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German military has 'too little of everything'

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German military has 'too little of everything'
Eva Högl, a German parliamentary commissioner tasked with scrutinising the military, on March 14th. Photo: Wolfgang Kumm

Germany's military has too little of everything and its barracks are "pitiful" with some lacking WiFi and working toilets, despite a planned overhaul following the Ukraine war, a senior member of German parliament said on Tuesday.

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompted Berlin to drop its traditionally pacifist stance and announce massive new investments to boost its chronically underfunded, creaking armed forces.

But Eva Högl, a German parliamentary commissioner tasked with scrutinising the military, painted a bleak picture, and urged the government to speed up
modernisation efforts.

"The Bundeswehr has too little of everything, and it has had even less since February 24th, 2022", said the lawmaker from the ruling Social Democrats, referring to the date Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine.

"This applies to training, this applies to exercises and this also applies to equipment in the field," added Högl, as she presented her annual report on
the military.

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Berlin has contributed large amounts of armaments to Ukraine, ranging from air defence systems to missiles, but some fear this could leave Germany's own military short of supplies.

Högl said that German soldiers were supportive of efforts to support Kyiv, but stressed weaponry needed to be replaced quickly.

The centrepiece of the German government's efforts to bulk up its military is a 100-billion-euro ($107 billion) fund unveiled last year by Chancellor Olaf Scholz - but Högl said none of it had been spent as yet.

"Unfortunately I have to note that in 2022, not a single euro or cent of this special fund has been spent," she said, calling for the money to start reaching troops soon.

READ ALSO: How the war in Ukraine has changed Germany

She also urged improvements in troops' living quarters, saying that "our barracks up and down the country are in a pitiful condition".

The lawmaker said there was a lack of "functioning toilets, clean showers... indoor sports facilities, troop kitchens, care facilities, ammunition depots and armouries. And last but not least, WLAN (wireless internet)".

"The situation demands that we cannot continue as we did before February 24, 2022," she said, adding that efforts to overhaul the military "must now be
accelerated".

Germany's new defence minister Boris Pistorius is reportedly demanding an extra 10 billion euros, arguing that without the funds it will be impossible to modernise the armed forces.

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