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.”

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German Of The Day: Bedingt

That means partly. You know, as in “Waffensysteme nur bedingt einsatzbereit” (weapons systems are only partly ready for action)?

Bedingt

Partly ready for action? Isn’t that like being kind of pregnant? Anyway, here are just a few things that don’t seem to be working in the Bundeswehr at the moment (this list changes continually, however – as in keeps getting longer):

Only 39 Of Germany’s 128 Eurofighters were able to get off the ground last year.

Only 26 of the older Tornado fighters were operational.

A full 16 of the 72 CH 53 transport helicopters were working.

Similarly, of the 15 Airbus A400M transport aircraft only three were operational.

One (1) Class 212 A submarine was ready, willing and able.

And of Germany’s 244 Leopard 2 tanks, only 105 were tanked up and ready to go. Tanks for nothing, guys.

But think of it this way: If the potential enemy doesn’t know which one of these war machines is actually working, wouldn’t that confuse the hell out of him? It’s kind of clever if you stop to think about it. So that must surely be why Angela Merkel will be keeping on her Gal Friday Ursula von der Leyen as Germany’s Defense Minister in the next great and grand coalition government coming our way. Girls are more tricky at this kind of stuff. I guess they have to be.

“Eurofighter” bleiben am Boden, U-Boote können nicht tauchen, Militärs zeigen sich genervt: Der Zustandsbericht über die Bundeswehr stellt Verteidigungsministerin von der Leyen erneut ein mieses Zeugnis aus.

German Of The Day: Biodiesel

That means biodiesel. And it’s dangerous stuff. Just go ask the German Air Force.

Biodiesel

An entire squadron of Luftwaffe Tornadoes was out of action for a week because there was too much biodiesel in their kerosene. But at least the air quality around that airbase was exceptionally good for a few days, you know?

Meanwhile… The Bundeswehr is running out of tents and clothing now. Well, to be fair, it’s not the entire Budneswehr. It’s just their special rapid deployment forces.

Die Luftwaffen-Tornados auf dem Fliegerhorst Jagel in Schleswig-Holstein dürfen seit einer Woche nicht fliegen, weil dem Kerosin zu viel Biodiesel zugemischt war.

PS: I think this guy may have been given too much biodiesel, too.

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.”

“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.

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.

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