Despite the billion-euro package, the Bundeswehr is barely defensible, army inspector says. There is not much money to be seen yet.
The army inspector, Lieutenant General Alphonse Mies, saw little progress in the defense capabilities of the Bundeswehr. Eight months after Chancellor Scholz announced a turning point and a 100 billion euro package, the situation has hardly changed. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, security issues in Germany have been discussed “more objectively and more deeply”. Not much has changed in terms of equipment.
“At the moment, the operational readiness of the army is no higher than February 24,” Mies said in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. On the day the war began, Mays warned that the army of 60,000 men and women was “more or less empty”.
The federal government’s massive arms support for Ukraine played a major role in this. “Given the circumstances, this is also a completely understandable political decision. However, it will take some time for us to replace this material. The bottom line is that there is less than before the start of the war,” said Mies. .
Only four artillery battalions remained
So far, the focus has been on foreign missions, and homeland defense has been neglected. “Currently we do not have an entire German brigade that would be able to conduct a combat mission for several weeks immediately and without a long preparation time. Given the situation, we have to change quickly,” Mies explained. In artillery, among other things, he sees “a great deal of catching up”.
“As it stands today, the Army still has four artillery battalions, about 100 self-propelled howitzers and about 40 MARS rocket launchers. Few of these operate on a daily basis. Looking to the future, this worries me greatly.” During the Cold War, artillery was larger than the entire Navy. It is no longer needed. “But we want to more than double the number of battalions. For that we need additional guns and rocket launchers.”
Ammunition is a problem
The ammunition problem was also confirmed by Eva Högl, the parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces: “We will need an additional 20 billion euros just to procure ammunition,” Eva Högl told the magazine. There are also not enough ammunition stores, Hogle said. “It still takes a lot of effort.” During the war in Ukraine, the federal government created a special fund of 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr. According to “Business Insider”, however, the ammunition should come from the current defense budget, not from special funds.