Germany to Make Military 'Backbone' of Europe's Defense

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • Germany has released new defense policy guidelines for the first time in over a decade to strengthen its military capabilities and make it the central element of European defense in light of the Russia-Ukraine war.

    • The Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) must become "the backbone of deterrence and collective defense in Europe," German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said as he presented the 19-page document on Thursday.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    In light of Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine, it was high time that Germany committed itself to a leadership role within NATO as part of the "Zeitenwende." Europe's NATO allies must no longer rely on the US for the continent's defense, while Germany must ensure that it permanently meets the 2% GDP target for defense spending. Furthermore, Berlin must present a timetable to deploy a permanent combat-ready brigade to Lithuania as quickly as possible. Berlin has set the right course; now, it has to deliver.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    With the new guidelines on so-called "defense policy," the militarization of Germany as part of the NATO war alliance is in full swing. The notion that Germany must become "fit for war" raises uncomfortable associations with the country's darkest times, with recent events proving yet again that it's not Russia but NATO and the US that pose a threat to peace worldwide. Under the pretext of defending Europe, Berlin is making a dramatic turn to put its own geostrategic and economic interests first, which must be carefully analyzed within the context of an evolving multipolar world.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 7% chance for war between Russia and one or more NATO countries, but not the US, by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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