Saturday, May 21, 2016

German govt fallout from a great tank competition performance?

via Defense 24.
Due to lack of funds in the budget Bundeswehr must abandon the purchase of new equipment, including tanks Leopard 2, the German army needed due to the tense situation in Ukraine - given the German newspaper "Bild".

From the confidential report financial experts Ministry of Defence, which refers to "Bild", it follows that both the purchase of new Leopards, and install a new tactical air defense system TLVs, not yet possible.
"Return on investment policy for the time being will not happen" - cites "Bild" expert opinion.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen intended - in connection with the threat from Russia - to increase the number of one hundred tanks.
Spending on the military do have to rise in 2017 of 1.7 billion euros, but almost half of this amount (750 million euros) will be allocated to salary increases.
Germany will not perform the target set at the last NATO summit in 2014 in Wales - an increase in defense spending to 2 percent. GDP and increase to 20 percent. the share of investments in the equipment in military spending.
I've been debating the fallout from the US Army loss in the tank competition.  A reader contends that the competitions mean nothing.  He further contends that the US and British tank forces have performed well where it counted...combat.

My rebuttal is that the US and its allies went up against forces that were at least a generation behind in all areas of tank technology.  Additionally in competitions where we are pitted against tanks that are equal to our own we aren't winning.

I also pointed out that you enter competitions to win them.  You don't go to "bolster" allied confidence by allowing them to win.  That sends the wrong message...especially in Europe where a good trouncing by US forces would point out the need for them to increase defense spending so that they match our own.

Before the ink was dry on that line of thinking I ran across the above article.  Is there a direct correlation?  Doubtful but it will provide ammunition to those in the German govt that argue that despite not meeting NATO budget goals they're able to match the US.  For better or worse we've given them an excuse to maintain current capabilities instead of improving.

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