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German Army Cutting Back

  • August 23rd, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

bundeswehr-acusorg.jpgThe German government, committed to ending military involvement in  Afghanistan in 2014, is reported ready to order a major restructure and scaling down of its army.

Deutsche Welle radio reports that the Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg  has chosen a model which would reduce the total army from around 250,000 soldiers to between 165,000 and 170,000, including 7,500 volunteers for national military service.

The professional standing army would come down from 195,000  to 156,000, and the term of voluntary national service would be extended to help sustain that reduction.

The change means effectively the end of  conscription  outside of the time of declared war.

Conscription is much out of favour with major military powers, especially in consideration of the costs of cultivating a soldier  in the modern technological environment, and traditional opposition to it among the public  — but a measure defended for decades by the conservative parties making up the present German government.

Economics, in times of austerity, has played a part; the cuts are intended to assist in projected cuts in the Defence budget of €8.3-billion (A$11.8-billion,, 23.8.10).

The government has also announced it would keep German police trainers in Afghanistan after the Army pull-out in 2014, to graduate 5000 new recruits each year.


Deutsche Welle
, Bonn, “Guttenberg to announce plans for army cutbacks”, 23.8.10., (23.8.10).

Deutsche Welle, Bonn, “Berlin to train Afghan police even after security handover”, 22.8.10., (23.8.10).