geändert / updated: 17/04/08


 ... unabhängige Analysen für die globale Polis ...

(Defence; 01-02; p.4)

But according to the "Eckwerte" paper there are up to 170.000 young men available every year serving as social care workers in governmental and public organisations. They are paid considerably less than their professional counterparts while employed with mostly the same activities. On the other hand there are up to 120.000 possible draftees a year exceeding the replacement needs for professional soldiers. Their capabilities in military terms are doubted - a reason for army officials to refuse further reductions in service time - and they are not needed to fulfil the tasks newly assigned to the Bundeswehr. Thus, they are primarily costs in the balance but these could be avoided by not drafting them.
Since the defence budget shall not be increased procurements have to be rather selective. Secretary Scharping has tried to focus on qualitative improvements but obviously had to take into account industrial-political aspects. The issue of a new transport aeroplane is a case in point: other than European offers were not taken, reasons for the necessary number of items have been given but the according underlying scenarios were not discussed in public. Whereas Scharping's statements in this respect have been criticised and branded as a mistake, his predecessor Volker Rühe did not have to substantiate his decision to buy a new European fighter aeroplane.



Whatever the outcome of the next federal election and whoever will be Germany's next defence secretary and whoever will be the chancellor defining political guide-lines, there remain some fundamental decisions about the armed forces to be made. Even if the Bundeswehr becomes an army capable to intervene in conflicts it needs political will to implement a certain structure and focus on special procurement. Hopefully, the debate about these issues will not be restricted to members of the government or committees but take place in public, i.e. at least in the sole institution than can legitimise the Bundeswehr, the German parliament.

(end of article)

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