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How did Putin awaken the “sleeping giant of Europe”? .. Germany strengthens its arsenal

“We will establish a special fund for the German army to use for investments in defense. It is clear that we need to invest significantly more in the security of our country, in order to guarantee our freedom and democracy,” Schulz said decisively to the deputies of the Bundestag (parliament) on Sunday.

The German chancellor called for the necessity of including the special fund for the army in the constitution, with a stipulation to increase defense spending by more than 2 percent of GDP, instead of about 1.5 percent.

Schulz’s announcement is the latest in a series of major shifts in German defense and security policy this weekend, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Europe’s largest economic power to change its military policy.

In earlier times, Berlin resisted increasing pressure from its NATO allies, particularly the United States; in order to increase its defense spending.

German turn

The move marks a milestone for Germany, which has been criticized by the United States and other NATO allies; for not investing enough in its defense budget.

Observers and analysts in defense policies believe that the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine had a clear impact on decision-makers in Berlin, who put their hands on the shortcomings that have leaked over the past years to all the joints of the German armed forces, both with regard to the combat readiness of German military units, and with regard to The financial and logistical resources available to these units.

This shortcoming was apparent after the German political center found itself facing a “poor” contribution on the part of Berlin, in strengthening NATO’s defenses in Eastern Europe, and the German government’s inability to provide qualitative and effective military aid to the Ukrainian army in its recent crisis, according to observers.

military capabilities

The German army was established in mid-1955, after the Allies allowed Germany to arm itself again.

This comes after the unconditional surrender of the German army came into effect in May 1945, through a legal document that declared an armistice and ended World War II in Europe.

It was the first international military mission in which Germany participated since World War II, in 1993 when the Federal Government granted a mandate to the German army to participate in the missions of NATO forces in the former Yugoslavia.

The number of German army forces is estimated at about 185,000 men without reserves, and it is divided into 5 combat divisions.

According to the “Global Fire Power” classification of the most powerful armies in the world, the German army ranks 16th out of 140 armies included in the classification.

The German army has 617 multi-mission aircraft, 266 tanks and 9,217 armored vehicles, and its war fleet consists of 80 naval units.

revolutionary decision

In an exclusive interview with Sky News Arabia, Giuseppe Fama, Director of European Union Affairs at the International Crisis Group, described the German chancellor’s decision as “revolutionary.”

Fama said Schulz’s decision comes in contrast to decades-old German policy, where the German government has been one of the most reluctant European governments to use military force and increase the defense budget under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He stressed that the German army was also subject to criticism for the dire state of its assets, the number of active forces and the state of its technological innovation, as Germany is one of the most prominent countries in the military and defense industries.

Fama pointed out that Germany is highly dependent on the presence of US forces, as well as US technical equipment deployed on its soil.

The Director of European Union Affairs at the International Crisis Group stated that the decision to invest 100 billion euros will make the German defense budget exceed 2% of the GDP, as agreed by NATO countries by 2024, and push it to develop its main weapons and purchase more modern equipment.

According to Reuters, Germany may buy US F-35 fighter jets, to replace the aging multirole “Tornado” in the nuclear engagement role.

It is expected that the next generation of combat aircraft and tanks will be built in Europe jointly with European partners, especially with France, and in the German Chancellor.

Possible summon

For his part, the researcher at the Egyptian Center for Thought and Strategic Studies, Mohamed Mansour, believes in statements to “Sky News Arabia” that there are many indications that prompted Chancellor Schultz, to ignore the rejection that marred the positions of the German parties participating in the government troika, regarding the issue of raising the percentage. allocated to defense within the German general budget, as it responded to the demands of the Minister of Defense.

He added that the head of the German Army Association also demanded to raise this percentage to 2 percent, instead of 1.5 percent during the current budget.

Mansour explained that the increase in these allocations contributes to facilitating the task of the possible recall of about 20 thousand soldiers from the reserve forces, and supporting the German military modernization process, which is expected to include the manufacturing side and the armament side, especially with regard to the armored force as well as the air force.

meager post

Mansour said that at the level of German participation in strengthening NATO units in the Eastern European Sea, this participation was limited to sending 3 fighters to Romania in the middle of this month, with preparations to send 3 other fighters by the middle of next month, to participate in the NATO Air Police units, In addition to the limited participation of German ground forces in Lithuania.

He explained that the meager German participation in this framework was a main reason for the growing internal feeling in the country that there are major problems regarding the capabilities of the German armed forces, especially that Berlin is currently looking into how to make a greater contribution to NATO units stationed in the first line of defense in front of Russia “Baltic – Black Sea”.

The researcher continued, “This requires reducing the German military presence in other regions, to provide the units and equipment necessary to make this contribution, given the lack of a ready combat reserve at the level of number and equipment,” and stressed that “Berlin does not have a large margin of maneuver.”

The researcher at the Egyptian Center for Studies emphasized that the level of military aid provided by Berlin to Kiev was also an indication of the inability of the German military institution to keep pace with the aid provided to Kiev by countries that are actually less in terms of military capabilities and experience than Germany.

German aid was limited to sending 5,000 protective helmets to the Ukrainian forces, which provoked angry reactions, especially if this support was compared with what countries such as Britain, Estonia and Lithuania provided.

Mansour stressed that this situation, in general, provoked angry public reactions within the German military corps.

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