Germany increases its military spending for the war against Russia
Germany is playing an increasingly important role in aggressively building up NATO against Russia, increasingly threatening a Third World War.
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (Social Democrat, SPD) yesterday called for a rapid and massive increase in defense spending to prepare the German armed forces for a possible war against Russia. “The threatening situation on Ukraine’s borders has once again shown us very clearly how important effective deterrence is, unfortunately, still today,” she told The Spiegel. The German government coalition must draw conclusions “for the financing of the German army”.
Lambrecht explained that national and allied defenses within NATO – a code word for war preparations against Russia – are one of the core tasks of the German armed forces. “They need to be equipped in the best possible way for that, and that also means the defense budget needs to keep growing,” she said.
The spending figures discussed behind the scenes are gigantic. According to a detailed article reported by The Spiegelarmed forces planners have calculated that the army will need an additional 37.6 billion euros by 2026. This additional expenditure will be necessary “to fulfill the commitments already made to NATO and to be able to implement the urgently needed modernization measures, such as the purchase of a new fleet of fighter jets.
In a speech at the Munich Security Conference, which focused on the war offensive against Russia, Lambrecht reiterated his demand. “We have to pay today for tomorrow’s security. And I mean literally: to give ourselves the leeway necessary for the modernization of our armed forces, we must be in good financial health. In other words, we must continue to increase defense spending and do so in a sustainable way,” she commented.
Without mincing words, she said that the ruling class is once again preparing for full-scale wars. “The conflicts of the future will no longer be fought only on land, at sea and in the air, but also in cyberspace and in space,” she said. “We will always be dealing with new weapon systems: just a few years ago, steerable hypersonic missiles belonged to the future. Today they are the reality.
Lambrecht identified the nuclear powers, Russia and China, as opponents. Moscow has “developed an exoskeleton that makes soldiers more mobile, more efficient and more resilient”, and in China “bionics research has a military priority”. She concluded: “We recognize that we need to make our society more resilient to attacks of all kinds; that we must adapt our armed forces to new forms of conflict, to conflict zones and to the weapons of the future.
In fact, “the conflicts of the future” started a long time ago. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, the imperialist powers have been at war almost continuously in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. As far as Russia is concerned, they pursue the goal of subjugating the resource-rich and geostrategically central country, also as a precondition for a war against China.
Over the past few weeks and days, the conflict has steadily escalated. The United States and NATO are systematically working to launch a war against Moscow under the fabricated pretext of an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Today we have to say it very clearly, a new war threatens in the middle of our Europe,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in her speech at the Munich Security Conference. Russia is making “an absolutely unacceptable threat with its deployment of troops against Ukraine, but also against all of us and against our peace architecture in Europe”.
Who does the Green Foreign Minister, who showed up in Munich with her US counterpart Antony Blinken, think she is kidding? In the Ukrainian conflict, it is not Russia which is the aggressor but NATO. In early 2014, Washington and Berlin, in close cooperation with fascist forces, staged a coup against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. Since then, they have been systematically moving troops to Eastern Europe.
During their meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, NATO defense ministers decided to further strengthen their presence in Eastern Europe. As part of the so-called “enhanced forward presence”, the military alliance wants to station “battlegroups” in Bulgaria and Romania, and possibly also in Hungary and Slovakia in the future. Battlegroups in the Baltic States and Poland, which have existed since 2017, are currently being strengthened.
Germany plays a central role in preparing for war against Russia. On Thursday, the German military announced that “the first large group of marching reinforcement forces” had reached the German-led NATO battlegroup in Lithuania. On the same day, three Eurofighters from the Tactical Air Force 74 Squadron arrived at the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base to take part in the so-called NATO Air Police.
On Friday evening, Germany, together with other NATO allies, increased the operational readiness of the NATO intervention force. “At the request of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Tod Wolters, and in close coordination with the Allies, the Federal Government will increase the responsiveness of the German army forces registered in the Reaction Force of the NATO,” said a statement from the Ministry of Defence.
In concrete terms, this means that the preparation for the relocation of almost 14,000 soldiers deployed in Germany as part of the NATO Response Force is reduced to a minimum of 30 days. According to the Ministry of Defence, “further preparatory measures to increase NATO’s operational readiness and improve responsiveness” could follow.
The mobilization is accompanied by a deafening propaganda campaign in the media, whose main opinion makers foam at the lips of demands for war and claim that the government is still responding too timidly. It is “characteristic of the German debate that it is conducted almost exclusively on moral categories, but not on the question of what makes it possible to assert German interests”, deplores Stefan Kornelius, head of the political office of the Suddeutsche Zeitung. In other words, crimes must be committed once again to secure resources and geostrategic influence. This is the mindset of the ruling class, which has already claimed more than 120,000 lives in the pandemic.
The aggressive behavior of the German ruling elite confirms the warnings of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP). When the then Foreign Minister and current Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) announced at the Munich Security Conference in 2014 that Germany was “too big to comment on world politics only from marginally” and was to “engage in foreign and security policy sooner, more decisively and more substantially”, and soon after supported the coup in Ukraine, we wrote:
History is coming back strong. Nearly 70 years after the crimes of the Nazis and its defeat in World War II, the German ruling class is once again embracing the great power imperialist policies of the Empire of the Kaiser and Hitler. The rapid escalation of war propaganda against Russia is reminiscent of the eve of the First and Second World Wars. In Ukraine, the German government is cooperating with the fascists of Svoboda and the right sector, which are part of the tradition of Nazi collaborators in the Second World War. It uses the country that was occupied by Germany during both world wars as a rallying ground against Russia.
Eight years later, the imperialist powers are implementing the program of their fascist collaborators in Ukraine. Oleh Tyahnybok, a member of Ukraine’s parliament and leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party, said earlier this month that Russia would have to be “dismembered” and divided into “20 nation states” to return Crimea to Ukraine. Tyahnybok was already one of Steinmeier’s closest allies in 2014.
Putin’s regime lacks a progressive response to aggression that increasingly follows the lines of the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union by the Nazi Wehrmacht. He represents the interests of a corrupt oligarchy, which has amassed enormous fortunes since the Stalinist restoration of capitalism, and also, with his reactionary nationalism and militarism, he further increases the danger of war.
The only way to prevent a relapse into world war and barbarism is through the mobilization of the working class on the basis of an international socialist program.