The Bundestag has just approved a multi-billion dollar special fund for the Bundeswehr. The CSU does not go far enough – it calls for an increase in the annual defense budget.
After the Bundestag resolution on the 100 billion euro special program for the Bundeswehr, CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt is demanding significantly more money for the defense budget.
“We need about 20 billion euros more per year than the current defense base is,” he told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Saturday). “There must be no edge when the 100 billion euros are used up,” said Dobrindt, who is also the first deputy chairman of the Union faction in the Bundestag, with a view to the special program.
The Bundestag cleared the way for the special program for the Bundeswehr on Friday. The money is to be used to purchase better equipment for the armed forces over the next few years. The additional investments should also ensure that Germany meets NATO’s two percent target, at least on average for several years, i.e. invests at least two percent of its economic output in defense.
Because the special fund is financed by loans and should bypass the debt brake, the Basic Law had to be changed. The Bundestag agreed to this – the vote of the Bundesrat is still pending. In addition to the special program, there is the regular defense budget, which is around 50 billion euros this year.
Dobrindt: Bundeswehr needs “standing order”
Dobrindt said the Bundeswehr does not need a one-time transfer, but a standing order for its ability to defend itself. “The special fund only makes sense in conjunction with the decision to comply with NATO’s two percent target. After the special fund has been used up, the high investments must be continued.”
Dobrindt admitted that from today’s perspective it was wrong to keep reducing military spending in the past. “But that happened at a time when people no longer believed that there could be a war in the middle of Europe.”
CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja rejected accusations that the Union was responsible for the current state of the Bundeswehr, which is often perceived as poor. “In the past few years, we have repeatedly made proposals to strengthen the Bundeswehr and increase the defense budget. These were regularly ironed out by the SPD, our coalition partner at the time,” Czaja told the “Rheinische Post” (Saturday) with a view to the previous black and red governments in the federal government.
Left in “desolate condition”.
Politicians in the red-green-yellow federal government accuse the Union of having neglected the Bundeswehr during their reigns. The parliamentary group leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, Britta Haßelmann, wrote on Twitter on Friday: “The previous governments – CDU / CSU – left the Bundeswehr in a partially desolate state.” Investments are urgently needed so that the Bundeswehr can fulfill its NATO obligations.
SPD leader Lars Klingbeil meanwhile called for “courage to make decisions” when purchasing equipment for the Bundeswehr. “The procurement office of the Bundeswehr must be able to make decisions quickly – and not spend years looking for the ultimate backpack for the troops,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Saturday). The announcement to the armaments industry is clear. “The companies have tried for years to impose “gold edge solutions” on us for the Bundeswehr with lots of extras. That’s no longer possible, if necessary we’ll buy abroad.” He added: “Then the German armaments industry was unlucky.”