Well, I've also heard positive estimations (not the least from British mil intelligence officers) in that Germany, unlike other NATO members, was at least not only acknowledging a new strategic situation in Europe post Krim-annexation, but that there were also tangible changes of the force structure reflecting that new assessment.
That doesn't, of course, address the question of who in western Europe was willing to freeze his ass off (much less to die) for Estonia. Not that _I'm_ advocating that we shouldn't --- but if only 20...30% of the population are willing to put their own life on the line in defense of their own country, well, I guess that 50 years of neomarxist assault on the purity of our essence have achieved strategic victory for the water fluoridators.
So, taking the complaint of the population's lack of enthusiasm for self-defense to the Bundeswehr (or any army) is barking up the wrong tree. Likewise, the politicians' actions in our liberal democracies usually reflect the preferences of the population, and I think we can see in many countries a disconnect between the population at large, their trust and support for the armed forces, not just specifically Germany; be it in the US where among some "dissent is the highest form of partriotism" and "criticizing the wars doesn't mean a lack of support for the troops" who however are "the lowest form of life" according to some teachers.
Or, as I heard from the UK, where some people resisted the establishment of a rehabilitation clinic for soldiers because they didn't want to bear the sight of all those cripples.
All these cases have rightfully drawn a lot of criticism (not the least here on TankNet), and I'm not saying that they reflect the attitude of the entire population, but they all create a bit of a worry about the level of political support that we can expect from the general population. To that extent I'm not sure if it is a specifically "German" problem.
Nominally the UK spends more than its 2% GDP on defense, but when half of that is sunk in two aircraft carrier projects that won't have squadrons to carry once that they are ready, I'm beginning to wonder if our current missile & fighter disaster really is so much worse for the overall NATO defense capability. The 1.4% that Germany spends arguably yield a more capable land force, at least.
Well as far as the rehabilitation clinic, ive not heard of such a thing. I wont say it didnt happen because such things can happen, but as they are doing it in Tedworth house in Tidworth barracks, im not sure why it would be an issue.
The 2 supercarriers, in part this is part of the problem. In truth, the Germans have ALWAYS been dismissive of the British Army and the Navy having a global role. They complained about our wish to make our forces more mobile in the 1980s, and Im not surprised the logic of a carrier doesnt impress. Ultimately if security is a global problem, somehow thinking that our little tiny European corner is the only significant part should be defended and the rest of the world can get lost, is really just repeating Trumpian logic. If our values are to prevail, we HAVE to think beyond the European corner. Because if Afghanistan hasnt impressed the idea that even the most Godforsaken parts of the world can breed insecurity for us, then nothing will. Its not as if the Carrier wont be useful in guaranteeing European security either, as the 3 invincibles proved.
As for the lack of aircraft, well you can blame the dunderhead David Cameron for the lack of Harriers, or they would already be working up the fixed wing component right now. As it stands, they are due to fly on this year, on trials at first, but it usually took RN carriers about 2 years to work up so this is not unusual. So its going to be a small compliment to begin with, but there will be enough to fill up 2 squadrons for each carrier. Id like more, but then F35B is a bit on the pricy side.
Nominally the UK
spends pretends to spend more than its aribtrarily chosen 2% GDP on defense by cooking the books, but when half of that is sunk in two highly vulnerable and fundamentally pointless* aircraft carrier projects that won't have squadrons to carry once that they are ready, I'm beginning to wonder if our current missile & fighter disaster really is so much worse for the overall NATO defense capability. The 1.4% that Germany spends arguably yield a more capable and mostly relevant land force, at least.
*Or maybe not. Allegedly they could be used to pose a credible threat to the Chinese (the same Chinese we are letting build and own our nuclear infrastructure) over some tiny artificial islands in a part of the world where we have no axe to grind and which is ultimately of no consequence to us.
Thats not quite right Chris. If you mean the Hinkley reactor (of which Im due to be downwind when it fires up..) its actually a French reactor, with the Chinese providing the financing. The only chinese connection is the money they will make every time you and I make a cup of tea.
As far as those islands, its freedom of navigation isnt it. If we wont defend it in the Pacific, why should anyone believe we would defend it off the Falklands? Or indeed, the Straits of Hormuz. We like to think these things arent connected, but its notable every time we drop the ball somewhere, say Syrian chemical weapons, someone interprets it as weakness and there is a response elsewhere, say, Salisbury.
Thats not a popular viewpoint, but for me its just recognising that the 21st Century is going to be full of pushback, and anywhere we dont stand by our own values, they are going to be eroded. I dont really want undemocratic China laying down the terms of reference for the rest of the Century personally.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 07 May 2018 - 1257 PM.