German Of The Day: Zusage

That means pledge – like the one Germany just made (increase in defense spending to 2% by 2024 instead of 2028 or 2030).

Zusage

President Donald Trump appeared to declare victory on Thursday in his battle with America’s closest allies to get them to contribute more money to the NATO alliance. Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had taken a tough stance with his European counterparts, demanding they contribute more of their national budgets to defense and saying after Thursday’s meetings, “they upped their commitments and I am very happy…”  

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

Auch Deutschland habe große Zusagen gemacht – das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel solle nun wesentlich früher erreicht werden als ursprünglich geplant – laut Trump nicht erst 2028 oder 2030, sondern schon 2024.

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German Of The Day: Gefangener

That means prisoner or captive. You know, as in “Germany is a captive of Russia.”

Yeah. A captive who finally got caught.

Germany

“It pays billions and billions of dollars to Russia for energy. Germany is a rich country. Why should the U.S. protect you against Russia when the two countries are making deals? You tell me, is that appropriate?”

Deutschland ist ein Gefangener Russlands.

German Of The Day: Nicht Mehr Tragbar

That means no longer tenable or sustainable.

NATO

As in “The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us.”

Donald Trump has reportedly sent sharply worded letters to several Nato member countries, urging them to spend more on their self-defence, in an escalation of the US president’s long-standing feud with the military alliance…

The Nato allies agreed in 2014 to spend more on their own national defence, aiming to eventually contribute two per cent of their GDP to the effort. Many members countries say they are still working towards that goal, and are frustrated by Mr Trump’s threats.

“Die Vereinigten Staaten geben nach wie vor mehr Mittel für die Verteidigung Europas aus, während es der Wirtschaft des Kontinents, einschließlich Deutschlands, gutgeht und die Sicherheitsherausforderungen vielfältig sind. Das ist für uns nicht mehr tragbar.”

PS: Happy 4th of July!

Seems Like A Fine Idea To Me

As speculated upon earlier, the Pentagon is considering plans to remove American troops from Germany, possibly placing them in Poland instead.

Troops

Hey, the world changes. That old Cold War line doesn’t run through Germany anymore, it’s moved to the East. And Germany, although not willing to pay it’s fair share for it’s own defense, doesn’t want American troops here in Germany anyway (Germans are pacifists) so it’s a win-win situation if you ask me. I know, you didn’t ask me but I told you anyway.

Poland is willing to spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion to entice the U.S. to build a permanent military base there, according to a Defense Ministry proposal. The plan offers a strong incentive for the U.S. to consider moving at least some of its forces from Germany, especially since the current deployment makes little military sense.

Das US-Verteidigungsministerium prüft laut einem Bericht der „Washington Post“ einen Abzug der in Deutschland stationierten US-Soldaten. Zu den erwogenen Optionen gehöre eine Rückkehr eines Großteils der rund 35.000 in Deutschland stationierten Soldaten in die USA oder die Verlegung des gesamten oder eines Teils des Kontingents nach Polen, berichtete die Zeitung am Freitag.

 

German Of The Day: Geschröpft

That means fleeced. Or clobbered, if you prefer.

Trump

As in… We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on trade.

„Deutschland zahlt ein Prozent des Bruttoinlandsproduktes (langsam) in Richtung Nato, während wir vier Prozent von einer weit größeren Bruttoinlandsprodukt zahlen. Glaubt irgendjemand, dass das Sinn macht?“

Poland Gets It

The U.S. doesn’t stand to lose anything by accepting Poland’s generous proposal and gradually relocating troops there from Germany. A move of this kind would be consistent with stated U.S. goals, such as deterring Russia. It would also allow the U.S. to support an ally eager for closer military ties.

Poland

It might also force Germany to give more thought to its position. Would it feel unprotected with a smaller U.S. presence? Would it, perhaps, be motivated to enhance its own defense? Or would it still be secure in its apparent conviction that no one is interested in attacking it?

The U.S. should offer protection to the countries that want it most, and reduce its involvement with nations that benefited in the mid-20th century. The American military presence should be aligned with its allies’ sense of being threatened. This anxiety gets stronger the closer a country is to Russia’s borders. Ignoring that makes little military or political sense.

Turkey

Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.

Turkey

Because somebody has to admire them.

Einen Auftrag zur Aufrüstung von Panzern für die Türkei hatte die Bundesregierung vor einigen Wochen noch gestoppt. Jetzt aber erhält das Land sechs neue Jagd-U-Boote – geliefert von ThyssenKrupp.

PS: Funny how these expensive exports always meet the client’s expectations but the weapons systems used in Germany never seem to work. Hard to believe, actually. It’s almost as if it were intentional. Nah.

4 Out Of 128 Ain’t Bad

It’s past bad. It’s hilarious.

Four

Only 4 of the Bundeswehr’s 128 Tornadoes are operational.

Maybe that’s why Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen wants 12 billion euros “more for the German army than current budget plans foresee.” That won’t do it even if she gets it, of course. And to get anywhere near the 2 percent of GDP spending Germany has committed itself to spend you’d need more along the lines of 30 to 40 billion euros. But who’s counting?

Nur 4 von 128 Eurofightern kampfbereit: „Im Ernstfall kann man nur beten.”

Speaking Of Tanks…

Tanks for nothing, Germany.

Tanks

The nerve of Donald Trump to come along and suddenly demand, like out of the blue already, that NATO countries start living up to what they promised to do way back when in that warm and cuddly Obama year of 2014 (that each NATO country spend two percent of its economic output on defense). Since when is an agreement that you agreed to an agreement you have to actually live up to?

Only three NATO countries (other than the US) have kept their word: Greece, Estonia and the United Kingdom. Germany only came up with 1.24 percent of its GDP in 2017.This is a vast improvement from the year before, however. Then it had only been 1.2 percent of its GDP (the number keeps getting bigger, see?).

Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know. And sometimes things get lost in translation. The German government has interpreted this agreement to mean “to move in the direction of two percent.” They’re heading there, folks. In fifty or sixty years you’ll see.

Er fordert, dass alle Bündnispartner spätestens ab 2024 jährlich mindestens zwei Prozent des BIP für Verteidigung ausgeben und verweist dabei auf einen Nato-Beschluss aus dem Jahr 2014.

Australia

Beautiful German weapon sales of the week.

Australia

Because somebody has to admire them.

But when it comes to SPENDING money for defense in Germany, well… German officials are scrambling to make sense of the latest twist in the brewing war over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, which could see Washington dole out exemptions based on allies’ defense-spending levels.