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77 years after the surrender of the Nazis: Germany will become a military power Israel today


Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Schulz has announced a change: "Putin has created a new reality that requires a clear answer" • On the agenda: an investment of 100 billion euros in the strengthening of the army and unprecedented aid to Kiev • The challenges: opposition in German public opinion and years of cuts in the defense budget

Three days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz announced a turnaround: 77 years after the surrender of Nazi Germany, 32 years after the reunification of Germany - Berlin aspires to once again become a military power in Europe.

Before the Bundestag, Schultz explained that this is a turning point: "The question is whether force will break the law, whether we will allow Putin to return us to the era of the great powers of the 19th century - or will we mobilize to stand up to warmongers like Putin. He has created a new reality that requires a clear answer."

German armored car.

Change is still not recognized in the army,

A day before, the center-left government in Germany violated traditional security policy and began supplying Ukraine with defensive weapons.

For the first time, Germany transferred weapons to a non-NATO European country in the midst of a military conflict.

Opposition in polls

Last week another taboo was broken.

Germany has decided to supply Ukraine with advanced "Leopard 2" tanks.

During the 11 months of the war, Germany became the third largest supplier of weapons to Ukraine after the United States and Great Britain. Berlin, which has not yet canceled its commitment to non-supply of weapons to combat zones, transferred anti-tank equipment, anti-aircraft equipment, machine guns, and armored personnel carriers to Kyiv. and means of warfare.

The opening of the military supply line was not accompanied by the jubilation of the masses: any deepening of the involvement in the war required heavy pressure from the West, which allowed the government to convince public opinion that there was no other choice.

At the beginning of the month, and before the tanks were delivered, a poll by the public television station ZDF found that the majority of the German public opposes the move.

26% of the respondents stated that the military support in Ukraine went too far, 41% believed that the existing level of support should be maintained and only 25% supported the expansion of military aid.

After the decision, a survey was published in which 54% of respondents expressed their support for the decision, and 38% opposed it.

A problem of competence

Schulz's speech included another policy change: in view of the war, the chancellor announced a huge investment in strengthening and renewing the "Bundeswehr" - the German army.

This is an investment of 100 billion euros (about 350 billion shekels).

The previous governments actually worked to reduce the budget.

The previous chancellor, Angela Merkel, faced criticism from the US that Germany did not meet its commitment to NATO to invest at least 2% of GDP in defense and military spending. The cuts meant that submarines, helicopters and tanks became inoperable.

Angela Merkel, photo: EPA

In recent years, a disturbing picture has been revealed: dozens of transport planes and helicopters were unfit to fly, dozens of "Eurofighter" attack planes were found to be of no military use, the intelligence equipment in the "Euro Hawk" UAVs was not active and so were the "Puma" tanks. In 2011 Merkel decided to cancel the mandatory conscription for the army, thereby adding a lack of manpower to the qualification problems.

The new German defense minister, Boris Pistorius, broke another taboo recently, when he declared that the army should be "the strongest, the best and the most quintessential in Europe".

A few years ago such a statement would have provoked anti-German demonstrations in Europe.

Today it is taken for granted.

However, about a year since the announcement of the huge investment, the army claims that they still do not recognize a change.

According to the Minister of Defense, this is a process that will take time.

How long?

It is not clear.

Over the years, it was chancellors of the Social Democratic "Peace Party" who put Germany back on a military path.

In the midst of the Cold War, while Germany was divided, the West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, despite fierce public protest, approved the placement of American Pershing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads on German soil.

In 1999, a government led by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder approved the first military participation in the war, against Serbia.

Two years later, military forces were sent to Afghanistan, and in 2003 - despite opposing the attack in principle - Germany participated in the military and intelligence effort in Iraq.

The conservative Merkel, by the way, refused to participate in the attack on Libya during the revolution against the dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

And now, it was Schultz's turn to contribute his part to the militarization process.

Fencing from the greens

The process is a reality.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Berlin has been under pressure from the US to stop sitting on the fence and take command in Europe. An annual survey, published by the Kerber Institute in October, revealed that only 29% of Germans believe that their country should play a military leadership role in Europe. 68% They opposed this, and 52% said that Germany should continue to show restraint in its attitude to international crises.


A turning point, photo: E.P

In the shadow of public opinion, Schultz carries out the military transformation in a measured manner, which in the eyes of his critics is seen as hesitant.

Even the "Greens" party, the member of his government and more committed to a platform of peace, is more eager to transfer German weapons to Ukraine, in the name of protecting its independence and democracy.

The armament programs of the "Bundeswehr" open up many possibilities for the Israeli arms industries.

However, the American administration is currently the main obstacle to the Germans' desire to make security deals with Israel.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-01-30

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