The German special fund of 100 billion euros (R$ 550 billion) to modernize the Bundeswehr, the Armed Forces of Germany, will not be enough to fully equip the country’s military, German Army Commander General Alfons Mais told the agency. German news agency dpa.
This fund was created last year, after the start of the invasion of Ukraine, and constitutes an extra amount, in addition to the budget allocations already foreseen for the Armed Forces.
Alfons Mais provoked controversy last year when he criticized what he described as years of neglect in the Bundeswehr’s operational readiness, but he told dpa that progress had already been made in the process of acquiring new equipment.
“I see great pressure to move forward with purchases as quickly as possible. We haven’t delivered the Leopard tanks yet and are already thinking about how we can replace them as quickly as possible, and rightly so,” he said, referring to the planned delivery of German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks for Ukraine.
But, in addition to replenishing the tanks and weapons sent to Ukraine, a “material increase towards having complete equipment” is important, emphasized Mais. “However, the special fund alone will not be enough to achieve this.”
On February 24 last year, the day Russia began its invasion of the neighboring country, Mais wrote on LinkedIn: “The Bundeswehr, the army I have the privilege of leading, is more or less empty.” Currently he says he prefers not to use that term anymore. “That doesn’t do justice to the situation today, a year later,” he said.
Much would have been done since then, and readiness should not be reduced to equipment, he added. “Things are moving forward.”
Defense Minister asks for another 10 billion euros
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius also reaffirmed this Sunday, in an interview with public broadcaster ARD, that the country’s Armed Forces need more funds, “otherwise we will not be able to carry out the tasks that have not been carried out for 30 years. “, noting that the gap is also due to the period before the start of the war in Ukraine.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) minister, currently Germany’s most popular politician, wants to increase his portfolio’s budget by 10 billion euros (R$ 55 billion), but it is not yet clear where that money would come from. and there are disputes within the party itself about what priority should be given to military spending in the face of social demands in the country.
Pistorius also said that around 30 billion euros of the special fund had already been committed to contracted spending, and said that new contracts for the purchase of self-propelled howitzers should be closed by the end of March.