Germany prepares to bring back the draft: Catastrophic report describes lack of weapons, ammo, and a rapidly aging armed forces

German Bundeswehr soldiers of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battalion wait in front of the Germany army Main battle tank Leopard 2A6 to greet German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier ahead of his arrival at the Training Range in Pabrade, some 60km (38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Tuesday, May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
By Remix News Editor
4 Min Read

Germany’s own military and government are painting such a dire picture of the armed forces that there are now calls from some of the most powerful politicians in the country to reinstate mandatory military service.

A video produced by Remix News details testimony provided by Eva Högl, German Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, who provided catastrophic details about the state of the German military.

“Unfortunately, I have to say that the Bundeswehr still has too little of everything. There is a lack of ammunition, spare parts, radio equipment, tanks, ships and aircraft. But, ladies and gentlemen, progress is being made,” said Eva Högl.

Regarding the composition of troops, she provided the following dire assessment: “On the subject of personnel, I have no good news and no good messages, because the Bundeswehr is aging and shrinking.”

Her description sets the stage for what could be a monumental change to German society: a reinstatement of mandatory military service.

“Yes, I am pleased that the debate on compulsory military service is picking up speed. The federal president is persistently calling for a ‘yes’ from society. The federal minister is looking at Scandinavia and is also in favor of compulsory military service based on the Swedish model, for example. And I think I am also known for thinking that this is a very good idea,” she said.

The problems plaguing Germany’s military are well known, and in 2023 not much has changed: The Bundeswehr is understaffed and under-equipped, and the infrastructure is in a state of disrepair. These findings come from a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces.

Soldiers of the German Bundeswehr at exercises and in the Henne-Kaserne barracks in Erfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Gordon Schmidt)

The report, which is 171 pages long, makes for dour reading. It covers three perennial problems: personnel, equipment and infrastructure. The last is visibly deteriorating, precisely because of a lack of personnel and equipment.

According to the report, drawn up by Högl, the troops are at the limits of their capacity. The vacancy rate has risen to just 18 percent. The goal of increasing the number of troops from 181,000 today to 203,000 by 2031 will be difficult to achieve.

The barracks are in a state of disrepair. Högl describes moldy showers and clogged toilets and says that troops have no lockers to store their equipment.

Of course, money is a huge factor. Högl again points out that by the end of 2027 at the latest, Germany will need to increase its defense budget by billions of euros to meet the NATO target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense.

In view of the shortfall, the president of the German Armed Forces Association, André Wüstner, has called for extensive investment in troops.

“We have massive problems in all branches of the armed forces,” he described the situation in a television program. Not a single brigade in the army was ready for deployment.

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