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October 21, 2014


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The Bundeswehr is no more.

You ought to pitch Germany just ditching its military for paying the US directly. ;)

More reporting on this from Der Spiegel (not behind a paywall).

("These days, a lot of scoffing can be heard about the military in Berlin political circles. One line goes, 'We're practicing disarmament through wear and tear.' ")

Also, it's not that one of the four Type 212 submarines is "inoperational" -- three of the four aren't "available" or "deployable", and the only one that is was rated "yellow" instead of "green", so apparently it has some problems, too...

Whoops! That was my error, Peter. Just corrected.

Here's the next Leopard tank:



I can almost see the issue with the Marders... those are getting quite old and they presumably saw a good deal of service over the last decade. (sadly, I know this because I tabled-topped a c.1979 scenario a few weeks back, and my Marders proved singularly unhelpful)

But that Eurofighter availability is an embarrassment. It is probably on par with the F-22, but there is a reason I described the USAF as the uniformed arm of the defense industrial complex recently.

It's the biggest black eye for the Merkel government for a long time. It's exacerbated by the fact that the Defense Minister was a political appointee who is both incompetent and widely despised by the career military.

There are some complex politics here. The DM, Ursula von der Leyen, is a physician who is considered the "social conscience" of the conservatives; she's been quite popular until recently, and had been considered a plausible potential successor to Merkel. So there's speculation that Merkel -- who doesn't much care for over-popular or over-mighty Cabinet Ministers -- may have given her Defense as a poisoned chalice.

But anyway, yes, awkward.

Doug M.

hmmm. Eurofighters seem to have problems in more than Germany:


And the rifles...


Shades of the M1A1?

Another issue here is the politics between the defence institution and the front line - the "old" Bundeswehr was all about the heavy, heavy metal for obvious reasons and naturally about the procurement system that supported it. the people who went fighting in Afghanistan for the last 13 years as an expeditionary light infantry force? they could care less about the Type 212 U-boat or the Eurofighter and herds of tanks parked up in NRW are a bit abstract.

Here's a massive longread: http://www.afghanistan-connection.de/

It's very German - check out the Greens worrying that the ex-Afghans think army training should involve shooting at targets and that officers with experience in dealing with floods are being held back from promotion - but there's obviously a big issue in the politics of their military-industrial complex.

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