• Germany's news in English

Guttenberg wants military reform by 2011

DDP/The Local · 22 Aug 2010, 13:41

Published: 22 Aug 2010 13:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“We cannot afford to allow ourselves to push this discussion to the background any longer,” he said, adding that he would be meeting colleagues to discuss his plans on Monday.

He will present them with five different possible models for the reform of the armed forces, and tell them what he wants to do – stop conscription and reduce troop numbers from around 250,000 to around 165,000.

He would not talk about how much money this might save, although acknowledged that the reduction in costs of €8.3 billion by 2014 as prescribed by the cabinet was still valid.

Guttenberg faces strong political opposition to his plans – from his own Christian Social Union and other conservative ranks. Many are furious about the proposal to scrap compulsory military service and have already made their intention to fight his plans clear.

He seems to have the unspoken support of Chancellor Merkel, who Der Spiegel news magazine said this weekend is trying to get her Christian Democratic Union behind the idea – but will not state her position publicly before being sure of her party’s position.

Story continues below…

The magazine suggested that the measures Guttenberg has outlined would only save €1.5 billion by 2014.

The CSU and CDU are set to discuss military reform during their annual conferences in autumn.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

02:18 August 23, 2010 by Kojote
I am a Vietnam veteran and think that the overall quality of soldiers from all walks of life through conscription represented the demographics of the United States better than an all volunteer military. I found that the conscripted soldier was more likely to follow the rules and get his/her service out of the way than the average volunteer who found military life more stressful than first imagined.On the other hand, due to the much larger population and a commanding superiority in technological innovation, an all voluntary military serves the U.S. well enough unless we are once again drawn into all out global war.
13:58 August 23, 2010 by Major B
The fact is that a 250,000 strong military force is nothing for a nation with a population of 81 million. West Germany easily maintained a military over twice that size with a 58 million population. Nevertheless, that isn't the point and it is up to the German people to decide. This German solution seems to work and I hope the proud Germans opposed to this completely derail the "showmanship" effort. A seat on the UN Security Council is certainly deserved by Germany. The nation with an export driven, fourth largest economy in the world has to finally buckle up and be ready to fulfill its responsibilities, if needed, like it is doing in Afghanistan, off the Horn of Africa and in the Mediterranean. Some of those draft positions need to be made "career", budget crisis notwithstanding.
15:17 August 23, 2010 by EinsZweiDreiPolizei
@MAJORB,,,This is what u said "has to finally buckle up and be ready to fulfill its responsibilities, if needed, like it is doing in Afghanistan"....What responsibilities are u referring to?? I am against a downsizement of Germany's armed forced,and in fact,it should be increased..For Germans to fight America's and the UK's war due to their unbreakable support for Israel,which has now resulted in groups such as Al Queda (a former cold war buddy of the USA) and other splinter groups forming,why do u hint at,that the Afghanistan invasion of the USA and UK is now also Germany's responsibility?? Since when is your war,our war? I await your response
15:27 August 23, 2010 by OMFG
Oh, I see "Popidol" has become "EinsZweiDreiPolizei" now, interesting... TheLocal has deleted all posts on the points-system-for-immigration" article, and they've probably deleted your "Popidol" account, too.

@MajorB - be prepared for an "interesting" discussion with 123Polizei", I'm personally looking forward to following it ;-D
06:05 August 24, 2010 by Major B
And I thought no one would even comment. Oh Gosh. A quick primer Her

Look, that America and Britain is responsible stuff won't cut it anymore. Think long and deeply. NATO JOINTLY decided to respond to the Taliban government allowing Al Quaeda to train and launch an attack against a member nation. I was proud the German Chancelor and Bundestag took time for a solemn gathering in response the that vile attack on 9/11/01. Fast forward. Many NATO members were irritated at what was perceived to be Germany taking the easy way out when it took the Northern Afghanistan theater of operations. Much has been written on this so take the time to catch up. Come on man. You can be extreme -- it's your right as you live in a Freedom paid so dearly by others. Germany doesn't have to be in NATO and/or it can slash its military to the bone, as it appears to be doing. The U.S. people are isolationist at heart and the are TIRED of this conflict anyway. They are skeptical of an ally that doesn't pull its weight. No, you and many others don't want to hear it but it will continue to be said. The past affects the present. The circumstances which brought about the creation of NATO and the

Warsaw Pact are historical fact. The Marshall Plan and solid U.S. protection allowed the economic miracle to blossom and boom in Western Germany. Mr Guttenburg waxes on about the geniuses who can see 20 or 30 years ahead, Really? I wonder what that True Genius, Von Bismarck, would say if he could have come back for one day in early 1917 to have those morons explain how they threw the German empire away.

Oh Yeah, let's throw in the circumstances that caused the Jewish people to say enough and create their own nation. Go ahead, open up the hornets nest. Well, that's been done before too.

You might want to read what your government has published about the protection of its national interests.
13:27 August 24, 2010 by EinsZweiDreiPolizei
@MAJOR B, you are wrong..Your US intelligence isnt reliable.Where are the weapons of Mass destruction that was supposedly hidden in Iraq? Yes they once produced these but your intelligence wasnt even up to scratch..What makes your government think that Al Queda inside Afghanistan planned the 911 attcks? Could have been Al Queda inside Pakistan,not so? Al Queda isnt a government of any country,its a loosely based terror organisation.YES,the attack on 911 was vile,but when your president had intelligence about possible attacks using aeroplanes,they never bothered taking any preventative action....

I am not an extremist.Im proud of my fatherland,and I dont want germans to die for a US and British war in Iraq.Iraq was never a threat to the US,it was only a threat to Israel.An Iraq invasion was uncessary and right now,Iraq is worse off today than it was under Saddam Hussein,another former buddy of your government with bin Laden being the other one.

NATO came about during the cold war,if Russia or China attacked you,I wouldnt mind getting involved in defending you but why must we fight your Iraqi and Afghanistan wars that you created all by yourselves? bin Laden still hasnt been found and even if he was,it would be irrelevant as al Queda and splinter groups would still exist.

The USA and its Marshall plan had no choice,but to develop a plan which led to a strong economic recovery as they were protecting their own interests.Imagine they hadnt then communism could have spread further west.

"Oh Yeah, let's throw in the circumstances that caused the Jewish people to say enough and create their own nation. "

So why are their more Jews living in the USA than in Israel? Why havent most Jews moved to Israel? Because of Palestine? They also have a right to live there u know.

Strange that people always mention the Holocaust yet no mention of a Russian pogrom in 1946


If your government starts a war,then your own people must be prepared to sacrifice their lives,dont expect others who were against the Iraqi war like Gerhard Schroeder was,to now send German troops to Iraq and more to Afghanistan now as well.

theLocal will probably ban my user name,and it wouldnt surprise me,its a one-sided world it seems to me,with extreme censorship.The entire world is heading for an undemocratic new world government,accountable only to itself.
16:25 August 24, 2010 by Major B
@OMFG. I see what you mean. This guy is nuts. OMFG is my first reaction to that diatrabe above. That's the type of thinking that got Germany in trouble in the past. Guys like you want to just gloss over the past with idiotic statemnts. I have said on this forum that I STRONGLY disagreed with the U.S. invastion of Iraq. I wasn't even talking about that and Germany didn't participate in it anyway. Do you even understand the NATO charter and the concept of "collective defense" or do you just want to keep spouting off? Your own nation says in writing that freedom of the seas is in its national interest. I don't want to insult the good efforts of the Bundeswehr in Kunduz, and the young Germans who put their life on the line everyday. The U.S. having to send 5000 troops to Northern Afghanistan speaks volumes.

Well, you must be one of the German far right and you insult of the Jewish people certainly smells of past German anti-semitism. But you probably believe what that Iranian leader fool says and that the holocaust didn't take place. By the way, Germans have been moving to all parts of the Globe, Russia, America, South America, etc for centuries. 60% percent of the European American population is of direct German descent -- so all Jews don't have to live in Israel just like all Germans don't live in the Fatherland.

What do you mean it was in our own interest to do the Marshall Plan? You means the billions the U.S. overspent in Europe over the past 60 years, with 45 of them wasting money on the Soviet bogeyman who wasn't all that after all.

It's good there are people like you though. Your kind will finally cause the U.S. to withdraw from Europe, and when the Slav comes back at you -- you will be on your own.

Gosh I hate to give up my BMW.
16:42 August 24, 2010 by EinsZweiDreiPolizei
@MAJOR B,,I see you are one of the many people who enjoy labelling Germans who counter your viewpoints and your ideaology as "far right"..You are wrong...What would u call ordinary British people or AMericans who counter your view points? Do u label them also as far right? I dont think so...The labelling of ordinary law abiding germans as far right extremists and nazis is so outdated..U need to learn to accept criticism when it gets thrown at you when people have a right to do so,afterall,germany and the USA are both democracies,not so?

Theres a difference between collective defence when its valid,should russia or china attack you,and on the other hand,when your government and the british government invade iraq ,instead of focusing on afghanistan solely,as mentioned by your former vice president al gore.

I have not insulted jewish people on here,why would u say this? I have never denied that the holocaust happened,but so did russian pogroms as well,they also happened.I never said that jews cannot live where they want to but surely,they cannot have their bread buttered on both sides,not so?? Hmmmm

I hope the USA withdraw from Europe and I want Germany to withdraw from the EU and from NATO......The US had no choice,but to create the Marshal plan,because it served their own interests..If the Soviet Union existed on some other planet,germany would never have received the marshal plan.
Today's headlines
Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd