Eva Hogl, Germany’s armed forces commissioner, said on Wednesday that Berlin was taking too much time to build up its Bundeswehr, or Federal Defense.
Amid last year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz suggested that an additional €100 billion ($107 billion) would have to be made available in order to bring Germany’s Bundeswehr up to speed, according to reports.
Hogl said that while the German military has been asked to do much more, its backstock of ammunition, clothing, and spare parts has been running low.
“The procurement system is too sluggish,” Hogl said. “The first projects are on the way, but in 2022 our soldiers still haven’t received a single cent from special funds.”
Hogl went on to mention that it was rare to see such social consensus in Germany as it has had about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Scholz referred to as a “turning point.”
Though 100 billion euros have reportedly been earmarked for improvements to the military, it is likely not going to be enough to make the changes it needs.
“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,” Hogl said.
Hogl has also expressed pessimism over Germany’s goal of reaching 203,000 soldiers by 2031. The commissioner reported that there was a bewildering 11 percent drop in military enlistment in 2022 compared to the year prior, making the total enlistment 183,965 soldiers.
She also noted that there are not many women currently enlisted, making up just over 13 percent of the Bundeswehr. This includes the entire medical corps.
However, Hogl has joined other lawmakers, who believe that more funds are necessary for Germany’s military.
“The defense budget has to increase continuously,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said. “We are in a security situation where we have to equip the Bundeswehr more than ever.”
The chairwoman of the country’s parliament defense committee, Marie-Agenes Strack-Zimmerman, stated that the military increase needs to happen “much, much faster.”
Additionally, the German Army Association, Adre Wustner, suggested in an interview that Berlin’s defense policy had lost “more or less a year,” according to the report.
He noted that the tanks sent to Ukraine “need to be replaced quickly,” adding that if “we’re lucky, they’ll be contracted shortly before Easter and then an order will be put out.”