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UK, Germany Struggle to Revamp Armed Forces Amid Growing Chinese and Russian Threats

UK, Germany Struggle to Revamp Armed Forces Amid Growing Chinese and Russian Threats

UK boosts defense spending, Germany fires armed forces chief.

After years of ridiculing and sneering at U.S. President Donald Trump for suggesting that European nations should boost their defense spending, counties like Britain and Germany are scrambling to revamp their armed forces in the face of growing military threats from China and Russia.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the UK’s government “would spend an extra $6 billion on its nuclear-armed submarine fleet and replenishing munitions stockpiles to bolster support for Ukraine and deter an increasingly assertive China.”

The British announcement came the same day as Germany fired the head of its armed forces amid reports that the much-publicized revamping of the German military was not going as planned.

German state-run DW TV reported Wednesday that Bundeswehr chief General Eberhard Zorn “will be sent into early retirement on Thursday.” The army chief “had come under fire for his flawed analysis of Russian and Ukrainian military capabilities,” the broadcaster added.

The Sky News TV channel reported the UK defense budget boost:

The UK will spend about an extra £5bn on its military and aim to lift defence spending to 2.5% of GDP as part of an updated strategy to counter intensifying threats from China and Russia.

The revised defence, security and foreign policy review will describe the Chinese Communist Party as an “epoch-defining challenge” in a toughening of language.

The top priority will be to tackle the “fundamental risk” to European security posed by Moscow and to deny President Vladimir Putin from benefitting from his invasion of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, speaking before his updated review is published on Monday, said the new money for defence over the next two years would replenish and grow ammunition stockpiles and top-up funding for the nuclear deterrent.

Germany’s Woke Army Short on Funds, Running Out of Manpower

While the UK hopes to revive its military capabilities by throwing in more money, things in Germany are much worse.

Germany’s parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, overseeing Bundeswehr’s modernization, admitted that more than $100 billion of the emergency fund — released by the parliament following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — wouldn’t be enough to fix the country’s ailing military. The Bundeswehr needs at least $32o billion to get back on its feet, armed forces commissioner Eva Högl disclosed Wednesday.

She also lamented that not enough German women were stepping up to join the country’s woke military.

DW TV reported the dire state of the German military:

Eva Högl, commissioner for Germany’s armed forces, said on Wednesday that Berlin was working too slowly to build up the Bundeswehr.

Högl, whose role is to ensure parliamentary control of the armed forces, was making her report in light of the “tuning point” announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Scholz said an additional €100 billion ($107 billion) would be made available to bring the Bundeswehr up to scratch.

Högl said that while the military was being asked to do more, its stock of clothing, ammunition, and spare parts was running low.

“The procurement system is too sluggish,” Högl said. “The first projects are on the way, but in 2022 our soldiers still haven’t received a single cent from special funds,” she said. (…)

The commissioner called for additional funding to be earmarked for the armed forces, beyond the €100 billion ($107 billion) already supplied as part of a one-off fund.

“The 100 billion euros won’t be enough in order to compensate for all the deficiencies, military experts estimate that a total sum of 300 billion euros is necessary,” she said.

Högl cast doubt over whether Germany’s armed forces will be able to achieve its goal of reaching 203,000 soldiers by 2031.

The commissioner said that there was an 11% drop in enlistment in 2022 compared to the previous year, giving a total force of 183,965 soldiers.

Högl said that relatively few women enlist in the armed forces, with only a little over 13% of the Bundeswehr being made up of female personnel, even when including the medical corps.

The commissioner’s appeal joins a chorus of lawmakers and officials who have urged for faster supplies and funding for the military.

Xi Vows to Erect ‘Great Wall of Steel’

Days after securing a historic third term from the Communist Party’s hand-picked parliament, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to build a ‘Great Wall of Steel’ around Communist China.

While it’s laudable to defend national sovereignty — a concept abandoned by the ruling globalist elite in the West, Beijing’s militarized steel wall might include the island nation of Taiwan and a large part of the South China Sea, a move that will encroach on the territories of several Asian neighbors.

The Daily Mail (UK) reported Xi’s remark:

President Xi Jinping has vowed to make China an even mightier power in a thinly-veiled threat to the West, saying its military will become a ‘Great Wall of Steel’ during his unprecedented third term in power.

Speaking at the National People’s Congress, the Chinese premier also emphasised the need to step up China’s ability to safeguard national security and manage public security. (…)

He said that China must counter the interference of external forces and oppose pro-independence activities in the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own.


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Gosport | March 14, 2023 at 3:14 pm

Gee, if only China didn’t have shedloads of money and stolen technology to build up their military.

I mean who could have seen that coming?

American Human | March 14, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Don’t be fooled by the media portraying China as some sort of juggernaut. Not saying they’re not dangerous but they have quite a few internal problems themselves that the media forbidden from airing (by Xi).

Also, they have no combat tested officers or troops. No experienced pilots that have ever been in combat. Their Navy is also untested.

I don’t agree that they have “shedloads” of money to throw about. They invent their money the same way we to.

    Ironclaw in reply to American Human. | March 14, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    From the reports that I’ve read, they’re not in the same situation we’re in. They are thousands of times worse than we were at the peak of the financial crisis.

    guyjones in reply to American Human. | March 14, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    Fair points, but, my concern is that with the U.S. displaying completely emasculated, feckless, incompetent and dithering Dumb-o-crat leadership in DoD and in the White House, China doesn’t need to bring its “A” game to the table in order to cause serious trouble or harm.

    The balloon incident is a perfect example of this. A competent Administration would have shot it down before it had reached U.S. soil, or, shortly thereafter, at the latest. Instead, the Biden Administration’s initial reaction was to conceal the balloon’s presence from the public, only being forced into action to shoot it down, not because of a sense of duty and obligation in protecting the U.S., but, because of self-serving political considerations and public relations damage control.

Ironclaw | March 14, 2023 at 4:58 pm

Just imagine if they’d actually spent the 3% of GDP that they were supposed to spend on their own Defense Forces as a requirement for their NATO membership.

    diver64 in reply to Ironclaw. | March 15, 2023 at 4:57 am

    I believe the NATO Treaty required 2% of GDP which only the Eastern European countries were doing having no illusions about the threat of Russia. The UK recently hit 2.12% and the other countries are down in the 1% range. Funny that those countries spent decades lecturing America on how much we suck and the left attacked Trump for telling NATO members to pay up and that the American gravy train was over are suddenly realizing they should have had strong militaries all along

A Slavic Spring. A Libyan parade of heads. A revisit to Serbia, now Kosovo. Still in Somalia etc.

2smartforlibs | March 14, 2023 at 5:46 pm

Who would have guessed “woke” doesn’t make a military?

henrybowman | March 14, 2023 at 6:10 pm

“Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to build a ‘Great Wall of Steel’ around Communist China.”
Hope it’s stainless. The last Iron Curtain didn’t hold up well.

CommoChief | March 14, 2023 at 6:16 pm

The European Nations have been largely speaking free riding security on the back of the US since the mid 90’s. Now faced with far less appetite by US Citizens if not yet our Congress for foreign entanglement they gotta pour money into defense. Interesting dynamic as they have less to spend overall with contracting economies and must cut into social programs to fund it or print more money.

NotSoFriendlyGrizzly | March 14, 2023 at 6:39 pm

Hunker down and Homestead up, my friends. S**ts about to get real. In fewer years than we would like. (No prediction)

For myself, Mrs. NotSoFriendlyGrizzly and I have a lovely rabbit farm (we’re both German bred and raised) in Texas that we’re working on. With several hugelkultur “pits” for veggies and several fruit trees for balance. Oh, and a LOT of stockpiled M995 (among others). We heard from our ancestors what they went through and won’t put up with it.

No Step on Snek!

ClovisSangrail | March 15, 2023 at 6:07 am

NATO requires 2% of GDP not 3. The UK has never, AFAIK, fallen below this level.
Of course it should be 3% but still, don’t criticise unwarrantedly.

Whitewall | March 15, 2023 at 8:31 am

Poland has been out front on rebuilding their defenses. For Britain and Germany to even begin to catch up, they will have to get out of their woke silly phase pretty much like us.

joejoejoe | March 15, 2023 at 8:44 am

Sadly us defense spending as a percent of gdp has sucked since 91. Move “”ed energy budgets to dod. BTW this vijeta guy is one of the few worth reading here, otherr than great Mr Jacobsen

DaniBenGolani | March 15, 2023 at 9:43 am

Tipo in the second line. It should be countries instead of counties.
Germany and the EU are lost regardless. We have a “feminist foreign policy” with sex quotas etc. DEI is everything and everywhere. Regardless if its the SPD or the Greens all love open borders and millions of Muslims living of welfare. Germany was run into the ground under Merkel. We have a national housing crisis, we have a national health care crisis. Counties and municipalities are buckling under the millions of Ukrainians fleeing Putin along with a never ending influx of Muslims. Even Green Party local politicians are begging for the Federal government to close the borders. Local gymnasiums have been turned into dormitories, school classes are 30 kids plus with a national teacher shortage. The Italian government just said that they think Russian mercenaries are creating the vioent conditions in Africa and push more economic migrants on their way to Europe, In Brussels people are sleeping in tents and open skies because the city no longer has any beds for illegal migrants. The same situation is happening in Holland.

E Howard Hunt | March 15, 2023 at 4:23 pm

A certain Austrian Corporal was right.

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