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16 Dec, 2023 13:20

Germany warns EU to get serious about defense

Military chief Boris Pistorius has said Europeans have five to eight years to arm up before US focus shifts to the Asia-Pacific
Germany warns EU to get serious about defense

European nations have less than a decade left to ramp up their military capabilities so that they can fend for themselves in case of conflict, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has estimated. He also predicted that the US, regardless of which candidate comes out on top in next year’s election, will become less involved in European security down the road.

In an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG published on Sunday, Pistorius suggested that the “US will become more engaged in the Pacific region in the next decade.

That means: We, Europeans, must increase our engagement to ensure security on our continent,” the minister continued, adding that it would likely take some time for Europe’s defense industry to ramp up its output.

We now have approximately five to eight years, during which we must catch up – both in terms of the armed forces and also the industry and society,” Pistorius warned. He pointed out that Russia is already significantly stepping up its own arms production.

When asked whether European nations are preparing for a scenario where the US pares down its military aid to Ukraine, the German defense chief replied in the affirmative, saying that this was likely just a matter of time. He went on to state the view that Russia poses a real threat to the Baltic states as well as Georgia and Moldova. Moscow, for its part, has on several occasions reiterated that it harbors no aggressive plans toward its neighbors.

At the end of this decade, dangers could come to us,” Pistorius claimed. With this outlook in mind, Germany needs “armed forces that can defend this country – including in the event of war,” he stressed.

He also described the decision to abolish mandatory military service in the country as a “mistake,” adding, however, that it would likely prove difficult to reinstate the practice at present, due to a number of factors.

Back in October, Pistorius called on Germans to “get used to the thought that the danger of a war in Europe could pose a threat” and “become war-capable.

Meanwhile, the tabloid Bild, citing its own analysis, claimed on Wednesday that the German military currently has neither the strength nor the equipment needed to effectively defend the nation – a conclusion that echoed a warning issued by Armed Forces Inspector General Carsten Breurer last week.

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