**see pinned comment for any corrections**
When Russia launched its February 24th invasion of Ukraine, Germany was one of the nations that experienced a dramatic, near overnight political shift.
Germany turned its eyes to rearmament after decades of reduced defence spending, while outside commenters criticised the limited number of heavy weapons the great Central European industrial power was able and willing to provide.
The reality is that Germany’s military is both one of the best funded in the world, and also one of the least prepared for action with much of its military reduced to scrounging from other units while equipment is out for maintenance. It is a military hampered by deep budgeting and procurement difficulties that have caused its readiness rates and equipment to run down to dire levels.
German defence industry is among the world’s best. It’s capable of developing world beating products (especially when working with other European powers) but it operates at production levels, and in a procurement environment, that mean it has often been foreign militaries, not the Bundeswehr, that benefit most from German military-industrial potential.
In this video, I go through some history of how the Bundeswehr came to be so run down. I go after the myth that the Bundeswehr has been poorly funded (there’s both a yes and no answer there) and go through some of the reasons I think Germany’s planned 100 billion Euro equipment spend could go horribly wrong if proper reforms and plans aren’t put in place.
To my German viewers, please take this as the friendly (if often critical) view of an ally across the sea.
Sources or resources:
Report on material readiness in the Bundeswehr 2021
Commentary on 2018 figures:
The BAAINBw CPM guidelines (in English) (Only for the very dedicated)
More relevant procurement rules and regs (again, for the dedicated)
2018 reporting on shortage of tents and basic equipment
Germany losing a lawsuit with H&K over the G36
DGAP – “Proposals for a new German armaments policy”
German Parliament blocking armed drones:
German ambition to make the Bundeswehr the most effective army in Europe:
BEWARE OF POTEMKIN: GERMANY’S DEFENSE RETHINK RISKS REINFORCING OLD HABITS
Beware of Potemkin: Germany’s Defense Rethink Risks Reinforcing Old Habits
DW on the dangers of procurement issues in spending the 100 billion Euro
RUSI on procurement issues in the Bundeswehr (2019)
slightly better stamp, I’ve dropped them in the comments for now:
00:00:54 — What Am I covering?
00:02:20 — Hey Germans
00:02:59 — History
00:06:13 — Cold War Germany – West
00:07:37 — Cold War Germany – East
00:09:31 — Armee der Einheit
00:12:09 — The broken Bundeswehr
00:12:26 — Germany and France comparison
00:16:45 — Scrounging and minor ambitions
00:19:16 — German Advantages
00:19:42 — German Advantages: German Industry
00:21:55 — German Advantages: The Sharp Edge
00:23:35 — What’s going on?
00:23:51 — Where does the money go?
00:26:39 — The capitalisation issue
00:29:42 — Procurement
00:30:16 — Procurement disasters
00:32:16 — Focking it up
00:36:42 — The aggregate picture
00:37:56 — Financial horizons
00:39:16 — Defence investment is long term
00:44:19 — Capability
00:45:31 — Compliance & litigation
00:49:01 — Politics
00:51:50 — 100 billion euro
00:52:21 — Zeitwende
00:54:50 — The Dangers
00:56:40 — Stage 1: The gold rush
00:59:02 — Stage 2: The cracks
01:00:32 — Stage 3: Strangulation
01:02:51 — Stage 4: gold plate & decay
01:04:52 — How to make it work?
01:09:32 — How to make it work? The social and political change
01:12:09 — And what of Ukraine
Originally published at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jDUVtUA7rg