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z1812

Bundeswehr is looking increasingly threadbare

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7 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Very wise.....I think I shall adopt that policy myself.  ;)

:rolleyes:

All in good spirit, friend. :P

Edited by Artkin

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5 hours ago, Macisle said:

Me. 🙂

Well, stop wasting time and get to writing. The topic is good, and it appears you have the way of words.

So I expect to be one of the first to buy  this book when completed.

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On 2/22/2019 at 8:55 AM, Lethaface said:

Anyway I can try. The logic comes from geopolitics: without the military power projection and global inluence from it the US, current world leader, misses the 'options on the table' to give their words more 'stronk' meaning. Without military power to back you up, how is the US going to defend it economic interests / status quo? 

Yes, money being to most efficient way to project said power. It allowed the US to become the preeminent military and economic power it is today. Too many seem to think that another global conflict will simply be averted by posting trolling nationalistic nonsense on facebook.

With a long history of peaceful changeover of power domestically through representative democracy and the institutionalized respect for the rule of law, the rest of the world had one less autocracy to contend.

Unfortunately, the first salvo in the current conflict is cyber and the western democracies are slow to mitigate efforts from certain foreign state actors to undermine the underlining institutions (free press/judiciary/wealth distribution/etc.). It's taking them time to realize that building another tank or plane isn't going to work.

It was never as simple as building a wall or retreating from the global community. We have two millennia of tribalism to prove this doesn't work. One needs to wonder what has transpired in the last 70+ years that has caused large global conflicts to be avoided. I don't know, maybe we are all better off growing our militaries,  projecting geopolitical power in isolation and treating all interaction as zero sum. I'm sure we're better served with fewer diplomats and international organizations.

Western democracies have been slow to recognize the weaponization of refugees, the undermining of institutions, and the inequality of wealth distribution.

We don't need another weapon system - we need to stop the balkinization of telecommunications and encourage more transparency in government. We need to recognize that economic sanctions alone isn't going to be enough. The big boys need to arrive at a understanding as to what constitutes allowable cyber warfare/espionage in polite society. Until then - enjoy the continued constant information and influence attacks on western democracies.

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On ‎2‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 12:26 AM, Artkin said:

I had no clue this existed up until a couple months ago. It's hidden pretty well

Well, if you're incapable of using the scroll wheel on your mouse... there has been a General Discussion Forum available since these forums existed.

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30 minutes ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Well, if you're incapable of using the scroll wheel on your mouse... there has been a General Discussion Forum available since these forums existed.

You can calm down now.

I never scrolled past the Cm2 section. No need to look at TacOps and Cm1.

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To understand Germany's current attitude toward the military it should be remembered WWII was literally the worst man-made catastrophe in the history of the world. 3% of the entire world population perished violently in the space of just a few years.  The depopulation of the Americas after Columbus was more catastrophic but that had unfolded over a century and in absolute numbers WWII still surpasses it in sheer number of people slain. And Germany was at the epicenter of that catastrophe. Both Germany and Japan swore off 'foreign adventures' in the years following the war as a moral obligation and an act of atonement. The US has since wheedled and cajoled both Germany and Japan into  participating in 'foreign adventures' in recent decades but their respective populations remain dead set against it. Why Germany felt obliged to send military forces all the way to Afghanistan is beyond me.

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5 hours ago, Artkin said:

You can calm down now.

I never scrolled past the Cm2 section. No need to look at TacOps and Cm1.

It might be better placement to have the GEN DISCUSSION forum either on top, or at the very bottom of the page of forums.  I recall it took me a while to figure out there was a separate "General Discussion" forum in addition to the "CM General Discussion" forum since the former is mixed in with other forums "down there someplace".

Edited by Erwin

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Interesting to read what others think what we Germans think of our Bundeswehr. Maybe my view is a little biased because I served as a volunteer for four years during the cold war.

At that time, each family had someone who served or did serve at some time. So, there was was a close, direct relation between population and army. At that time, the Leopards, helicopters, jets (except F-104) were working, the equipment was OK. There was a clear opponent and the Bundeswehr for home defence, exclusively. Knowing our own history, we were fine with the role of being part of the defence of our common home soils of NATO and not playing any role as world sheriff. One defining thing here always was the binding relation to the west and a respect and admiration of anything from the US. Serving with the army was looked at to be a good and ordinary profession and not even during the time of huge protest against the Pershing 2 missiles I ever experienced bad habit against me wearing uniform.

What changed since then?

The opponent was gone, relations to Russia developed very positive, I myself cooperated with an aerospace company in Moskov for two years. The Russian military equipment was just scrap after some years. So, people were happy here to have the opportunity for a much smaller army. The world really loooked to become a better place - until 911.

Suddenly, Germany was more or less forced to leave this area of consensus and engage in foreign conflicts. That was not popular and it is not today and these engagements are not seen to be overly successful. In addition, the army changed to an all volunteer force and lost much of its ties into the population.

So, the army spending was reduced over years and as far as I know, first cracks were visible at 1999. But that continued and now the Bundeswehr really is in a bad shape. Another factor is that by our constitution, we are bound to have a civil authority to buy all army stuff and to conduct all projects. That was reduced, too. Therefore, each new weapon system is faulty in some way, from inprecise rifles to grounded helicopters. And even if we would like to spend much more money on defence (it is already incresing substantially) there would be no sound place to use it. Seems like Ursula von der Leyen needs some more time to clean this mess up and she already receives a lot of friendly harassing fire from inside Germany.

Then, the strategic climate changed again, Russia developed back to an opponent and suddenly there is a US president declaring NATO as obsolete. The latter really came as a shock here. In my opinion that, if persistent, will ultimately lead to some more or less independent European defence.

But still, the Bundeswehr is well settled within the vast majority of the German population and the impression that Germany would ever prefer China as a partner before the US is ridiculous.

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18 hours ago, hank24 said:

Interesting to read what others think what we Germans think of our Bundeswehr. Maybe my view is a little biased because I served as a volunteer for four years during the cold war.

At that time, each family had someone who served or did serve at some time. So, there was was a close, direct relation between population and army. At that time, the Leopards, helicopters, jets (except F-104) were working, the equipment was OK. There was a clear opponent and the Bundeswehr for home defence, exclusively. Knowing our own history, we were fine with the role of being part of the defence of our common home soils of NATO and not playing any role as world sheriff. One defining thing here always was the binding relation to the west and a respect and admiration of anything from the US. Serving with the army was looked at to be a good and ordinary profession and not even during the time of huge protest against the Pershing 2 missiles I ever experienced bad habit against me wearing uniform.

What changed since then?

The opponent was gone, relations to Russia developed very positive, I myself cooperated with an aerospace company in Moskov for two years. The Russian military equipment was just scrap after some years. So, people were happy here to have the opportunity for a much smaller army. The world really loooked to become a better place - until 911.

Suddenly, Germany was more or less forced to leave this area of consensus and engage in foreign conflicts. That was not popular and it is not today and these engagements are not seen to be overly successful. In addition, the army changed to an all volunteer force and lost much of its ties into the population.

So, the army spending was reduced over years and as far as I know, first cracks were visible at 1999. But that continued and now the Bundeswehr really is in a bad shape. Another factor is that by our constitution, we are bound to have a civil authority to buy all army stuff and to conduct all projects. That was reduced, too. Therefore, each new weapon system is faulty in some way, from inprecise rifles to grounded helicopters. And even if we would like to spend much more money on defence (it is already incresing substantially) there would be no sound place to use it. Seems like Ursula von der Leyen needs some more time to clean this mess up and she already receives a lot of friendly harassing fire from inside Germany.

Then, the strategic climate changed again, Russia developed back to an opponent and suddenly there is a US president declaring NATO as obsolete. The latter really came as a shock here. In my opinion that, if persistent, will ultimately lead to some more or less independent European defence.

But still, the Bundeswehr is well settled within the vast majority of the German population and the impression that Germany would ever prefer China as a partner before the US is ridiculous.

Thank you for a very interesting post!!

Edited by z1812

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On 2/27/2019 at 12:53 AM, hank24 said:

Another factor is that by our constitution, we are bound to have a civil authority to buy all army stuff and to conduct all projects. That was reduced, too. Therefore, each new weapon system is faulty in some way, from inprecise rifles to grounded helicopters. And even if we would like to spend much more money on defence (it is already incresing substantially) there would be no sound place to use it. Seems like Ursula von der Leyen needs some more time to clean this mess up and she already receives a lot of friendly harassing fire from inside Germany.

Though I mostly agree with your post, I don’t agree too/understand the above comment.

The requirement for “civil authority” to finance projects, does not explain the current tendency in Germany to mess up large projects, aka the Berlin Airport, the Stuttgart railway station or even the renovation of the Gorch Fock, etc.

One reason may be the (perceived) need to deflate initial cost estimates in order to achieve public acceptance. On the other hand, to deliver projects with public approval within time, quality and (reasonably) within budget works in other places (Switzerland comes to my mind).

Anyway, to come to a conclusion here, would be a whole new discussion. And certainly a “political” one.

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I can only add that late projects with huge cost overruns are not unique to Germany as evidenced by our Bullet Train project here in California. It has recently been scaled back thankfully, in my opinion, to something that may work. I am not an engineer but I never understood the practicality of building a bullet train route over a major mountain range. On the other hand in California we know how to build to withstand earthquakes as a major quake causes many fewer deaths than a smaller one does in Italy. Perhaps that's unfair as Italy has many more older buildings but it seems newer buildings are failing in earthquakes there as well. Sorry if this is getting way off topic.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Sequoia said:

It has recently been scaled back thankfully, in my opinion, to something that may work.

It is nothing but a gigantic boondoggle that needs to be ended once and for all. It will never, ever work.

Anyways, yes, it's more off-topic.

Edited by LukeFF

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9 hours ago, LukeFF said:

It is nothing but a gigantic boondoggle that needs to be ended once and for all. It will never, ever work.

1969: First man on the moon

2019: Bullet train impossible

🤔 What happened guys

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Quote

🤔 What happened guys

Land speculation, mostly. When Eisenhower began the interstate highway network the US population was less than half what it is now and more dispersed throughout the nation. Now if you want to create a new artery between point A and point B on the eastern/western seaboard (where most of the population is) you're looking at eminent domain purchases of a thousand homes for demolition, none of them worth less than a half million.

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