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Germany has now taken the next step in massively revving up its defense spending, deterrence posture and support to NATO by deciding to increase defense spending to two percent of GDP.
Germany Defense Spending
This is a profound and seismic shift for Germany, which now seems fully aligned against Russian aggression in complete lockstep with the United States and NATO.
Not only has Germany now committed to a large increase in defense spending, but the country has also been sending anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine such as Stinger missiles.
“We decided that we want to deliver arms to a region where there is a conflict, where there's actually a war that's being waged, and that's a decision that is very special for Germany.
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But it was necessary to make that decision because we have seen that agreements were broken, that lies were told and that a brutal war of aggression was started, and that is why we have to make those very crucial decisions,” Christine Lambrecht, Minister of Defense, Federal Republic of Germany, told reporters at a meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Austin praised Germany’s recent efforts to host more US personnel and equipment to help reinforce NATO’s Eastern Flank, as large numbers of soldiers and platforms such as US-based F-35s have all moved to Germany in support of a multinational deterrence posture against Russia.
Following this shift in policy and defense spending priorities, German leaders have also announced a decision that they will acquire the F-35, joining a wide range of European countries now operating the jet. The ability for F-35s to network to one another means Germany can now play an increasingly vital role in a fast-growing multi-national force of European F-35 partners to include the UK, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Italy and Finland.
“Germany has shown tremendous leadership at this crucial moment. Your chancellor's decisions to bolster Germany's armed forces are bold and historic, and we look forward to working with you to implement these important changes. We also salute Germany's decision to send security assistance to Ukraine. Your example helped to inspire other Allies and partners to follow,” Austin said.
It will be interesting to see how this evolves, as many expect Germany to play a much larger and more prominent role when it comes to European and even global security. Perhaps they will participate more fully in NATO training exercises and increase their numbers of tanks, missiles, 5th-generation fighters and overall force size.
“We applaud your decision to invest in your armed forces, pledging to spend more than two percent of your economic output on defense and establishing a -- a -- a special fund for the armed forces,” Austin said.