Saving costs on the back of the soldiers would be wrong

by Thorsten Koch

According to the outgoing military commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), the Bundeswehr reform of 2011 was a decision with serious consequences in the wake of the, then looming, financial crisis. According to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Bartels said that he wished that further austerity measures, this time in the wake of the Corona crisis, would not come about. The suspension of compulsory military service was serious, in his eyes, but now, the concept of a volunteer army, which was chosen by government, would have to be continued successfully.

As in Sweden, one could have introduced compulsory military service. This would have meant that those who were fit for military service would only have been drafted in case they were determined to serve in the Bundeswehr. “We would have a much broader recruitment base in that case, and the Bundeswehr would be able to draw on society as a whole.” This was hypothetical, however, according to Bartels.

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