Bundeswehr 'Confidence' in Government 'Dangerously Undermined' – Sen. Officer
13:52 27.04.2018(updated 13:56 27.04.2018)
The German army needs increased funding, otherwise the modernization program started by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen could fail, Die Welt newspaper wrote, citing head of the German Bundeswehr Association Lieutenant Colonel André Wüstner.
Germany's defense budget should grow by 15 billion euros by 2021, or the country might face "unforeseen consequences in the field of state security," André Wüstner, a Bundeswehr representative, warned.
According to the official, without additional financial resources, the German army won't be able to update its infrastructure and weapons.
Wüstner noted that the soldiers' confidence in the German government is "dangerously undermined" and may be lost forever, if the authorities refuse to increase funding.
"If one wants to be credible and show the German people that their protection is the first and foremost duty of the state, then one must demonstrate it in an understandable way," Wüstner said, cited by the newspaper.
Earlier, German newspaper Handelsblatt had reported that the Bundeswehr intends to spend more than €450 million on the modernization of its armed forces in 2018 alone.
The move came amid reports that the German army has been suffering equipment and staff shortages.
For instance, on March 31, 2018, news emerged of a confidential report from the German Defense Ministry warning of the poor and "outdated" state of the Air Force's fleet of Tornado combat jets. The aircraft were said to be incapable of joining further NATO missions as they do not possess an encrypted communication system and the intelligence they gather remains vulnerable to interception.
Previously, another German magazine had reported that over half of the German Bundeswehr's Leopard 2 tanks weren't ready for operation. It was said that the Bundeswehr has 244 tanks of this type in service, but only 95 of them are in full combat readiness.
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