Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

German push onto world stage hit by defence failures
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Sept 29, 2014

Embarrassing German military hiccups in sending weapons to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq have proven a "reality check" for Berlin which is seeking a bigger role in international crises, analysts said Monday.

Days-long delays in sending German arms and training personnel to Peshmerga Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State jihadists due to aircraft problems have coincided with revelations about wider deficiences in defence hardware.

News website Spiegel Online published figures, which it sourced to the Bundeswehr armed forces, indicating that just 41 out of 190 helicopters were fit for service and painted a similar picture for fighter planes.

Germany's Ebola aid mission also ran into difficulty Monday with one of two Transall C-160 airplanes carrying aid to Senegal stuck on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria due to a defect, a defence ministry spokesman said.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged in a newspaper interview published Sunday that Germany's military could not currently live up to all its NATO commitments because of equipment problems.

Germany could meet its pledges in ongoing operations and responding to crises in the short-term, she told Bild am Sonntag.

"But with the airborne systems we are, at the moment, below the target figures announced a year ago on what we want to put at the disposal of NATO within 180 days in the case of an emergency," she added.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday she fully supported von der Leyen in trying to overcome the Bundeswehr's problems and creating more transparency.

"The demand on the military has in recent years ... greatly increased," she told reporters.

- 'Disaster' -

But security expert Joachim Krause, of Kiel University's Institute for Security Policy, said Germany's armaments situation was "a disaster".

He told AFP that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had for years "condemned the Bundeswehr to not growing any more", while defence ministers have failed to define a "strategic direction".

With Germany ruling itself out of US-led airstrikes against IS jihadist targets, the government faced questions Monday about whether Europe's top economy should leave all the heavy lifting to others, and even whether it has the military capacity to step up.

"We ought really to feel uneasy," former Bundeswehr chief of staff Harald Kujat told Monday's Bild daily.

"Our allies are flying missions against IS, are therefore in action for our collective security, and we're not there.

"Europe's biggest economy and one of the most important NATO countries cannot actually act in such a way," he added.

Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer rejected as "nonsense" the notion that Germany's commitment to the anti-IS alliance should be gauged solely on whether it takes part in airstrikes.

"We respect all those who participate in these airstrikes," he told reporters. "But we have also received a lot of respect and recognition for what Germany is ready to do."

- 'All talk, no action' -

Berlin made a watershed decision last month to send arms to Iraqi Kurds.

For decades after World War II, Germany, burdened by guilt over Nazi terror and aggression, stepped lightly on the world stage and refrained from sending troops abroad.

It has since deployed peacekeepers to global hotspots, from the Balkans to Afghanistan, but has also earned criticism for staying out of other conflicts, especially the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya.

Von der Leyen, as well as Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and President Joachim Gauck, has this year called for Germany to take more responsibility in international crises, with arms if necessary.

Steinmeier on Saturday at the UN General Assembly reiterated Germany's willingness to take responsibility both in and with the United Nations to help relieve the suffering of people in global hotspots.

Krause said he found German leaders' ambitions for more engagement "very laudable" but indicated the country did not have the wherewithal even though it has "one of the biggest European armed forces".

He added that "it's not only embarassing, it's negligent."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said it wasn't enough if only Washington stepped up when Europe is at the forefront of dealing with the impact of the IS group, with refugees and jihadists returning home.

"So greetings allies! We're watching you and meanwhile talking about how we're assuming more responsibility in the world," the newspaper said dryly.

Bild said the revelations about deficiencies in military planes and hardware had been a "reality check".

"In the schoolyard one would say of the German announcement policy, all talk, no action."


Related Links
The Military Industrial Complex at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Poland, Pakistan, Lebanon seek U.S. military hardware
Washington (UPI) Sep 23, 2014
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency says U.S. allies are seeking to buy more than $800 million worth of missiles, helicopters and armored vehicles. The three possible sales packages under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program would be for Poland, Lebanon and Pakistan. All three possible sales have already been approved by the U.S. State Department, the agency said in i ... read more

Raytheon producing backup components for missile defense radar

Raytheon providing ongoing support for Patriot air defense system

Israel, US test upgraded Arrow 2 missile interceptor

INFORMS Study on Iron Dome Asks: What Was its Impact?

UAE asks U.S. for $900M rocket artillery deal

U.S. Navy eyes Norwegian missile

Raytheon announces full-rate production of Talon rocket

China shows off new missile test on primetime television

USMC Orders RQ-12 Wasp AE UAVs

AeroVironment's Wasp microdrone being supplied to Marine Corps

Fury glide bomb dropped from Shadow UAS

IBC Advanced Alloys Delivers First UAS Components for Analysis

'Space bubbles' may have aided enemy in fatal Afghan battle

Space control Airmen ensure constant communication

Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Again Dismiss Satellite Explosion Rumors

Harris Corporation supplying radios to Air Force Special Operations Command

Former Exelis business unit makes debut as independent company

UAE asks U.S. for $2.5B MRAP deal

Millog expands maintenance work for Finnish military

Seeing Through the Fog (and Dust and Snow) of War

German push onto world stage hit by defence failures

Poland, Pakistan, Lebanon seek U.S. military hardware

Airbus to restructure defence division, sell off units

Netherlands ups defence spending in wake of downed MH17

'CY' Leung: Hong Kong's embattled leader

Modi makes White House debut

Polish weekend warriors up in arms over Russian threat

Philippines, US launch joint exercises near China-claimed waters

World's smallest reference material is big plus for nanotechnology

Smallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale

Nanoribbon film keeps glass ice-free

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.