Die Welt: a Comparison of the costs of NATO with Russia’s spending is misleading

Die Welt: Сравнение расходов НАТО с расходами России вводит в заблуждение

The Minister of defence of Germany requires that Germany has fulfilled the purpose of NATO to allocate 2% of GDP on defense spending. About why this is true, wrote in the pages of Die Welt Klaus Wittmann, Brigadier General of the Bundeswehr retired.

“We are not talking about excessive spending on “weapons”, and in General about the defense spending which, as you know, include the costs for staff and operation – indicates the author of the article. The Bundeswehr, which, in the opinion of some, collapsed as a result of austerity will take years to recover your abilities (for example, air defense of ground troops) to fill in the empty structure of the units, purchase weapons or ammunition to raise up to compelling levels. Here you need to work out a long list of defects before we can seriously talk about the military build-up. Foreign Minister Maas rightly says that we are talking about equipping the army, not the weapons.”

“Often, the defence spending of European countries-members of NATO compared with a smaller military budget of Russia. But this is misleading, because there is, for example, a much smaller proportion of staff as in the European system of planning of weapons and their acquisition wasted a lot of money. In addition, Russia has shown that pursues its goals using regional superiority and arrogant by force, while NATO should protect all its members in all directions and ignored it until 2014,” says Wittmann.

The author criticizes the “almost automatic refusal of Germany in response to American requests for sending German “land forces” in Syria.” “Here careless choice of words leads to disagreements. Under each of the ground forces is a combat division; but the inquiry is, obviously, concerned support personnel. Reflex denial in response to the offer to participate in the observation mission in the Persian Gulf falls into the same category”.

“Germany, because of their historical experience would never be as interventionist as the USA, UK and France. Considering Russian security policy, which clearly violates the fundamental rules of the European security system and whose strength is based on the alarm small neighbouring States; considering the American leadership, whose position regarding NATO makes it even more important to increase the responsibility and capacity of the Europeans; take into account the unprecedented concentration of crises and conflicts globally and close to us, it is necessary to preserve the consensus of the democratic party in the politics of security”, – says the publication.