Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 6th of March 2019 to The Sounding Line.
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As the following chart from Statista shows, troop levels in Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, have fallen from nearly half a million strong in the late 1980s, to just 179,791 troops in 2018.
You will find more infographics at Statista
Decades of budget cuts since the reunification of East and West Germany have led to dramatic declines in the capability of the Bundeswehr. While some of the reduction is justifiable considering that Germany is no longer the front line of a nuclear cold war, the Bundeswehr has been so deconstructed that it has ceased to be a meaningful contributor to NATO. Recent exposés have reveled that only ten of the German Air-force’s 128 Eurofighter jets are working properly and Germany only has enough missiles to arm four of them. Not a single German submarine is seaworthy and less than half of its small and aging tank fleet are fit or service. Its helicopter fleet is so small than troops have had to borrow civilian helicopters during training. Keep in mind Germany is the second largest economy and population in NATO, after the US.
NATO is a military alliance. With German commitments to modestly increase defense spending already slipping, one has to wonder why Germany is in NATO at all.
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