Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Getting Real?

I was skeptical that Germany could have an independent foreign policy with their tiny and ill-supported military. Is Germany getting real on national defense?

As Europe faces a historic refugee crisis, increased terrorist attacks, and a belligerent Russia, the German government is considering reinstating conscription for national emergencies.

Ended in 2011, the measure to restore conscription is likely to pass their legislature.

Money is still going to be a problem even if Germany expands their military. You have to equip, train, and maintain who you conscript or you just have cannon fodder.

And conscripts will be less effective than volunteers, although Germany in the Cold War had a good army using conscription.

Of course, what threat is Germany getting real about confronting?

Will Germany use conscripts to build more heavy forces to confront Russia?

Will Germany use conscripts to build light infantry more useful in cities to control populations?

Is conscription seen more as a means of building up a significant reserve force of trained personnel who can be called up from civilian life to build new units for whatever threat arises?

Germany clearly sees threats and they are reacting. I'm just not sure what threat they see.

UPDATE: Note to the Germans: you need heavy army forces because the Russians bizarrely act like they are already at war with NATO:

We seem to be in a very strange and surreal place.

Vladimir Putin's regime is acting as if it is already at war with the West.

It's launching massive and persistent cyberattacks, it's waging information warfare, engaging in nuclear posturing, violating NATO airspace, and mobilizing its population for a conflict.

But the West isn't really acting like it's at war with Russia.

It's really strange. It's like a unilateral Cold War.

You can say this is only to rally Russians around Putin. But one day the need to keep those people rallied could push Putin to dangerous actions against the West that could spiral out of control.

Riding the tiger--even shirtless--is a dangerous business.