Germany powerless to defend itself and NATO against Russia if attacked

Germany’s military is not equipped to defend itself or its NATO partners against Russia, its chief has said.

Carsten Breuer, Germany’s chief of defence, has warned that Russia is rearming on a significant scale despite fighting and losing tens of thousands of armed forces personnel in Ukraine.

He said that, as the Bundeswehr is failing to rearm on a similar scale, it must prepare to wage a defensive war against Russian aggressors.

Russia reportedly boosted the size of its armed forces by 170,000 servicemen earlier this month, the second expansion of its kind since 2018 in response to the “aggressive activities of the NATO bloc”.

General Breuer fears Putin’s forces may invade Germany, an eventuality for which the Bundeswehr is “not sufficiently set up”.

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Speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday, December 10, the military chief said people must “get used” to the prospect of Germany waging a “defensive war”.

He said: “We must get used to the idea that we may perhaps one day have to wage a defensive war and will no longer have the choice whether we want to take part in a mission far away.

“We see a Bundeswehr that is not sufficiently set up for this yet.”

The military chief added that the “perfect world” in which people want to believe “no longer exists”, as “society as a whole” would now have to “acknowledge the necessity of a more resolute deterrence”.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had pledged to rearm the country following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and unveiled ambitious plans to do so not long following Putin’s incursion.

His government said it would create a €100 billion (£85 billion) fund with the sole purpose of boosting weapons purchases, allowing the Bundeswehr to recover from its shrunken state.

The Bundestag’s Budget Committee approved the first six armaments projects using the fund on December 14, 2022, but they won’t be delivered for some time.

The committee greenlit €30 billion (£25 billion) of spending for high-end acquisitions in December 2022.

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They included procurements like 35 F-35 combat aircraft, 60 CH-47F Block II Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, and an initial batch purchase of five P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

But they won’t be delivered for some time, likely not until 2025 at the earliest or 2030 at the latest.

Germany currently has 180,000 active soldiers and just over 300 tanks, half of which are reportedly not roadworthy.

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