Russia could ‘put foot on throat of Germany’ says expert
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Alfons Mais, the Chief of the German Army, has lambasted the state of the country’s armed force and said he is “pissed off” in a public tirade on Linkedin against underinvestment in its military equipment.
This comes against the backdrop of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
He wrote: “You wake up in the morning and realise: There is war in Europe.
It has never been easier to make this clear to the generation that did not live through the Cold War. In my 41st year of service, I would not have thought I would have had to experience another war.
The Bundeswehr, the army that I am privileged to lead, is more or less bare. The options we can offer politicians to support the Alliance are extremely limited.
We all saw it coming and were unable to get through with our arguments to draw and implement the conclusions of the annexation of Crimea. That doesn’t feel good! I’m pissed off!
“NATO territory is not yet directly threatened, even if our partners in the East feel the constantly growing pressure.”
Demands for military support from Ukraine have become more urgent as the scale of incursions have stepped up.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an extra package of military support to Ukraine on Thursday. He said: “This will include lethal aid in the form of defensive weapons and non-lethal aid”.
Last month, the USA shipped 200,000 pounds of “lethal aid”, including ammunition for frontline defenders.
Senior Tory politicians are also calling for NATO states to step up and intervene militarily.
Former cabinet minister David Davis said if NATO does not act by offering air support to Ukraine’s troops, Ukraine will be defeated “in a matter of days”.
Germany has previously come under fire for offering no military aid to Ukraine despite repeated pleas from Kiev. In showing their support, Germany sent 5,000 helmets instead of weapons last month. The move has sparked heavy criticism with Kiev’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko calling it “an absolute joke”.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Germany’s former Defense Minister, also said Germany had failed to reach the mark.
She said on Twitter: “I’m so angry at ourselves for our historical failure. After Georgia, Crimea, and Donbas, we have not prepared anything that would have really deter Putin.
“We have forgotten the lesson… that negotiation always comes first, but we have to be militarily strong enough to make non-negotiation not an option for the other side.”
Commentators on LinkedIn praised General Mais for his “brutally honest” words. Matthias Grau, Partner at Saxenhammer and Co, wrote: “Thank you very much for this contribution in a moment of perplexity and bewilderment.”
Reuters reached out to the German army but they declined to elaborate on General Mais’ criticism.
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