The state of Germany and civilization.

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Bill Bentley
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The state of Germany and civilization.

Post by Bill Bentley » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:31 am

I did not write this, a fellow HAWK sent it to me:

BERLIN — Fighter jets and helicopters that don’t fly. Ships and submarines that can’t sail. Severe shortages of everything from ammunition to underwear.
If it sounds like an exaggeration to compare Germany’s Bundeswehr to “The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” look no further than the army’s standard-issue assault rifle, Heckler & Koch’s G36. The government decided to scrap the weapon after discovering that the gun misses its target if it’s too hot.

“There is neither enough personnel nor materiel, and often one confronts shortage upon shortage,” Hans-Peter Bartels, a Social Democrat MP charged with monitoring the Bundeswehr for parliament, concluded in a report published at the end of January. “The troops are far from being fully-equipped.”
Once one of the fiercest (and most brutal) fighting forces on earth, today’s German army increasingly looks more like a volunteer fire department — last month, mountain troops were dispatched to shovel snow from roofs in Bavaria — than a modern military machine.
On a recent trip to Lithuania, where about 450 German soldiers are stationed as part of a NATO mission to deter Russian aggression, U.S. officials were dismayed to discover Bundeswehr personnel communicating on unsecure mobile phones due to a shortage of secure radio equipment.
“No matter where you look, there’s dysfunction" — High-ranking German officer at Bundeswehr HQ
Fewer than 20 percent of Germany’s 68 Tiger combat helicopters and fewer than 30 percent of its 136 Eurofighter jets could fly in late 2018. Pilots, frustrated that they can’t fly, are quitting.
“No matter where you look, there’s dysfunction,” a high-ranking German officer stationed at Bundeswehr headquarters in Berlin said.

While Germany’s military apparatus has been in a state of disrepair for some time, the Bartels report and a series of recent revelations over mismanagement at the top of the defense ministry suggest the force’s condition is worse than even the pessimists believed.
With U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration putting intense pressure Berlin to spend more on defense and fulfill its NATO obligations, the sorry state of Germany’s military is bound to be top of mind this weekend when U.S. and European political and military leaders gather for their annual security pow-wow in Munich.
Whether Angela Merkel’s government is prepared, or even capable, of tackling the problems is another question. Merkel’s center-right bloc has overseen the defense ministry for nearly 15 years, and critics put responsibility for the Bundeswehr’s problems squarely at the ruling party’s feet.
“This is a battle on multiple fronts,” Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said last month as she tried to fend off the criticism. “I also wish things would move more quickly, but 25 years of shrinkage and cuts can’t be reversed in just a few years.”

In recent weeks, von der Leyen has been caught up in a furor over outside consultants, including McKinsey and Accenture, which have been paid hundreds of millions of euros to clean up the army’s mess. So far, the consultants have little to show for their efforts.
Concerns over the outsiders’ role prompted parliament to form a special investigative committee last month to look into irregularities involving procurement and accusations that the consultants were given sweetheart deals and too much influence.
Pressure is building from all sides on von der Leyen, who has been defense minister since 2013. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, deputy leader of the opposition Free Democrats, warned that if the minister can’t clear the air quickly, it would be time to ask “whether the ministry is being led by the right people.”
Far from shipshape:
Most Germans’ eyes glaze over at the mention of the Bundeswehr’s perpetual troubles, but an affair surrounding the Gorch Fock, the navy’s three-masted naval training ship, has caught their attention.
Launched in 1958 to school a new generation of West German naval recruits, the imposing 81-meter ship, which takes its name from a popular seafaring German author’s pseudonym, is more than just a training vessel; to many, the Gorch Fock — whose likeness was etched onto some Deutsche Mark bills — is a symbol of Germany’s postwar revival.
The ship’s iconic status is one reason why few objected when the Bundeswehr announced in 2015 that it needed a major overhaul. Until, that is, the price tag exploded from an initial projection of €10 million to €135 million, according to the latest estimate.
Bundeswehr officials claimed the depth of the ship’s troubles only became clear when it was in dry dock, but few are buying such explanations. “When the repairs cost more than a new ship, something is obviously amiss,” Bartels, the Bundeswehr’s parliamentary overseer, said in an interview.
Given Germany’s size and economic might, Berlin’s attention to security is surprisingly shallow.
The Gorch Fock “is a symptom of the Bundeswehr’s broader problems,” Bartels said. “Everything takes too long and costs too much money. It’s as if time and money were endless resources, and in the end no one takes responsibility.”
Almost overnight, the ship has gone from pride and joy to running gag. Last week, German weekly Der Spiegel pictured the Gorch Fock on its cover under the headline, “Ship of Fools.”
It’s an apt metaphor for Germany’s body politic as well. Given Germany’s size and economic might, Berlin’s attention to security is surprisingly shallow; citizens and politicians alike often seem oblivious to the challenges the country faces. Though Germany faces growing security threats from both Russia and China, one wouldn’t know it hanging around the German capital.
Much of the media now portrays the U.S. as a security threat on par with Russia. Public attitudes have moved in a similar direction. Security discussions are driven by a handful of like-minded think tank analysts who seem to spend most their time on Twitter, fretting about whether Trump will pull the plug on NATO.
More Germans believe China is a better partner for their country than the U.S., according to a survey published last week by Atlantik Brücke, a Berlin-based transatlantic lobbying group. About 80 percent of those surveyed consider U.S.-German relations to be “negative” or “very negative.”
In such an environment, it’s easy to forget that the U.S. has 33,000 troops stationed in Germany and that Washington has guaranteed German security since the end of World War II.
Yet that history might be the core problem when it comes to German attitudes toward defense. Many Germans appear blissfully unaware that their security, and by extension their prosperity, relies to no small degree on the presence of the U.S. nuclear shield.
They may soon be in for a rude awakening. Germany’s aging Tornado fighters, the only planes the country has that can carry nuclear warheads, will be decommissioned in the coming years. Berlin needs to find a replacement in order to fulfill its obligations under its decades-old nuclear defense strategy with the U.S.
Doing so might not be so easy, at least politically. In the wake of the collapse of a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty between the U.S. and Russia this month, some officials in the Social Democratic Party, the junior partner in Merkel’s coalition, have begun to question whether Berlin should maintain its nuclear commitments toward the U.S.
The SPD, which has been struggling to reverse a collapse in the polls, is likely just testing the waters. Merkel’s Christian Democrats remain solidly in favor of the nuclear alliance with the U.S., and any move to end it would likely hasten the government’s collapse.
Nonetheless, the SPD’s rhetoric reflects a broader skepticism of all things military in Germany that suggests rejuvenating the Bundeswehr is as much about changing the public’s mindset as it is about spending more money.
Germans’ knee-jerk rejection of armed engagement might be rooted in its 20th-century history, but it’s also apparent that decades under American protection have lulled the country into a false sense of security.

Given that, there’s little upside for politicians to openly embrace the army as an essential democratic institution. The fact that the Bundeswehr is active in dangerous foreign missions such as in Mali or Afghanistan receives little attention, for example.
Reports of ill-equipped troops in harm’s way are more likely to trigger dark humor than outrage. In a country where military service carries little pride, the soldiers’ fate is of little concern.
In Berlin and other German cities, some Bundeswehr personnel say they prefer not to wear their uniform when traveling to and from work, in order to avoid aggressive stares and rude comments. And in Potsdam, a regional capital near Berlin, local politicians have been debating whether it’s appropriate for city trams to carry recruitment advertisements for the Bundeswehr.
Even Merkel has given the Bundeswehr little love of late. The chancellor hasn’t visited troops in Germany since 2016. “Does the chancellor even care about the Bundeswehr?” mass-circulation daily Bild asked in a headline last week.
Whether she does or not may be beside the point at this stage. With Merkel on her way out, fixing the Bundeswehr will likely be up to her successor. Until then, plans for a “European Army” that includes Germany have about as much chance of getting off the ground as the German Air Force.

My take is as follows:

Nobody that I know really wants the US soldiers or missiles here in Germany, their being here just makes us the potential target !

A considerable majority of the public do not see Russia as a threat but do consider the USA as a danger to world peace and that has little to do with Trump, it is simply everyones experience of how America repeatedly acts on the world stage.

During modern history, Napoleon, the German Kaiser, Adolf Hitler, Japan, China and the UK have all attacked Russia with the cost of countless millions of Russian lives. How does that make modern Russia a threat to western security ? Russia understandably has a strong army, having to defend itself from many thousands of American Troops all along their endless borders !

Why are the German army in Mali or Afghanistan ? Why were the brits and or yanks there ? Why are our armies in other peoples countries at all, destroying the livelihoods of the indigenous peoples. Why do we always seem to think that what we say is right and that others MUST obey our rules ?

In what way do all of these little countries threaten us, the peoples of the US the UK or Europe ?

I agree with Trump that ‚a nation is not a nation if it does not have safe borders‘. A nation must know who is inside its boundaries at any time and control their entry and exit and what they bring with them.

The EU idea that everyone can move around without passport controls is a load of bollocks. Very few of the terrorist attacks could have happened if effective border controls were in place. The slave trade could not function, drug smuggling would be much harder, ineffective, copy, medication would be harder to import etc. etc. etc..

I agree with the USA, not just Trump but all previous american presidents: we should have capital punishment for murderers and traitors. Those that deserted the safety of Europe to join ISIS are in my eyes traitors and should be executed in the prisons where they currently are, end of story !

Is it any wonder that we can not afford health care for our own good people or a decent education for our kids when some want to waste countless millions putting traitors through endless court cases. Maintaining surveillance on all of these traitors simply prevents the security forces from being able to get on with what should be their primary role of ‚keeping the public safe‘.

I am concerned that so called ‚civilization‘ is the road to disorder and collapse, and we are very, very, perhaps too civilized at this moment in time.

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PINKY
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Re: The state of Germany and civilization.

Post by PINKY » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:36 pm

Hi Bill,
That's a lot of typing...…..very interesting. As I've said on here a few times " the world is a mess".
ATB
Pinky

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Re: The state of Germany and civilization.

Post by mick burgess » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:54 pm

A very topical and relevant article in this present climate, I feel post Brexit we will soon see a Frexit and maybe a Grexit who knows. :roll: :oops: :roll:

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Re: The state of Germany and civilization.

Post by Arnie » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:45 pm

Hi Yall,
What about an Itexit? If all do it, this will be followed, hopefully, by an Isexit or a Musexit, as they all flee back to the s...holes from whence they came.
Get off your soapbox Arnie!!!!!

Bill Bentley
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Re: The state of Germany and civilization.

Post by Bill Bentley » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:52 am

This article is all about Germany’s incompetence, in this case about their military budget and how it is spent. It is also about what the Germans think they need to defend themselves and what others, the USA - NATO demand they spend, which is as usual based upon wrong thinking :shock:.

So, firstly Germany’s incompetence: They have lost it ! 50, 40, 30, even 20 years ago they were masters of planning and production, everything they touched worked. Today they can’t get anything right ! Berlin’s new airport is years overdue and is costing billions more than planned. It is the same story with the mega railway station in Stuttgart. In Köln, whilst building a subway they drained so much water away that the national library’s foundations were weakened and so it collapsed. The new high speed trains are constantly breaking down and because the entire ‚plan - timetable’ is built around the high speed trains departure and arrival times … everything else goes wrong. There are countless more examples.

Secondly, most Germans do not see Russia as being a dangerous enemy, so why do they need a super army capable of fighting Russia ? Is Russia going to attack Germany ? No way ! In reality there is more chance that France or Poland are the real dangers to Germany :!: So why do the Germans have to have American ICBM’s on their soil ? This just forces Russia to point some of their ICBM’s & co. at Germany, because the american missiles based in Germany are definitely aimed at Russia … is that clever for Germany ? Let us not forget that France and the UK also have missiles pointed at Russia so why also american missiles ? (Germany are not allowed to have their own missiles).

Thirdly, why should anybody spend 2% of GDP on their military ? The German economy has been booming for years. Should this be a reason to increase military spending ? Much of Germany’s wealth has been acquired exactly because they have spent less on their military. What has not been wasted on the military had been invested elsewhere !!!!!

Military spending should surely be based upon the real need based upon a given ‚real threat‘.

Rabbiting on:

For about 15 years the German economy has been booming. This boom has been achieved by squeezing wages and increasing workloads, zero hour contracts and the like. Most German workers are on the edge of burn-out. Teachers, medical staff and the police are stretched beyond capacity (and so they are regularly on strike). Does any of this sound familiar, the French & co. thinks so, because in fact it is EU policy !!

Following Fukushima Merkel instantly pulled Germany out of nuclear power. This cost the tax payer 19 billion euro’s in ‚lost earnings‘ for the electricity industry. It also costs the private households more for their daily electricity, because of the new subsidies for renewable energy sources: solar and wind etc.. It also increased the carbon dioxide output because they had to burn more coal to maintain the supply of electricity. But because carbon dioxide output has to be reduced they are now closing down the coal mines, laying off workers, and guess what, they now buy nuclear power from France :?:

Ask yourself: is it wise to base your future economy on producing electric cars when the supply of electricity is so uncertain. Even if the supply were certain, the distribution is not ! If three cars in any given street would all charge their car batteries at the same time the fuzes would blow and everyone would be sat in the dark !!!!!

Germany / Europe is not moving forwards, it is going around in never ending circles !

Merkel and other EU ideologists fail to recognize this and by ‚inviting‘ millions of foreigners to come and live here THEY have created the divisions in society :twisted:.

It is a lie to say that we need these workers because at the same time we are warned that very soon millions of jobs will be lost due to robots doing the work for us, it just does not add up :? :?.

All of these foreigners, so called refugees, simply increase the demand on teachers, medical staff and the police, is this clever ?

I simply have to say that most of these people are not even truly refugees. How can anybody coming from wherever, through Turkey, Greece, Italy and half a dozen other ‘safe countries‘ be a refugee when arriving in Germany or the UK ? What are they fleeing from in those ‚safe countries’ that they have passed through ? Most of these people are economic migrants and while I can understand their desire to leave their own countries they are not refugees when they arrive in either Germany or the UK ! Merkel broke EU law and ignored the Dublin Treaty and the other lunatic, fanatic, EU ideologists looked the other way and patted her on the back.

You or I can not simply decide to move to Australia, Canada or Switzerland because we think that life, for us personally, will be better there; we would have to follow very strict terms and conditions and rightly so. Just think what would happen to you if you turned up anywhere, unable to speak the language, with no useful skills, with a heap of expensive ailments and wanting to claim child benefits for kids that were still in the UK … who also want to follow you into your chosen paradise, nowhere in this world would let you in !!!!!!!!!!

During this long boom period Germany have not paid a single penny of their own previous debt off. Because the interest rates are low it is seen as manageable but when interest rates rise it will quickly become unmanageable !

The books of the economy are balanced based on fairy tales: Greece and others owe the ECB billions and so they, the ECB - Germany, are, on paper, still rich, but Greece and the others will never be able to repay their debts and so in reality the ECB - Germany is also broke :shock: :shock:.

To try and rebalance things there has been talk about a two speed Europe, the north and the south but this is unworkable because of the single currency. In days of old, Greece would have simply devalued their currency and so become a cheap holiday destination and foreign currency would have flooded in with the tourists. This can not happen any more and so Greece is unrecoverably broke and so are those who have lent it their money.

So, as usual, I have turned this into a BREXIT sermon, Germany has had to close down two airlines in the past year was that because of Brexit ? Look at the problems in the German car industry, is that because of Brexit ? Look at the problems in France - the yellow vest movement, Spain - Catalonia, The right wing in Holland, Austria, Hungary and Poland, the left wing in Italy and Greece is any of that because of Brexit ? No it is because of the stupid wrong policies of the EU, forced upon us by a none elected pack of ideological nut-cases in the EU Commission.

The UK will fare better outside the EU simply because you the tax payers will not have to bail out the EZB :!: :!:

It will be wiser to have a deal with the EU, because if we do not they will blame the UK for their own inevitable downfall. If they then see the UK as the cause of their downfall, the enemy of the EU, life will not be easy for the UK either. Better to be seen as the wise neighbor who escaped the stupidity of the EU’s insanity. An island of hope, Switzerland on the coast, a safe harbour :D :D :D

One last thought: The German economy: Berlin has, within the past hundred years, seen the ReichsMark, The East German Mark, the west German Deutschmark and the Euro, four different types of banknotes / currencies. 100 -:- 4 = roughly every 25 years a new banknote … the Euro has been here for …. work it out for yourself ...

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Re: The state of Germany and civilization.

Post by PINKY » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:58 pm

…….again - very interesting, thanks Bill.
I often wonder if the (above) average Joe can see the holes and failures of the EU, what does that say of the guys in charge?
I read that demographically A. Merkal could see the shrinking population of working age Germans by 2050 was going to be remarkably low and the impact that would have was her main reason for inviting all the "new" Germans in...……..? Maybe not?
All the best
Pinky

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