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#21 seahawk

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0752 AM

 

 

Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.

 

Or disband them and spent the money on social security and health care. Any asset that you have no intention to use, is just a waste.

 

The simple fact is that no political party:

 

- actually wants to use the forces in a real shooting conflict

- intends to fund them to a level that would make them a credible asset

- it is only a tool to fund the German defence industry

 

 

 Your argument is basically saying there is no point in having a police force unless you plan to arrest people. Yes, but...

 

The Central European powers are all enjoying the benefits  the peripheral powers have been paying for their security. Its a simple choice, either you man up and play a role, or you can witness your own security go down the toilet. There is a smug belief that the next 25 years of European security is going to look like the last 25, and I for one am wondering where this belief comes from, because Its clearly not supported by any evidence.

 

 

It is not an argument it is a simple, it is a simple observation of facts. There is no political will in Germany to take defence seriously, there is no political will to use the armed forces in conflict and there is no political will to fund them for other purposes than to support the industry. With that in mind, I believe that every Euro spent on the armed forces is money wasted, as it serves no purpose. 


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#22 Chris Werb

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0806 AM

On his own forum, Lastdingo recently expressed the opinion that the German navy is pointless. I certainly think it could be reduced to submarines, air delivered mines and shore based missiles at a small fraction of its present cost and the saving reinvested in the readiness and sustainability of your other armed forces.
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#23 JasonJ

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0814 AM

 

 

 

Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.

 

Or disband them and spent the money on social security and health care. Any asset that you have no intention to use, is just a waste.

 

The simple fact is that no political party:

 

- actually wants to use the forces in a real shooting conflict

- intends to fund them to a level that would make them a credible asset

- it is only a tool to fund the German defence industry

 

 

 Your argument is basically saying there is no point in having a police force unless you plan to arrest people. Yes, but...

 

The Central European powers are all enjoying the benefits  the peripheral powers have been paying for their security. Its a simple choice, either you man up and play a role, or you can witness your own security go down the toilet. There is a smug belief that the next 25 years of European security is going to look like the last 25, and I for one am wondering where this belief comes from, because Its clearly not supported by any evidence.

 

 

It is not an argument it is a simple, it is a simple observation of facts. There is no political will in Germany to take defence seriously, there is no political will to use the armed forces in conflict and there is no political will to fund them for other purposes than to support the industry. With that in mind, I believe that every Euro spent on the armed forces is money wasted, as it serves no purpose. 

 

 

Well there are German forces in the Baltics right now so let's not get carried away with it.


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#24 Gregory

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0925 AM

According to surveys, top threats to Germany are ISIS, climate change and cyberattacks. Conventional adversaries like Russia or China are considered to be threats by very few. It’s no wonder Bundeswher is funded at essentially starvation levels.
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#25 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0953 AM

 

 

 

Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.

 

Or disband them and spent the money on social security and health care. Any asset that you have no intention to use, is just a waste.

 

The simple fact is that no political party:

 

- actually wants to use the forces in a real shooting conflict

- intends to fund them to a level that would make them a credible asset

- it is only a tool to fund the German defence industry

 

 

 Your argument is basically saying there is no point in having a police force unless you plan to arrest people. Yes, but...

 

The Central European powers are all enjoying the benefits  the peripheral powers have been paying for their security. Its a simple choice, either you man up and play a role, or you can witness your own security go down the toilet. There is a smug belief that the next 25 years of European security is going to look like the last 25, and I for one am wondering where this belief comes from, because Its clearly not supported by any evidence.

 

 

It is not an argument it is a simple, it is a simple observation of facts. There is no political will in Germany to take defence seriously, there is no political will to use the armed forces in conflict and there is no political will to fund them for other purposes than to support the industry. With that in mind, I believe that every Euro spent on the armed forces is money wasted, as it serves no purpose. 

 

 

My late father gave me the best definition of expenditure on Defence. He said, its the insurance policy you hope never pays out. Exactly. And if I might add to it, its the insurance policy you pay into that ensures it never HAS to pay out.

 

The top and bottom of it, Europe is smugly secure in its belief there cannot, and will never be another world war. And these usually are the statesmen whom said state on state conflict was at an end after  the cold war.  They were certainly wrong about the latter, they may well at length be wrong about the former too.

 

 

On his own forum, Lastdingo recently expressed the opinion that the German navy is pointless. I certainly think it could be reduced to submarines, air delivered mines and shore based missiles at a small fraction of its present cost and the saving reinvested in the readiness and sustainability of your other armed forces.

 

its clear Europe needs to do a better job of burden sharing and carving up responsibilities. I think as things are, we may as well convert our army into an analogue of the USMC, and max out resources on the navy and the air force. We clearly dont have the intention of taking mechanized warfare seriously to put resources into it, so we may as well.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 06 May 2018 - 1029 AM.

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#26 seahawk

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1016 AM

 

 

 

 

Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.

 

Or disband them and spent the money on social security and health care. Any asset that you have no intention to use, is just a waste.

 

The simple fact is that no political party:

 

- actually wants to use the forces in a real shooting conflict

- intends to fund them to a level that would make them a credible asset

- it is only a tool to fund the German defence industry

 

 

 Your argument is basically saying there is no point in having a police force unless you plan to arrest people. Yes, but...

 

The Central European powers are all enjoying the benefits  the peripheral powers have been paying for their security. Its a simple choice, either you man up and play a role, or you can witness your own security go down the toilet. There is a smug belief that the next 25 years of European security is going to look like the last 25, and I for one am wondering where this belief comes from, because Its clearly not supported by any evidence.

 

 

It is not an argument it is a simple, it is a simple observation of facts. There is no political will in Germany to take defence seriously, there is no political will to use the armed forces in conflict and there is no political will to fund them for other purposes than to support the industry. With that in mind, I believe that every Euro spent on the armed forces is money wasted, as it serves no purpose. 

 

 

Well there are German forces in the Baltics right now so let's not get carried away with it.

 

 

And all they do is air policing and flag waving. The whole Bundeswehr has no operational value and adds no value to NATO by being unwilling and unable to really contribute anything. The Dutch armed forces have a higher operational value. One could scrap the Navy, most of the Air Force and then concentrate the Army as a heavily mechanized force including SAM systems and mobile AAA only intended for the defence of NATO and Germany. That way they would add more value to NATO than today, because they would cover a core capability that others (Uk for example) might disband.


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#27 Gregory

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1024 AM

And all they do is air policing and flag waving. The whole Bundeswehr has no operational value and adds no value to NATO by being unwilling and unable to really contribute anything. The Dutch armed forces have a higher operational value. One could scrap the Navy, most of the Air Force and then concentrate the Army as a heavily mechanized force including SAM systems and mobile AAA only intended for the defence of NATO and Germany. That way they would add more value to NATO than today, because they would cover a core capability that others (Uk for example) might disband.


One could, but why would one do that? If Germany believes that real conventional threats from Russia exists,then it needs to have a military capable of responding to full array of conventional threats. Wouldn't want to end up without an Air Force just because Spain is having a constitutional crisis and is unable to deploy, for example. If not, what's the point of investing in "heavy mechanized Bundeswehr"?
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#28 Ssnake

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1025 AM

The Bundeswehr itself maintains the position, of course, that it wants to be a "complete force" that can take on any task (not of any magnitude, mind you). I don't think they're giving up the airforce or the navy for that reason alone, even if that means that money constraints reduce the actual capabilities to policing in foreign shitholes.


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#29 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1032 AM

Its kind of ironic that the European country that has its shit together the most, military wise, is France. :)
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#30 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1035 AM

 

And all they do is air policing and flag waving. The whole Bundeswehr has no operational value and adds no value to NATO by being unwilling and unable to really contribute anything. The Dutch armed forces have a higher operational value. One could scrap the Navy, most of the Air Force and then concentrate the Army as a heavily mechanized force including SAM systems and mobile AAA only intended for the defence of NATO and Germany. That way they would add more value to NATO than today, because they would cover a core capability that others (Uk for example) might disband.


One could, but why would one do that? If Germany believes that real conventional threats from Russia exists,then it needs to have a military capable of responding to full array of conventional threats. Wouldn't want to end up without an Air Force just because Spain is having a constitutional crisis and is unable to deploy, for example. If not, what's the point of investing in "heavy mechanized Bundeswehr"?

 

 

There is the other way of looking at it, nations having small capablities are still useful as flagwaving units. In that, though the Netherlands might have a small airforce, just contributing 4 to an air policing role means that its fully committed to a NATO burdensharing, which is important politically. So yes, you are right, it does have a value for deterrence purposes. Whether that is actually worth what it costs whenmight actually provide more useable military assets is the point Im beginning to question.

 

Ultimately NATO depends on a US response to be viable, so all countries playing a role in it clearly have a utility for political signalling. The problem is no arising when we cannot take America honoring its commitments to quite the certainty we once did. At which point, it commends committing more resources to capability and concentrating on specific roles, than just elemental units of little more use than flagwaving.


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#31 BansheeOne

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1050 AM

According to surveys, top threats to Germany are ISIS, climate change and cyberattacks. Conventional adversaries like Russia or China are considered to be threats by very few. It’s no wonder Bundeswher is funded at essentially starvation levels.

 

That's from pollster Allensbach's 2018 Security Report in February, in which 74 percent named the IS as as possible threat to German security, 48 percent the conflict with North Korea, 37 the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, 29 percent Israel-Palestine, 28 percent the Syrian civil war, 20 percent Saudi Arabia-Iran, 19 percent the Taleban, 16 percent various civil wars in Africa. Which is not wrong in the physical sense (except that three months on, Korea looks quite different, showing how rapidly situations might be re-assessed); some random guy who pledged allegiance to the IS is far more likely to commit an attack in Germany than the Ukrainian conflict spilling over on German territory, though of course there are different ways to look at this.

 

More interesting are the countries who are considered a threat to world peace: North Korea 73 percent, the US 40 (which is high even by nutty German peacenik standards, part of the Trump effect; 49 percent don't consider the US a trustworthy partner at this point while only 24 percent expressively do); Iran 37, Turkey 33, Syria 30, Russia 28. As usual there's some difference between West and East Germans - of the former, 38 percent consider the US and 32 Russia a threat to world peace, of the latter 48 and 15 percent respectively. OTOH, trust in NATO has grown from a low of 32 percent in 2007 to 45 (48 of West, 35 of East Germans).

 

At the same time, fear of a war involving Germany has declined from a peak of 24 percent overall in 2016 to 18, which is 2014-level (pre-Ukraine, it used to be 15-16). Future personal risks people worry much more about are poverty in old age (77 percent), natural disasters (74), corporate abuse of personal data (71), terror attacks (69), care dependency or dementia in old age (68), internet data theft (67), violent crime (52) and property crime (49). Overall, personal fears are at a seven-year low, mostly due to a decline of economic worries (loss of income, inflation, unemployment). If asked about what the government should spend more money on, people mostly say schools (76 percent), families with kids (72), healthcare (70), police (69), pensions (64) and traffic infrastructure (56); only 27 percent mention the Bundeswehr.

 

So folks are much more interested in domestic than external security, which many don't seem to connect. In fact trust in the Bundeswehr has declined from 53 percent in 2011 to 45, which is probably in part a self-inflicted wound by Defense Minister von der Leyen due to her utter mishandling of armed forces "scandals" in recent years, but also because of the frequent reports about lack of equipment and capabilities; only 22 percent judge the state of the Bundeswehr as good, 41 less than good, 22 not good at all. It's paradoxical then of course that so few want more money for it, but it's just not particularly high on people's priority list.


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#32 Gregory

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1116 AM

According to surveys, top threats to Germany are ISIS, climate change and cyberattacks. Conventional adversaries like Russia or China are considered to be threats by very few. It’s no wonder Bundeswher is funded at essentially starvation levels.

 
That's from pollster Allensbach's 2018 Security Report in February, in which 74 percent named the IS as as possible threat to German security, 48 percent the conflict with North Korea, 37 the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, 29 percent Israel-Palestine, 28 percent the Syrian civil war, 20 percent Saudi Arabia-Iran, 19 percent the Taleban, 16 percent various civil wars in Africa. Which is not wrong in the physical sense (except that three months on, Korea looks quite different, showing how rapidly situations might be re-assessed); some random guy who pledged allegiance to the IS is far more likely to commit an attack in Germany than the Ukrainian conflict spilling over on German territory, though of course there are different ways to look at this.

My numbers were from a 2017 Pew survey, but yours are in line - this is clearly a legitimate expression of German mindset right now.
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#33 TOW-2

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1258 PM

My hat is off to Angela Merkel; I mean, really, I have never seen such a deep-run sabotage operation run by the eastern bloc nations pay off quite like she has.  During her tenure she has weakened Germany to the point where a firm shove from the Russians would collapse the entire country.  Well done, Comrade Young Pioneer!


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#34 Adam Peter

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1312 PM

Conventional adversaries like Russia or China are considered to be threats by very few.

 

Neither Russia nor China are conventional adversaries of Germany.


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#35 BansheeOne

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1434 PM

My hat is off to Angela Merkel; I mean, really, I have never seen such a deep-run sabotage operation run by the eastern bloc nations pay off quite like she has.  During her tenure she has weakened Germany to the point where a firm shove from the Russians would collapse the entire country.  Well done, Comrade Young Pioneer!

 

Disregarding the rest of this loony rant, where and with what should they shove to effect that?


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#36 Jeff

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 1617 PM

At this rate, the Smolensk Police Department will be able to take over Europe.


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#37 BansheeOne

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 0226 AM

Though in fairness, the low point of the German defense budget was in 2000 with about 23 billion Euro (from a high of 28 in 1991). It remained in the ballpark until 2009 with 26 billion, then rose by 50 percent over eight years at essentially zero inflation to currently 39 billion, and is planned to reach 44 by 2021 (not including any additional raises demanded by the defense minister). As a share of the overall national budget, it dropped from second place behind social affairs to third behind debt service in 1994, but that reversed from 2012 - though mostly because debt service decreased sharply as a function of the Euro crisis. In fact the share of defense has generally stayed at about ten to twelve percent since 1993, dropping from about 20 in the 1975-1989 timeframe.

 

I also played with historical inflation numbers, and in adjusted virtual Euros, 39 billion in 2018 only correspond to reaching about the 1971 level of defense spending again (around 11 billion). Which doesn't say very much about capabilities actually - the Bundeswehr was of course much bigger but also much cheaper per soldier and system back then, with nowhere near today's combat power per capita - but it shows the dimension in time. Most of all, you don't roll back two decades of austerity with accumulated gaps in a couple years, particularly if procurement still doesn't exceed 30 percent of total spending versus expenditures for personnel and maintenance/upkeep.

 

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Edited by BansheeOne, 07 May 2018 - 0227 AM.

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#38 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 0238 AM

And  of course the Bundeswehr in 2000 still has substantially useable equipment. The only old kit it had was the Marder, which still had over a decade of life left in it. Now, all of its aging. Even that outstanding gun the PH2000 is 2 decades old.

 

Its the same problem with the UK. We coasted 2 decades without substantial investment in military equipment, because it was mostly new at the end of the cold war. We had the warrior in 1989. The AS90 about 1990-94, Challenger 2 from 1996-99. All that had been essentially paid for by 1994 when we had the big defence review which cut expenditure at 2 percent on defence. But of course, now we need to invest in a new generation of equipment after having spent a decade in the war on terror. And now we have to fork out on big ticket items we deferred for  overa decade its not helped by an entire generation of soldiers thoughtlessly getting older and straining the MOD pension system. :D

 

The point is, you can coast for quite a long time on not buying new equipment and renewing, but that price will come back to bite you sooner or later. And when it does, you often have very little to show for some substantial expenditure. Look how much effort it took the US military all through the 1970s on renewing equipment. It only started to pay off by the 1980s. And they were able to coast quite comfortably for 2 decades on that expenditure, before they again started to find themselves in a hole they have difficulty digging themselves out of.

 

It would be nice if Politicians learned these lessons, but that is surely expecting too much.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 07 May 2018 - 0239 AM.

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#39 Ssnake

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 0313 AM

"The politician" is acting rationally with a coasting strategy, if you look at his personal career. Voters usually don't reward military spending unless there's an obvious, undeniable crisis (at which point it is too late, usually), so if you decide to coast, chances are that it's going to be someone else's problem a few years down the road, when you're probably working on something entirely different.

Budget planners in the army have to deal with the budget that they are being given, and try to minimize the damage that budget cuts could potentially do. If the cuts are becoming serious/if the coasting is maintained for too long, you start with malicious compliance, like "we don't need to pay for AMRAAM maintenance; by the time these missiles expire, we'll have Meteor - according to this 100% reliable plan". Of course you then take a big risk with banking the nation's air defense capability on some other procurement project's fate, but what if the alternative would be something irreversible?


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#40 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 0341 AM

We see this coasting strategy in many areas in the UK. For example, in the early 2010's everyone stopped funding maintenance of the roads, the calculation being the economy would recover or they would be out of power long before the road network deteriorated. Now where I live the roads are  like a tank proving ground, and its an entirely different series of politicians having to fork out over the odds to put the problem right.  :D

 

Its happened at least 3 times in defence in the UK in my lifetime. The first time was actually in the 1980s. There was much made for the Thatcher weapons buildup, and in some areas its true, it was very impressive.  What they dont tell you is that by the late 1980s increasingly large chunks of the Royal Navy were tied up, partly I suspect because they have been overused in the same decade (Falklands, Armilla patrol etc) but also that the same service was funding the bulk of the development of the Vanguard ballistic missile submarine. Something the Royal Navy found as a problem all the way back to the 1960s when they funded the Polaris boats, but it always seems to come as a surprise.

 

 Even the US military had some of the same issues in the 1970s. You can read Admiral Zumwalts memoirs, and read of the desperation to remove WW2 era warships from the inventory, to free up funds to develop the next series of warships, some of which, the Spruances, were some of the best frigates they ever had. It still caused immense pain and straining of resources throughout the 70s to do it.

 

So ive distinct sympathy with some of the German Military's problems. They are not of their making. What is harder to understand is the political culture. Is it just the political left in Germany playing these games, or is it across the board? Is there nobody who can take leadership, and perhaps subtly change Germany's direction like Japan's Shinzo Abe? Or must we rely on the French to save us next time. :)


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 07 May 2018 - 0341 AM.

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