Sigmar Gabriel, whose Social Democratic Party is Chancellor Angela Merkel's junior coalition partner, said a decision by Germany to raise defense spending from around 1.3 percent of its gross domestic product today to NATO's target of 2 percent could cause angst elsewhere in Europe, given the country's militaristic past.
"This would be a defense supremacy, a military supremacy in Europe," he said during a visit to the Estonian capital of Tallinn. "I think our neighbors wouldn't like to see this in 10 to 15 years."
So the only thing stopping democratic Germany from rampaging through Europe again is their lack of a military to do so? Seriously? All that de-Nazification and decades of democracy and pacifism haven't made Germans a safe people who can be trusted with the means to defend themselves? That's his story?
Germany did have a capable military in the Cold War with the best European tank force without lighting latent fires of gaining living space. Why are Germans incapable of that now?
Let me repeat what I've advised Germans nervous about rebuilding their military power:
I keep reading that the Germans hate their militaristic past so much that they don't want to fight.
Let's try applying the clue bat to Germany's collective skull on this issue.
Conquering and setting up death camps under the shield of a powerful military? That's bad. By all means, don't do that.
Having a military capable of fighting death cult enemies or stopping the Russians from moving west? Well, that's a good thing. Try doing that.
Germany's military is insignificant and I wouldn't bet on it being able to control widespread riots by migrants in their cities.
I just don't see evidence that the Germans will get real about national defense. Their foreign minister's views on hard power don't inspire me.
And given the background of their defense minister who oversees the ramshackle German military, I have to ask just what ministries do the best and brightest of Germany seek to run?
Good Lord, how many European countries have diplomatic-military combinations that match the surrender duo America had for a while recently?
UPDATE: Seriously, what is wrong with the Germans?
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday warned about the danger of a new arms race spiral with Russia and called on all sides to work to end the violence in eastern Ukraine as a first step towards broader disarmament efforts.
Germany is so far from being in an arms race that it is ridiculous to raise this issue. Race-wise, Germany needs to stop their chain-smoking habit, quit eating sausages, and perhaps scale back on their beer consumption before they can think of being in an arms walk, let alone a race.
What alternate reality do the Germans live in these days, anyway?