The Bundeswehr must be “war-ready,” says Pistorius. One possible step: reintroducing compulsory military service.
Berlin – War in Ukraine, war in the Middle East. In view of the current global security situation, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) the possibility of reintroducing compulsory military service comes into play again. Pistorius (SPD) does not rule out a return to mandatory military service.
“It was a mistake to abolish them,” Pistorius told the weekly The time in a preliminary report released on Wednesday (December 6). Introducing it now will encounter significant constitutional and structural problems: “The discussion about it will gain momentum.”
The structure of the Bundeswehr should be changed
According to the minister, he always follows the principle that form must follow function. He therefore arranged for plans to be presented to him by Easter 2024 as to how the structure of the armed forces must be changed so that it can best fulfill the task of national and alliance defense. “Then we’ll see what that means for the size of the Bundeswehr and everything else.”
In general, Germans have to be ready for a change in mentality. The days of a peace dividend and low defense spending are over: “We must now be able to deter a possible aggressor again.” And the Bundeswehr must be “war-ready”. “Whether everyone likes it or not.”
Bundeswehr suffers from a shortage of personnel
Chancellor Olaf Scholz had expressed skepticism about a return to compulsory military service in November. From his point of view, it is “not a good idea” to “reverse” the withdrawal from compulsory military service in 2011.
Like many areas of the economy, the Bundeswehr is suffering from an acute shortage of applicants.
Compulsory military service: Voices are also increasing from within the ranks of the Union
Union faction vice-president Johann Wadephul (CDU) considers the introduction of compulsory service in the Bundeswehr, disaster control and emergency services to be indispensable. “We will not be able to ensure effective national defense without the necessary personnel,” he said. The debate must now become concrete and also clarify how a service can be made attractive. “This has to pay off in retirement and when using public facilities.”
Under the then Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU), compulsory military service was suspended after 55 years in July 2011, which effectively amounted to an abolition of military and civilian service. Recently, increasing concerns have arisen as to whether the Bundeswehr can actually achieve its target of having 203,000 men and women in uniform by 2031. There are currently a good 181,000. There are also 81,500 civilian employees. (skr/afp/dpa/rtr)
#Pistorius #reintroducing #compulsory #military #service