[REPORT] Remilitarization of Germany? The evolution of German defense thought and its consequences

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Russia’s attempt to conquer Ukraine has caused significant changes in the world order of power. Germany, like the rest of Europe, was faced with the necessity of returning to an international policy in which force is important. Hitherto, the advantages derived from the sheer power of the German economy are no longer sufficient. In order to be able to carry out their interests, states must also have a strong and efficient army. This condition is difficult for the Germans to meet. After the Cold War and the 2011 reforms. The Bundeswehr is undermined, there is a lack of volunteers for military service, and equipment (tanks, aircraft or helicopters) is often inoperable. German industry, despite its potentially broad capacity to produce various types of equipment, has limited real capacity to carry it out.

The war in Ukraine has dramatically diminished cooperation with Russia, which has resulted in a decline in the competitiveness of a German economy deprived of access to cheap energy resources. Announcements of increased defense spending (€100 billion in additional funds for the army) have been met with small extent. Funding at the level of 2 percent. GDP will remain unmet, given the announcements regarding financial support for the German army in the coming years. Many of the German government’s actions amount to posturing, with elaborate media coverage but poor results in practice. Improving the Bundeswehr’s combat readiness can only support NATO’s efforts to effectively deter Russia if Germany acts in support of the alliance as a whole. Germany’s looming pursuit of strategic independence from the U.S., however, could lead to a situation in which Germany becomes a hegemonic challenge to its NATO and EU partners.

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