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Army set to open ranks to foreigners

The Local · 12 Feb 2011, 10:59

Published: 12 Feb 2011 10:59 GMT+01:00

The 73-page dossier of suggestions which has been seen by Focus magazine, includes the suggestion to open up the armed forces to foreigner residents in Germany.

Other ideas include attempts to make the Bundeswehr more family-friendly for soldiers, with the provision of parent-child work rooms in around 200 bases, as well as two-week holiday care for children to be provided at 100 bases.

Some bases will even include kindergartens, while parents and those caring for family members will be able to conduct at least part of their training remotely to make it easier for them.

Other changes could include soldiers being able to take time out, as well as the provision of trainee places, and new army-financed study places.

Those who leave the army for jobs in the private sector will also be able to take their pension provision with them in the attempt to make joining the military a more attractive professional option.

The top age limit for reserve soldiers will be scrapped, while the maximum time for soldiers to remain in the army will be raised from 20 to 25 years.

The dossier says these measures will all require significant financial investment, although it is not clear where the money might come from.

Germany is in the process of changing its military from one based partly on conscription to a smaller, professional force, with the last conscripts having been accepted for their six-month stint this January.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:03 February 12, 2011 by Bravo2
Outstanding ideas. Making the German army more diverse and professional makes sense for the country and Europe as a whole.
12:03 February 12, 2011 by Englishted
Not the first time .

The ss got men from anywhere in the end but it still didn't help,

Family and fighting don't fit together well.
12:30 February 12, 2011 by pepsionice
So, what we are talking about....is potentially three thousand Greek guys coming up and joining each year. Eventually, after five years, the German military will have to reverse itself and look for Germans who can do the work for the Greek NCOs and officers.
14:47 February 12, 2011 by 9900lawre
The British army has the Gurkha and also recruits from it's commonwealth countries. It works!

The French have their Foreign Legion and that works too!

So long as there is clear cut criteria and the German language being one of them, there is no reason why this cannot work. This isn't going to be a case of migrant working nor is it going to be a case of an Army full of single mums, so the phobic can rest a little.

This is a good idea which will take way more than 10 years to integrate and get on track. There will be glitches and barriers to overcome on the way but the balance between welfare and warfare is always going to be a challenging one.
17:04 February 12, 2011 by SockRayBlue
Let us not forget the US which allows non-citizens the opportunity to serve and become US citizens. Which may or may not be a wise decision.
17:09 February 12, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
"Ich schwöre, der Bundesrepublik Deutschland treu zu dienen, und das Recht und die Freiheit des deutschen Volkes tapfer zu verteidigen, so wahr mir Gott helfe."

Take that oath, and I do not care your color, race, background, sexual habits, dietary preferences, favorite brand of car, house pets, wife's behavior, chewing gum preference, brand of laundry detergent, eye color, favorite ice cream flavor, or anything else. I'll fight and die with you.
17:22 February 12, 2011 by auniquecorn
Germany has to get rid of discrimination in their country first, and then maybe, a big MAYBE it could work.
18:28 February 12, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, I simply don't understand why anyone would complicate things. Simply make some adjustments and maintain bascially what you have.

One of ths biggest problems with humans, is that they all of the sudden think "Let's change it", even though most of time they don't actually have an effective, new concept to replace the old one.
19:11 February 12, 2011 by philosofer
German army? I'll pick north korea against any european armies anyday. As of right now, no european army that fit to fight anything. Besides, germany needs an army for what? The whole europe is a freaking open border, anyone can walk in and out without check. Some parts of germany look like turky or mideast already, what left to defend? Show me, with the exception of russia, does any other european countries that have more than 100000 active troops? Uncle Sam is weaking, uncle Chang is getting stronger and Europe is catering to the muslims!!!
21:33 February 12, 2011 by DOZ
Does that include Talibanies as well?
21:36 February 12, 2011 by Garo Gabrielian
German army set to open ranks to foreigners is a move in the right direction. Foreigners residing in Germany should be involved in the defense of their country, learn values that makes up new Germany. This is not about war, its about Germany as a nation taking its place in the global village, keeping peace and helping out in natural disasters. Germany has evolved and demonstrated sound financial policies that saw it emerge as a role model after the global financial crisis. I believe those that have served in defense forces even at a basic level have demonstrated loyalty and pride in their adopted country.
23:53 February 12, 2011 by fryintl
this is the worst idea ever. You cannot let a foreigner work for yoru country and hope he will die for you. THE us IS DOIG IT AND IT IS A MISTAKE. You cannot trust someone with no allegance to your country cyour efforts in building a force that will protect you from teh foreigner.

sarkozy said it best. You cannot allow foreigners to come and remain foreigners. You must make them integrate, then trust them with the keys to teh bank vault. The military is the key to a secure country. If thousands of Muslims join, will you be safer than if only 200 Germans join?

Sounds racist, but I promise, when people can put country before religion, you can trust them. If they can't, an Immam will dictate their loyalty.
04:21 February 13, 2011 by Larry Thrash
Another nail in the coffin of Western Civilization.
09:42 February 13, 2011 by marimay
Peculiar people post here.
10:41 February 13, 2011 by LiberalGuy
It seems no matter what the subject is of any article on the Local. People will find some way to incorporate some anti muslim discussion in there. Paranoia is a strange illness indeed.
14:59 February 13, 2011 by Willissteel
I wonder, what will be the fate of the muslims' lover w....trashes like marimay and liberalguy?
15:21 February 13, 2011 by marimay
Yeah, yeah, internet tough guy.
16:33 February 13, 2011 by Willissteel
What do they need an army for? To defend the borders that they no longer have? Or to defend the country that will soon not theirs anymore? I have an idea here Germany...why don't you let the Turkish army defending you? I mean turkey must defend the own citizens right? I don't think you have any German left in you to defend anyway!
16:34 February 13, 2011 by ngwanem
wow! Germany is becoming like the US... i predicted this some months ago and my friends thought i was conspiratorial. Germany is practically but slowly privatizing its military: the foreign legion they are setting up is just one step of many. It is funny people are not questioning why they stopped the draft and now foreigners all appear juicy and better to fill in the void. Of course the betraying phrase: "maintain a professional army" explains all. Professional means not rugged state-provided service but preferably a group of private experts.

Consequently, sometime in the future when FDP is at the forefront with its "conservative" siblings CSU and CDU, the next step would be to open the german army for investments or say contract dish-outs. there would be stocks open for sales and the big military contractors Xe (formerly Blackwater) would acquire some, hold hands with other contractors and they all sing "kumbaya" :)... uhm that would also mean the modification of the german constitution to expand the scope of operations of the german army... our theatrical world at its best!
17:21 February 13, 2011 by marimay
Hey Willis, it wouldn't be the first time, or second time Germany wanted Turkish armies to help defend them, lol.

Born yesterday, I guess..
18:28 February 13, 2011 by Willissteel
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:02 February 14, 2011 by freechoice
i say why not? foreigners have families in Germany, it is only their interests to defend their family too!
17:02 February 14, 2011 by Conan the Librarian
I'm a British soldier and have now been stationed in Germany for the last ten years. Many of my friends are German citizens, I am a local homeowner, part of the Freiwillige Feuerwehr and in the village football team. My wife works on the German net and our child attends local school. We both have civilian qualifications of diploma level and above.

The British Army is due to pull out of what has inadvertently become my home and where we have spent the majority of our adult life. My primary trade is as a soldier and it is going to be difficult for us as a family when there are no longer any British bases here.

Maybe we now have a solution.
22:41 February 14, 2011 by polecat
Question: If moslem soldierss are part of the German army serving in Afghanistan, will they fire on moslems if their unit gets attacked?
20:26 February 15, 2011 by HMPingu
Answer(in the form of a question). polecat, aren't "moslem" soldiers already allowed to serve? Or is there some requirement that only non-muslims are allowed in the German military?

If a soldier hesitates to shoot back when their unit is attacked, that is a training problem not a recruiting problem.
23:10 February 17, 2011 by Jannik
Sounds like a really bad solution.

Hiring foreign mercenaries is just the latest example of betrayel against the german people.

There should only be ethnic germans in the german army defending german soil.

Organizing muslims militarily and handing them loads of weapons, is like giving a foreign power control of the country.
15:57 February 19, 2011 by UtahSkiier
The U.S. has many different nationalities serving in their military. They serve proudly and with distinction. They love their adopted country and want to serve it. That's why one joins the military in the first place. Certainly not because of the pay or quality of life. Salvatore Giunta (the latest Medal of Honor recipient) is of Italian descent. Many soldiers of Hispanic, Japanese and German descent have fought in U.S. wars with equal bravery as their U.S born comrades. The claims that someone born in another country will not fight for their adopted one are completely unfounded…
18:48 February 19, 2011 by wenddiver
Many US Soldiers are foreign born, but they are Citizens or pursuing Citizenship as a general rule. Foreign voluteers have served in every war, since the American Revolution. I had Four Canadians in one of my Platoons, a Dominican, a German, and three natives from Texas. The ones who were the most different from the regular Americans were of course the Texans. Most foreign born troopers were very proud to be in the US Army, all of them were good soldiers, but they did not come from a background of handling firearms like the Americans ussually did.
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