The German chancellor today defended that Germany should become the “best equipped armed force in Europe” and called on European NATO member states to assume more responsibility in the defense alliance.
As the most populous nation, with the greatest economic power and located in the center of the continent, our army must become the pillar of Europe’s conventional defense, the best equipped armed force in Europe”, said Olaf Scholz in a speech to the Heads of the German Unified Armed Forces (Bundeswehr)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a turning point for German defense policy, leading to the creation of a €100 billion special fund to upgrade army equipment and make strategic renovation.
“A former German defense minister thought we were just ‘surrounded by friends’. The truth is that politics, business and a large part of society willingly believed in this thesis and from there important conclusions emerged”, lamented the leader.
“Wrong conclusions, as we know today, especially if we look at the state of the German army,” added the Social Democrat leader.
“We want to show clearly and credibly that Germany is ready to assume greater responsibility for the security of our continent,” argued Scholz.
Criticized for the military support he initially provided to Kyiv, considered very timid, Angela Merkel’s successor now wants to also bet on increasing European defense power, mainly within the scope of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
“We Europeans must assume much more responsibility within NATO”, underlined the chancellor, advocating the creation of a “European headquarters” capable of “carrying out missions – be it a withdrawal of citizens, as last year in Afghanistan, or a European advisory or training mission, such as in Iraq, Mali or Niger”.
Scholz also intends to “use the possibilities already offered by EU treaties to entrust missions to a group of member states, a ‘coalition of determined people'” to facilitate possible European military actions.
For the German chancellor, “the most pressing problem in Europe may be the completely inextricable number of weapons systems and military equipment, in addition to the competition between the various weapons companies”.
“Only a coordinated increase in European capabilities will allow Europe to act”, he said, attributing “particular importance to the field of air defense – coordinated at European level and functioning as a reinforcement of the European pillar of NATO”, he concluded.
Source: With Agencies