• Germany's news in English

Guttenberg moots overhaul of military

DDP/DPA/The Local · 12 Apr 2010, 11:01

Published: 12 Apr 2010 11:01 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In an interview with broadcaster ARD, Guttenberg said the Bundeswehr’s current structure does match up with operations in eight war zones and hotspots around the world.

Changing the way missions are organised is among the tasks for a new Bundeswehr commission set to take up work on Monday, he said.

Reducing compulsory military service time from nine to six months – a reform that begins October 1 – is just one step forward in the reforms, Guttenberg said.

The defence minister also spoke in favour of constant updates for weapons and equipment, particularly for troops based in Afghanistan.

In response to criticism about inadequate equipment following the death of three soldiers in Kunduz on Good Friday, Guttenberg said that this year Bundeswehr forces there can expect between 150 and 200 new armoured vehicles.

“We must always optimise,” he said. “It’s a constant process.”

Story continues below…

He also rejected a proposal by incoming parliamentary commissioner for the Bundeswehr Hellmut Königshaus that troops specifically need “Leopard 2” vehicles, saying that Chancellor Angela Merkel had already deemed his suggestion an expression of incompetence.

Last Friday, Merkel and Guttenberg paid their respects to the three soldiers who fell in battle against the Taliban, marking the first time a post-war German leader has attended such a memorial service.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:21 April 12, 2010 by pepsionice
One gets the impression that Guttenberg isn't appreciated by the senior leadership of the Bundeswehr....so this reorganization effort is probably a chance to reshuffle their deck of control and force them concentrate on the new structure rather than him. Face facts....you can have any military structure you want....as long as it doesn't cost more (the key feature of the current German military).
17:32 April 12, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
His backing a 6 month conscription period is a real issue with me. I do appreciate his calling Afghanistan a war, but overall, I don't think he's very capable.

I don't consider myself a sagely or deeply intellectual person, but I am reasonably sure I would do a better job as defense minister than he can.
Today's headlines
Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd