Germans must be ready for war – defense chief
A new war in Europe is no longer unthinkable and German society must adapt to this reality, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has claimed as he called for increased military spending.
In an interview with Germany’s ZDF broadcaster on Sunday, Pistorius insisted that Germans “must again get used to the thought that the danger of a war in Europe could pose a threat.” Discussing Berlin’s defense capabilities, the minister called on his compatriots to “become war-capable.”
The official cited the Ukraine conflict as well as hostilities between Israel and Hamas as proof that fighting could also erupt elsewhere.
Pistorius brushed off criticism that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has been too slow to build up the German armed forces, claiming that they are working as rapidly as possible to make up for 30 years of neglect and underfunding. The minister promised that the Bundeswehr would be unrecognizable in three or four years’ time, and suggested that the German military is already among the strongest in NATO and Europe.
Commenting on the situation in the Middle East, Pistorius argued that the current conflict was about “Israel’s right to self-defense and right to exist,” with which Germany “unconditionally” agrees. According to the minister, it is Berlin’s “duty to stand on the side of Israel” while trying to prevent further escalation.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published on Sunday, Fiona Hill, the Russia guru in former US President Donald Trump’s administration, also claimed that the Ukraine and Gaza conflicts “could be global-system-shifting wars, something like World War I and World War II, which reflected and produced major changes in the international order.”
“In a sense, the Hamas attack on Israel was a kind of Pearl Harbor moment. It opened a second front,” she insisted.
Last week, Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz, a key ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the German tabloid Bild that his country’s campaign in Gaza is part of “World War III against radical Islam.”
The politician pointed the finger at Israel’s arch enemy, Iran, as the main instigator of the hostilities.
Tehran has denied direct involvement with the October 7 Hamas raid, while condemning the Israeli actions that have followed.