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Greens moot scaling down German military

DDP/The Local · 27 May 2010, 09:02

Published: 27 May 2010 09:02 GMT+02:00

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Omid Nouripour, defence spokesman for the Green party, blasted a recent speech by Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg about the future of the armed forces and said that downsizing the forces should not be an off-limits topic.

“Why doesn’t he talk about the size of the Bundeswehr? It’s the central issue that needs work,” he told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Nouripour called on Guttenberg to signal that reducing the size of the Bundeswehr was at least an option.

“There must not be a taboo on this point,” he said.

He also attacked Guttenberg over the lack of recommendations for fixing the hitches in delivering military hardware. The “Tiger” helicopter, for instance, had been long planned but was still not ready.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) defence expert, Hans-Peter Bartels, told the paper that although the current size of the Bundeswehr was appropriate, Guttenberg was “kidding himself” if he thought he could avoid the issue of how far the forces were stretched.

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“The topic is looming with a vengeance,” he said.

He demanded the minister start fighting for a better share of the federal budget. During the Cold War, about 20 percent of the federal budget was spent on the military, compared with less than 10 percent today, he said.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:03 May 27, 2010 by Frenemy
"He demanded the minister start fighting for a better share of the federal budget. During the Cold War, about 20 percent of the federal budget was spent on the military, compared with less than 10 percent today, he said."

Interesting.... it seems like all the Western powers switched off/went to sleep with the falling of the wall (the US included). I just hope we (gov't/military/etc) wake up before we all get royally F'd in the A (geopolitically speaking)....
19:30 May 27, 2010 by Thames
The Greens say the military is too big and the Socialists say it is too small.

Meanwhile the poor soldier dies.
21:49 May 27, 2010 by Frenemy
sucks huh? well that's the way the proverbial cookie crumbles.

meanwhile, we "soldier on"....
15:45 May 28, 2010 by Major B
Ha. They can't field 20,000 soldiers and then say the military is too big.
18:37 May 28, 2010 by wenddiver
Nuts, just plain Nuts.

Disarming Democratic Germany, just plain dangerous.
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