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REPORT: German Bundeswehr now almost totally disarmed, with munitions stores sufficient to support only one or two days of fighting in the event of a serious conflict
Years of chronic under-funding and heedless aid shipments to Ukraine have left Europe's dominant industrial power essentially undefended, and hardly anybody in government seems to care.
Although it has long been known that the Bundeswehr faces an ammunition shortfall to the tune of 20 billion Euros, confidential documents from the Federal Ministry of Defence available to Welt am Sonntag show that procurement has all but stalled. The Ministry has so far submitted hardly any major ammunition procurement proposals to the Bundestag budget committee for approval this year.
The low munitions stocks are held to be one of the greatest weaknesses of the Bundeswehr. Experts estimate that current stocks would only last for one or two days in the event of a conflict. In order to cover Bundeswehr requirements which are calculated at 20 billion Euros worth of munitions by 2031, 2.5 billion Euros would have to be purchased every year until then. …
Nothing like that amount of money has been allocated, or even can be allocated. With the exception of some guided missile purchases for Navy frigates and some future plans to buy some additional rifle rounds and Panzerhaubitze 2000 projectiles, nobody in the listless Scholz government seems to care very much. The problem arises both from years of chronic under-funding and from heedless aid shipments to Ukraine, which Germany can ill-afford to make good. Of 22 million small arms rounds sent east in the middle of 2022, for example, the Bundeswehr has been able to replace only 14.6 million.
Under [Defence Minister] Pistorius’s predecessor, Christine Lambrecht, the ministry had allocated only one billion Euros for munitions procurement in its 2023 draft budget. The budget committe increased this amount to 1.125 billion in November last year. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence insisted that further funding would have been “unrealisable,” pointing to other financial obligations.
One thing which would fix the hopelessly broken politics of Germany, would be an end to NATO and all associated American security guarantees. It cannot be an accident that the decades after reunification have seen such substantial political and cultural decay. Facing no more existential threats and awash in wealth, we’ve done nothing but open our borders, pour money into windmills, mass vaccinate millions against an influenza-like seasonal respiratory virus, and put a children’s book author in charge of the economy. If anybody actually perceived the Ukraine war as a threat to central Europe, as they often claim, we’d be rearming. Instead, we’re giving away the last of our bullets and subsidising heat pumps. This is the behaviour of nation that has no interest in or enthusiasm for its own future; either a real crisis shakes us awake before it’s too late, or we’re doomed.
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