Complicated?

Not at all. It’s called freeloading.

Gabriel

Germany and two percent for defense – it’s complicated.

Lofty goals of European and NATO cooperation abound here at the Munich Security Conference, but who will pay the bill?

Top German leaders here have managed to put a damper on the expectation that Berlin would radically ramp up its defense spending, as Washington would have it, stressing instead that gradual boosts and integration with foreign development would yield better results than military might alone.

“We no longer recognize our America.” No, Sigmar. I guess you don’t. That America where nobody bothered to call it freeloading up until now, I mean.

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The Case Of The Missing Navy

OK, practically non-existent navy.

The German military commissioner is always the last to know, I guess.

Ship

He, too, has now determined that the German navy does not have enough ships (and we don’t even want to start thinking about their submarines). Not that the warships they do have will ever actually be used as warships or anything, just sayin’.

New ships are apparently too technologically complex to operate, it seems. And the older ships can’t seem to get the parts they need due to excessive bureaucracy and end up stranded indefinitely in dry dock.

He did have some good news, however. The German navy is really good at mothballing their older ships. Six of the 15 older frigates were taken out of service in exemplary fashion. Without being replaced by new ones, of course. Aber immerhin (but still).

“Es sollte keine neue maritime Mission für Nato, EU oder Uno mehr dazukommen. Der Marine gehen die einsatzfähigen Schiffe aus.”

Can Somebody Pick Up The German Army In Mali?

I mean, if it’s on your way and not too much of an inconvenience? They want to come home now but their airplane is broken.

Mali

The Bundeswehr, one of NATO’s largest militaries, is now a steady source of news about planes that can’t fly, tanks that break down and troops that admire the Nazis. So what exactly has gone wrong in Germany’s army?

Quite simple, really. These are soldiers who are not allowed to be soldiers in an army that is not allowed to be an army – other than to serve as an excuse for being able to export lots of way cool and expensive military equipment that works fine everywhere else but here. There’s a lack of culture in Germany regarding its military and its responsibility as a partner, in other words.

Insgesamt 89 in Mali eingesetzte deutsche Soldaten warten seit Tagen auf eine Rückflugmöglichkeit aus dem westafrikanischen Krisenstaat in den Heimaturlaub.

German Of The Day: Freeloader

That means freeloader. Actually, the German word for that is Schmarotzer but this is so-called Neudeutsch or New German (English) so relax about it already.

Freeloader

Anyway… Germany must increase its military spending and take a more active role in conflicts to avoid being seen as one of the world’s biggest freeloaders, an influential diplomat said on Wednesday.

Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference and Germany’s former envoy to Washington, urged the country’s would-be government coalition partners to reverse their restrictive stance on arms exports and formally back commitments to NATO.

Damn. And this is a diplomat talking here so you can imagine the words less diplomatic folks like you and me would use.

“We should not develop the reputation of being one of the world’s best freeloaders.”

“Not Deployable For Collective Defense”

Three years ago, Germany’s military made headlines when it used broomsticks instead of machine guns during a NATO exercise because of a shortage of equipment. The lack of real weapons in the European Union’s most populous nation was seen as symptomatic of how underfunded its military has long been.

Germany

One Russian annexation later, if anything, the state of affairs has only gotten worse, according to the parliamentary commissioner for the country’s armed forces.

He has now reached the conclusion that the German military is virtually “not deployable for collective defense,” at the moment. Independent commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels also indicated in a recent interview that Germany was unprepared for the possibility of a larger conflict even though smaller operations abroad may still be possible.

Meanwhile… Rising exports, Turkish tanks fuel German arms sales debate.

Again: Germany’s army is an alibi army that will never be used for anything other than to make Germans feel better (less worse?) about being 1) pacifists while being at the same time 2) the world’s third largest weapons exporter. Remember this when the next demand for them to spend 2 percent GDP on their defense comes up and they start to fidget – and get away with not spending it again.

While Russia Simulates Bombing Germany…

The Germans are up in arms about Donald Trump’s tax code overhaul in US-Amerika.

Russia

I don’t make this stuff up. It’s all about setting priorities, people. One has to stay focussed on the real dangers facing Germany out there today. Getting annihlated by Russia would be unfortunate, for sure, but the American President handing out “a Christmas present that the majority does not even want” is just too damned much to stomach.

Who knows? That could even give taxpayers in Germany ideas about getting tax breaks over here. Nah. Believe me, it couldn’t.

Das Verhältnis des Westen zu Russland ist seit der Krim-Krise stark belastet. Eine Entspannung ist nicht in Sicht. Nun soll das russische Militär in einem großen Militärmanöver namens “Sapad” die Einnahme Westeuropas geübt haben.

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German Of The Day: Suboptimal

That means sub-optimal, of course. Somewhat less than perfect.

Sub

And, as reported earlier, that is the condition in which Germany’s mighty submarine fleet is currently in.

Abysmal Readiness – Indeed, the German military, which transitioned to being a purely volunteer force in 2011, has struggled to fill its ranks, and has sought to appeal to young recruits with more flexible hours, cozier barracks and childcare facilities. A recent publicity campaign featured one of the female sailors serving aboard a U-Boat, which commentators have pointed out would be impossible now due to the entire fleet being grounded.

Exports of these babies, however, couldn’t be doing better. You do the math. You know, just do a little sub-traction.

Germany’s low levels of defense spending in the post–Cold War era reflect a commendable wariness toward using military force after the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II. However, as the state with the greatest wealth, population and political clout in the European Union, it will be expected to contribute more to European defense as Moscow presents a more aggressive posture in eastern Europe.

PS: Get your free sample of Brain Quest – A Fantastic Voyage through the Progressive Mind today! Read responsibly.

Promise?

Do you promise that “relations with the US will never be the same after Trump?”

Gabriel

Because that would be great if you made sure that was the case, German Foreign Minister Gabriel (SPD). And I couldn’t agree more with what you just said in that context; that Germany needs to be more confident about defending it’s own interests and draw red lines where it needs to draw red lines. Germany first? By all means. It’s not the most original idea but we can all see where you’re coming from. Stay tuned, everyone.

Deutschland müsse künftig selbstbewusster seine Interessen vertreten, verlangt Gabriel. “Wir müssen selbst unsere Positionen beschreiben und notfalls rote Linien ziehen – unter Partnern, aber an unseren eigenen Interessen orientiert.”

German Of The Day: PESCO

That’s actually English and stands for Permanently Stalled Cooperation, I think. It is the EU’s attempt to move closer to having permanent joint European armed forces.

PESCO

But they’ll never manage this, of course. Most European nations don’t even live up to their NATO obligations right now.

Seit vielen Jahren ringen die Europäer um eine gemeinsame Verteidigungspolitik, der Erfolg war bisher äußerst überschaubar. Das aber könnte sich nun ändern: Am Montag haben die Außen- und Verteidigungsminister von 23 der 28 EU-Staaten dem Europäischen Rat mitgeteilt, in der Verteidigung künftig gemeinsame Wege zu gehen. Zumindest vorerst nicht dabei: Dänemark, Irland, Portugal, Malta – und natürlich Großbritannien, das ohnehin die EU verlassen will.

PS: Is she sexually harassing those guys up there?

Bundeswehr Showing More Transparency

Frustrated by the low number of women interested in becoming officers in the German army, the Bundeswehr has decided to once again lead from behind and has begun transitioning some of the few male officers it has (this is the German Army, after all) into the female kind.

Trans

Thought to be a transgression up until very recently, these officers, mostly active as translators or in the transportation division, will be transferred after transformation to the transnational and transcultural Transall troops currently stationed in Transylvania where they will study, among other things, transcendental meditation (this is the German army, after all).

Or so the transcript I’ve read. It was a transliteration, however. End of transmission already.

„Wir haben hier einen Frauenanteil von nur fünf Prozent.“

PS: The female officer in the picture is the big guy on the left.