NATO’s Biggest Freeloader

That was a Washington Post headline, not mine.

NATO

There’s a German word for freeloader, by the way. Sounds worse in German, too.

As Nato commemorates its 70th anniversary in Washington this week, Germany seems to be labouring mightily to reassure the 29-member alliance that it will never threaten anyone militarily again — because it is in fact its own worst enemy.

How else can you qualify an ally that has announced it won’t be meeting its own pledge to increase defence spending to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024, even when it has formally committed to a target of 2 per cent, like everybody else?

Eines kann man Donald Trump nicht vorwerfen: Dass er mit seiner Meinung hinter dem Berg halten würde.

German Of The Day: Sollte, Müsste, Könnte, Würde…

These are examples of the infamous German Konjunktiv or conjunctive mood. They mean, in essence, should, ought to, could, would but… It ain’t gonna happen.

Spending

Take this example here: Why Germany Should Further Boost Defense Spending, and Why It Probably Won’t. Of course, the Germans know that they should, ought to, could, would spend more on defense but they just won’t because… It ain’t gonna happen. This grammatical subtlety has always worked nicely in the past, whether they were in a conjunctive mood or not. So, hey. Never touch a running system.

The United States is bristling at the suggestion Germany might miss its own defense spending target, which is already short of the NATO goal, prompting comments from officials, including U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.

NATO countries have pledged to move toward spending 2 percent of GDP on defense and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had pledged to increase spending to 1.5 percent by 2024. Last year, at the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump criticized Germany’s contribution to the NATO and Merkel countered that the European country is the organization’s “second largest providers of troops,” according to The Guardian.

“NATO members clearly pledged to move towards, not away, from 2 percent by 2024. That the German government would even be considering reducing its already unacceptable commitments to military readiness is a worrisome signal to Germany’s 28 NATO Allies.”

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.

Secret Report Not Much Of A Secret

It was just leaked, as secret reports so often are, and now it’s come out that – get this – the Bundeswehr’s equipment is still inadequate.

Tiger

Yawn. Been there, done that. Top inadequacies this time? Of the Bundeswehr’s 53 Tiger combat helicopters only 11.6 of them are operational (they would never get me in that .6 one). With the NH90 transport helicopter it’s 17.5 from 71 and only 15.9 of the 71 CH-53 transport helicopters are ready for combat.

But not to worry (as if anybody is). German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen promised a “turnaround” in the Bundeswehr’s equipment department – a year or two or three ago. Other defense menisters would have been fired for this long ago, of course, but 1) she’s a girl and 2) she’s one of Angie Merkel’s bosom buddies.

Die Ausstattung der Bundeswehr ist laut einem Zeitungsbericht weiterhin mangelhaft. Das zeige der neueste, als geheim eingestufte “Bericht zur Materiallage der Hauptwaffensysteme der Bundeswehr”, schreibt die “Welt am Sonntag”.

Number Four Has Issues

But it doesn’t really make much sense, does it?

Four

How can the world’s fourth largest exporter of arms (don’t worry, they’ll be back up at third place again in no time) have “issues with readiness of submarines, aircraft” for its own army? Year in and year out, I mean. One could almost think it’s intentional.

The readiness of Germany’s weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018 overall, but its submarines, heavy-lift helicopters and Tornado fighter jets faced continued challenges, the German Defence Ministry told lawmakers on Monday.

Germany is the fourth largest arms exporter in the world, according to a report released by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute on Monday.

Germany Reassures NATO Partners It Will Continue To Miss Defense Spending Goals

Worried that the German government’s tax revenues are likely to decrease in coming years due to a slowing economy, German defense officials were quick to explain to their NATO partners that this will have absolutely no effect on the country’s continued failure to increase defense expenditures.

Defens

“Whether tax revenues increase or not is really not the issue here,” these officials stressed. “We have absolutely no intention of raising our defense spending under any circumstances. We do this to ensure that our NATO partners will be able to plan effectively for future increased defense spending on their part and thus continue to protect us as they have done so in the past, pretty much free of charge. For us, anyway. But still.”

“We have time until the end of March. Let us negotiate.”

Why Germany’s Army Is In A Bad State?

Duh. Because that’s the way Germany wants it. This isn’t rocket science, folks.

Army

DONALD TRUMP says it is “not fair” for Europe’s largest economy to spend proportionally so much less on defence than America does. Germany spends just 1.2% of its GDP on defence, and it shows. A report released in February showed that less than half the country’s Leopard tanks, 12 out of 50 Tiger helicopters and only 39 of its 128 Typhoon fighter aircraft were fit for action. At the end of last year, none of the country’s six submarines was at sea. In short: Germany’s armed forces are barely fit for purpose. Why?

Just 15 per cent of all Germans agree with Angela Merkel that the country should increase its military spending to 2 per cent of GDP by 2024, with 36 per cent saying the country’s already spends too much on its military.

Germany Is So Wunderbar

As we all know, or are at least that’s what we’re told time and time again. But it is a country that presents us as in US/the NATO allience with, well, a bit of a challenge.

NATO

NATO’s 21st-century problem is not the United States, which provides a large percentage of its wherewithal, but Germany. As the most populous and most affluent of European nations, Germany still insidiously dominates Europe as it has since its inception in 1871.

Berlin sends ultimatums to the indebted Southern European nations. Berlin alone tries to dictate immigration policy for the European Union. Berlin establishes the tough conditions under which the United Kingdom can exit the European Union. And when Berlin decides it will not pony up the promised 2 percent of GDP for its NATO contribution, other laggard countries follow its example. Only six of the 29 NATO members (other than the U.S.) so far have met their promised assessments…

This is the NATO that Trump inherited and that he tried to shake up with his customary art-of-the-deal antics. Trump may be loud and uncouth, but his argument that NATO countries need to pay more money for their shared alliance’s self-defense is sound. If successful, it would lead to a stronger NATO.

In contrast, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sounds customarily professional and diplomatic as she continues to weaken the alliance and pursue German commercial and financial interests at the expense of fellow NATO members.

Germans Outraged That Trump Would Not Go To War For Montenegro

The Germans certainly would.

Trump

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

These people kill me sometimes. Figuratively speaking.

Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic with a population of about 630,000, joined NATO last year, becoming is 29th member. Its military only numbers about 2,000 personnel.

The only time Article 5 was ever invoked was by America after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks conducted by al-Qaeda.

Für ein kleines Land wie Montenegro in den Krieg ziehen? Donald Trump hat in einem Interview Zweifel an der Bündnistreue der USA innerhalb der Nato gesät. Der US-Präsident machte eine vielsagende Andeutung.