Germany to set up €100bn fund to boost its military strength

Dark Sorrow

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In a historic announcement to parliament the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has said a fund of €100bn (£85bn) will be set up immediately in order to boost the strength of the country’s armed forces, as he also announced a sustained increase in defence spending over the coming years.
Scholz admitted that the urgency of the Ukraine crisis had forced the decision to invest in the German military, telling the emergency session of the Bundestag: “It is clear that we must invest significantly more in the security of our country, in order to protect our freedom and democracy.”

He called it “Germany’s historical responsibility” to ensure that Vladimir Putin “does not turn the clocks back”.
The move comes after the government made the surprise announcement on Saturday that it would be sending weapons and other supplies to Ukraine, including 1,000 anti-tank weapons, 500 surface-to-air Stinger missiles and thousands of gallons of petrol.
The decision marks a historical break with Germany’s postwar pledge to not export weapons to conflict zones.
Long-term defence spending is to be increased year on year by more than 2% of GDP, he said. It is currently about 1.5% with Germany having been under growing pressure from its Nato allies, in particular the US, to increase the amount for years. The existence of the special fund should be anchored in Germany’s constitution, Scholz said, in order to ensure it remained a guarantee beyond the life of the current parliament.
Germany has long been criticised by its allies for its resistance to increasing its defence spending. This position has been reinforced by a strong pacifist sentiment amongst the electorate linked to Germany’s bloody Nazi past. In recent weeks the country was also under fire for having not offered enough material support in particular refusing to deliver lethal weapons to assist Ukraine to defend itself against Russia.
But a turning point came on Saturday evening with the government’s the surprise announcement on weapons to Ukraine. It has also lifted certain restrictions on German-manufactured weapons being sent to conflict zones from third countries, such as Estonia and the Netherlands.
The announcement to parliament was greeted with relief and surprise, with Scholz receiving a standing ovation on Sunday morning, even as some MPs mainly from the the Left party as well as the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) groaned in disapproval.
During his half-hour address, Scholz said Putin’s decision to launch a war “marked a turning point in the history of our continent”. The military conflict would be a lengthy one, he said, stressing that he saw it as “Putin’s war” and “not a war of the Russian people”. He said the conflict would alter the world and called it “a catastrophe for Ukraine”, but said it would “also prove to be a catastrophe for Russia”.
Scholz issued five “mandates for action”, including: the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, which he said “can be the only answer to Putin’s aggression”; supporting sanctions against Russian interests including the suspension of the Swift payment system; ensuring the war does not spill over into other countries, citing the importance of Nato’s article 5; a significant increase in German military spending as well as other strategic changes, including an effort to decrease German dependence on Russian gas, and the construction of two terminals allowing the import of liquid petroleum gas in the ports of Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven.
This follows his decision last week to suspend approval of the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, in effect killing the multibillion-euro project.
Finally, Scholz said he was determined to keep up the diplomatic effort. “We need as much diplomacy as possible, without being naive,” he said, adding that Germany would not refuse to hold talks with Russia. “Even in this extreme situation it is the job of diplomacy to keep open channels of communication,” he said. “Anything else would be irresponsible.”

 

Dark Sorrow

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Germany’s reversal on Ukraine weapons policy ‘response to Putin’s aggression’
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained the government's decision to supply weapons to Kyiv saying, "We need to support Ukraine in its hour of desperate need."

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues into its fourth day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz addressed the lower house of German parliament, the Bundestag, on the government’s decision to directly supply weapons to Ukrainian troops.

“We need to support Ukraine in its hour of desperate need,” Scholz told a special session of the Bundestag.
“There was no other response possible to Putin’s aggression,” he added, referring to the release of German weapons to Ukraine.

“It was Putin who chose this war, not the Russian people, so we must see clearly that this is Putin’s war,” the chancellor said.

On Saturday, the German government announced its decision to provide 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 surface-to-air missiles from German military stocks to Ukraine as soon as possible.


Additionally, Estonia and the Netherlands received permission from the German government to transfer German-made weapons to Ukraine, whereas previously such permission had been denied.


The moves reverse Germany’s long-standing principle of not sending or selling weapons to conflict areas.


Why did Germany change its policy?


“In attacking Ukraine, Putin doesn’t just want to eradicate a country from the world map, he is destroying the European security structure we have had in place since Helsinki,” Scholz said, referring to Europe’s long-standing security infrastructure.


“We are not alone in defending peace,” he added.


Scholz said anyone “who has read what Putin says” can have “no doubt” the Russian president wants to “create a new order in Europe and he has no qualms about using military capabilities to achieve it.”


“What do we need to counter this threat now or in the future?” he added.


“We will never resign ourselves to violence as a means of politics … We will not rest until peace is secured in Europe,” Scholz tweeted after his address.


In announcing the policy reversal on Saturday, Scholz said that the “Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point. It threatens our entire post-war order. In this situation, it is our duty to support Ukraine to the best of our ability in its defense against Vladimir Putin’s invading army.”


“Germany stands closely by Ukraine’s side,” Scholz added.


For years, Germany has refused to export any arms to war zones or allow third countries to send German-made arms to these areas. The policy is rooted in Germany’s history as an aggressor during World War II.


Boost in defense spending


Scholz said the German government would allocate €100 billion extra for the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, in the 2022 budget.


“From now on, more than 2% of our GDP will be invested in our defense,” Scholz said.


Germany has previously been criticized for devoting less than the 2% mark on defense spending called for by NATO agreements.


The €100 billion will be allocated into a “special fund” for the German armed forces.


How has Ukraine reacted?


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed Germany’s change of heart. On Twitter, he wrote, “Keep up the good work, Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Anti-war coalition in action!”


Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, told Germany’s DPA news agency: “We are glad that Germany has finally made this 180-degree turnaround.”


Melnyk also told German newspaper Die Welt that Ukraine expects “this is only Germany’s first step.”


He called for “an immediate ban on the import of all Russian raw materials, without exception, not only for gas, petroleum, coal, or metals.”


Melnyk said he hopes that as the Russian invasion rumbles on, the German government will provide additional defensive weapons so Ukraine can protect itself.


“People are not just defending their homeland, they are fighting for liberty and democracy. As democrats, as Europeans, we stand with you, we stand on the right side of history with you,” Scholz said.

 

Nationalist Manasvi Papa

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French German rivalry has died down and British don't care much about mainland Europe.

With American presence in Germany I don't think they will try to repeat their WW2 actions viz a viz France, Belgium and Netherlands.
They were pretty opposed to German Unification too. And that was after being in NATO for decades.
 

Knowitall

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French German rivalry has died down and British don't care much about mainland Europe.

With American presence in Germany I don't think they will try to repeat their WW2 actions viz a viz France, Belgium and Netherlands.
Germany has no reason to attack them now.

The entirety of EU today servers as an excellent dumping ground for German goods.

German banks today directly control the fate of countries like Greece spain Bosnia and many others.

Germany today is exactly where it wants to be especially post-brexit. It is the most dominant country in EU and holds a lot of political and diplomatic heft in the eurozone.

After the conclusion of German elections a fee months back the winning party had stated that their goal was to create a European federation.

While this is not going to happen for a long long time economic and diplomatic interdependence continues at a brisk pace and Germany's military build up should boost this drastically.
 

Longewala

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"Putin doesn’t just want to eradicate a country from the world map, he is destroying the European security structure"
And there you go.
The same Germans, so pious and sanction and woke, who happily looked away as their NATO allies wrecked Iraq, Vietnam, Libya, are suddenly very concerned because it's white Europeans facing the brunt.

No matter how much lipstick you put on the filthy, racist pig...
 

Hari Sud

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This rethinking of German defence and offence posture to a much higher spending is a bad news to French and British. Once the Germans re-militarize, they will find an excuse to teach both French and British an old lesson of nineteenth and twentieth century (pre WW2). Ukraine issue will be forgotten as Putin will withdraw post Ukraine assurance not to join NATO. Germans have a lot of outstanding account to settle. All the foregoing was covered up by the victorious allies.

Germans are now the economic masters of the Europe. They will make sure that their military and economic views prevail in Europe. Americans who are very good in loosing wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) will find an excuse to withdraw their 30,000 troops from Europe. Even if they keep them there, their Supreme Commander will be out-maneuvered and German views will prevail.

Were the Germans waiting for this opportunity. I guess yes! That is why, so quickly during the minor war in Ukraine, they decided to add $100 billion to the military budget and increase yearly defence spending to greater than 2% of GDP.

Hence this minor war is a blessing in disguise for the Germans.
 

Tshering22

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French German rivalry has died down and British don't care much about mainland Europe.

With American presence in Germany I don't think they will try to repeat their WW2 actions viz a viz France, Belgium and Netherlands.
It's a matter of time. It's always in moments like these that vested interests take control. What's not to say that the Fourth Reich will take control? A desire for vengeance can always creep up at any time.
 

Cheepek

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So focus on Russia and economic decoupling from China takes a back seat.
 

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