Bundeswehr: are german soldiers fat, stupid and weak?

  • The Bundeswehr commissioner of the Bundestag has in its annual report some Problems named
  • The question Hans-Peter Bartels raises: Has the army been underfunded for years? broken?
  • He finds harsh words, simply put the soldiers are "fatter, weaker and dumber than before"
  • How this can be improved? Bartels gets inspiration from Swedish furniture store Ikea
  • His idea: Away from "design" – towards the Ikea principle: "also buy, pay, take away"

What does a Swedish furniture store have to do with the Bundeswehr to do? For Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), a lot. The Bundestag's defense commissioner, who sees himself as an advocate and grievance box for the more than 180.In its new annual report, the German military once again complains that it is unable to provide the troops with the bare essentials. Boots, protective vests, backpacks.

Bundeswehr in pitiful condition – this idea should help

Too many orders would be blown up into bureaucracy monsters, soldiers would then have to wait years for equipment. Many things are put out to tender across Europe, first reinvented, tested, certified and then introduced into the Bundeswehr in small orders spread over 15 years.

"You can also just buy it. That means moving away from the principle that everything must always be 'design' for the German military, because otherwise it's no good, and toward the 'Ikea principle': get it, pay for it, take it with you," Bartels said at a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday.

The Ikea model should explicitly not apply to battle tanks or missile defense. The Bundeswehr should continue to get the best of the best, even at the cost of longer and more expensive procurement.

Bundeswehr: Operational readiness remains poor

Since 2014, the defense budget has increased from 32.4 to about 45 billion euros.

  • Last year, 1.1 billion euros were not spent at all.
  • Major armament projects delayed further.
  • With the exception of the Eurofighter, the operational readiness of the main weapon systems remains poor.
  • The "radical centralization from the era of shrinkage" is having a counterproductive effect.

The future of the Bundeswehr is not only dependent on money – "without internal reform, the trend reversals threaten to fail," Bartels warned.

He hears from the soldiers always the same concerns. "Too little material, too few personnel, too much bureaucracy."It should not be accepted as a normal state of affairs when armored infantrymen, instead of practicing with their infantry fighting vehicles, get out of a VW Bulli from the Bundeswehr fleet in the field.

The quality of Bundeswehr soldiers has deteriorated

Despite image campaigns, the In terms of applications, the previous year saw the second worst result since the suspension of compulsory military service in 2011. More than 20.000 service posts above the enlisted level are not filled.

Trainers also complain about the skills of future soldiers. The "quality" of soldiers has deteriorated, put simply, they are "fatter, weaker and dumber than before," Bartels writes in his report. At the end of 2019, there were 183.667 soldiers, including 175.330 professional and temporary soldiers. Are Bundeswehr soldiers fit enough for deployment??

Bundeswehr dismissed 45 soldiers for extremism

Bundeswehr reacts more sensitively to extremism in the troops. "Extremists cannot rely on comrades to listen away."Thus, in 2019, almost 200 events were reported from the right-wing extremist area, after 170 the year before.

Bundeswehr kicked out 45 soldiers early for extremist misconduct. The sentence of a non-commissioned officer, "All Jews would have to be gassed," led to a derangement." A disciplinary action was imposed for a corporal's words, "He should wait tables, he's black."Bartels was critical of whether the Bundeswehr would be able to cope with additional missions abroad, which Defense Minister and CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had declared possible, for example, in the context of a possible Blue Helmet mission in Libya. Asked how long the Bundeswehr could theoretically withstand an attack on Germany, he replied, "The Bundeswehr as a whole would not be positioned or equipped for collective defense today."

Green Party politician Tobias Lindner criticized that the load on the troops is now too high in many parts. FDP expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann also said that as long as the state of the Bundeswehr did not change, it was out of touch with reality when Kramp-Karrenbauer proposed new missions.

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