Bundeswehr: Conscription again in Germany?

armed forces
Conscription again in Germany?

The reservists’ association is also in favor of reintroducing conscription: “The Federal Republic of Germany cannot be defended (…) if we don’t have conscription.” photo

© Sina Schuldt/dpa

Return to military service is once again being debated. Before a reintroduction, however, some things have to change in the Bundeswehr, according to FDP politician Strack-Zimmermann.

The FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann sees far-reaching consequences for the economy and society in the event of a return to military service. The public discussion about this question is “partly not serious,” said the chairwoman of the defense committee of the German Press Agency in Berlin. The worsening of the shortage of skilled workers is just one point.

“Basically, the end of compulsory service only applies in times of peace. In the event of tension or defense, it can be activated again,” said Strack-Zimmermann of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. A year ago she was strictly against it. Strack-Zimmermann now finds: “A simple yes or no is not enough.”

In view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the changed security situation for the whole of Europe, the suspension of compulsory military service can be regretted, she said.

Before a reintroduction, however, some things had to change in the Bundeswehr. Barracks would have to be built or expanded, and more trainers and military equipment would be needed. In addition, conscription must also apply to women and be extended to twelve months. The catch: The whole thing would not only take a lot of time, “but also double-digit billions to get the system going again,” said Strack-Zimmermann.

Linke: “Suspension of conscription was not a mistake”

Last week, the new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) described the suspension of conscription by the black-yellow federal government in 2011 as a mistake.

The left criticized the discussions about conscription. “Not a day goes by when there isn’t some representative of the SPD, FDP, Greens or Union who comes around the corner with a new escalation proposal: tank deliveries, fighter jets, now the reintroduction of conscription,” said the first parliamentary manager of the left Group, Jan Korte. Suspending conscription was not a mistake, but a civilizational advance.

Meanwhile, the reservists’ association spoke out in favor of reintroducing conscription. “The Federal Republic of Germany cannot be defended if we have to, if we don’t have conscription,” said association president Patrick Sensburg to the TV station Welt. Around 200,000 soldiers and 100,000 reservists were not enough for an emergency.


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