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Bundeswehr: Christine Lambrecht presents reform proposals


A lack of equipment, dilapidated buildings, too few personnel: the Bundeswehr lacks many things. Now the Ministry of Defense is making initial proposals for a more powerful force. Interim conclusion: It will be difficult.

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Minister of Defense Lambrecht during a visit to troops (in July 2022)


In their coalition agreement, the traffic light parties have provided for a comprehensive critical inventory of the Bundeswehr.

After the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, this new importance was given - now there is a final draft from the Ministry of Defense, which is also available to SPIEGEL.

The “Critical Inventory for a Bundeswehr of the Future” includes around 200 suggestions for improving the operational readiness and functionality of the Bundeswehr.

However, many of the points are not actually concrete suggestions, but rather test orders.

»Incrustations of decades«

In addition, it is clear how difficult it will be to modernize the Bundeswehr.

"The implementation of a single package of measures is not sufficient to break up the incrustations of decades," says the paper.

Rather, what is needed is a sustainable and permanent reform process.

According to the findings, the war puts the focus on the defense of the alliance and the country as a central task of the Bundeswehr.

Homeland security and national territorial defense are also gaining in importance.

Specifically, the paper refers to four areas:

  • Personnel:

    The Bundeswehr is to grow to 203,000 members by 2031 - this is what has been planned so far.

    There are doubts in the paper.

    In ten years, 18,000 soldiers would have to be added, at the same time 20,000 people would have to be replaced who are retiring due to age.

    Demographic and social developments as well as the lack of personnel on the labor market "will make it increasingly difficult to produce and maintain a fully operational Bundeswehr with personnel," says the paper.

    For this reason, military personnel should be used primarily for tasks for which soldiers are really needed.

    The aim is to recruit more regular soldiers for longer periods of service and then open up civilian employment opportunities for them.

    Entry and ascent should be made easier.4

  • Material:

    Here it is stated that no new analysis is required.

    Instead, there should be a situational picture of national defense and alliance defense.

    It should contain target values ​​for the material usability and thus make catching up needs recognizable.

  • Infrastructure:

    There is a huge need for investment in the Bundeswehr infrastructure - the paper mentions more than 40 billion euros that are currently planned as investment volume and funds for the implementation of climate and sustainability goals.

    Now they want to improve cooperation with the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks, relieve the construction authorities and make better use of resources, for example in the training of civil engineers at Bundeswehr universities.

  • Functionality:

    Here the inventory is bitter.

    "The frequently complained about dysfunctional structures, the ambiguity of responsibilities in processes, procedures and procedures as well as the lack of clarity in interfaces must be overcome," says the paper.

    In addition, the Bundeswehr organization must become more agile.

    For this reason, the blanket adoption of rules and requirements from civilian life must be critically questioned.

The paper has a total of 63 pages.

It will be discussed in the Bundestag next week.

The Puma tank is an example of how poorly equipped the Bundeswehr is.

At the end of 2022, all 18 units gradually failed during an exercise.

In the meantime, most of them have been repaired, but according to an internal damage report, the state-of-the-art war equipment is only partially suitable for war.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-05

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