More than a decade after Angela Merkel’s government halted conscription, the German government will reinstate it, albeit in the event of a war with Russia.

A 67-page document outlines how the country wants its citizens to serve “Vaterland” as the US prepares to send troops to protect NATO’s eastern flank.

For the first time since the Cold War, Germany has updated its tough wartime measures. The German government expected a conflict with Russia by the end of the decade, and the updated Framework Directive for Comprehensive Defense (RRGV) of 1989 outlined the measures Germany should expect to take in the event of war. . Ukrainian supporters in the West are planning for the worst.

The update comes in the wake of reports that NATO is considering deploying US troops through Europe, particularly on the frontlines around Ukraine, if the ongoing conflict spills over into Western Europe.

In early June, NATO revealed that it was planning to rapidly deploy US troops to Eastern Europe. In case of war, the troops will pass through there. ‘Corridor of the Earth’ And will live in European bases.

The American army at the Russian threshold! NATO developed ‘Land Corridors’ for rapid deployment of men and equipment to war zones

Earlier this week, Russia also reported the first case of a Western-made weapon being used to hit targets, and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned European countries against the dangers of miscalculation. This signals that Europe is taking a stand after three years of obstinacy to actively fight to defeat Russia.

The document stated that the employment agency would recruit citizens over the age of 18 to work in specific fields to fuel the war effort. German businesses will have to tighten their belts to increase defense production as hospitals prepare for war casualties from the Eastern Front, where the bulk of German troops will be mobilized to protect NATO’s eastern flank. To this end, the country’s doctors, nurses, doctors and psychologists will be divided between the Bundeswehr, the German military and civil society.

In addition, the IT infrastructure of private companies will also be taken over to support the war effort.

The German government will provide one hot meal a day for the population, relying on secret grain stocks to maintain food security. Food security will be a considerable challenge as Germany will need to host NATO allies and troops moving to the front line.

Germany ended general conscription in 2011, but Russia’s war in Ukraine is forcing it to rethink its strategy. In May, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius described Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to end conscription as a ‘mistake’, telling an audience at Johns Hopkins University in the US: “I believe that Germany has some kind of Military conscription is needed…times have changed.”

Berlin’s giant step is still a small response to one of the biggest threats facing Europe since the Cold War. During the Cold War, Germany spent about 4 percent of its GDP on defense and had an army of 400,000 personnel and 2,500 tanks. Now, military strength has dwindled to 180,000, and the country has managed to barely touch NATO’s 2 percent spending target for the first time in years.

German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon 30-23
Image for representation: Eurofighter Typhoon of the German Air Force

Germany was able to meet the target thanks to a 100 billion euro emergency fund. However, the funding will run out by 2028, and the country is no closer to finding a way to expand the Bundeswehr to a force of 203,000 by 2031.

Even as German Defense Minister Pistorius’s idea of ​​a military draft faces stiff opposition, the new document suggests the German government would bolster the rank and file of its armed forces by conscripting young men in the event of war. , food will be rationed. And subway stations will be turned into bomb shelters.

Pistorius advised on 5 June that Germany must be ‘ready for war by 2029’. Therefore, updating the 1989 war preparedness framework is a signal to NATO allies that Berlin is ready to do the heavy lifting. However, the document also has a serious implication as it includes that Germans must ‘be ready to help themselves first.’

“Because of Russian aggression, we have a completely changed security situation in Europe – first and foremost in our Eastern European Union and NATO partners such as the Baltic States, but also here with cyber-attacks, espionage and disinformation e.g. Because of hybrid threats, “Pistorius said.

However, Pistorius’ idea of ​​bringing back national military service is facing stiff opposition because it would require a constitutional change and raise billions to cover the logistical costs of tens of thousands of recruits.

The document discusses the growing hybrid threats in the form of cyber-attacks and emphasizes the provision of accurate information through radio, internet and applications. It also emphasizes the importance of providing warning information about chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear ‘dangerous events’. Weather information can be given to the military and, in extreme cases, withheld from public broadcasting.

Recruiting Path

On 22 April, Pistorius’ ministry presented a report that called for the conscription of men and women over the age of 18, a major departure from Berlin’s previous policy of only German men. Needed to serve.

Another option in the proposal was to keep the army as it is but to increase conscription or to reactivate conscription and select 40,000 men each year, in line with some Scandinavian countries.

Therefore, the latest wartime framework is a watered-down version of an earlier proposal. Now, the German defense minister is working to make the German military “war-fighting.”

While political parties oppose conscription withdrawal, Russia’s war on Ukraine is changing public opinion: Survey of a public broadcaster A majority showed that supports the return of national service. This will be a major issue in the next federal elections in 2025.

Although vehicular and air traffic may be suspended to allow the free movement of military vehicles and tanks, other areas of daily life will continue as before. For example, the Bundestag, or German parliament, will sit to protect democracy, and garbage collection will continue unabated.

The Bundeswehr wants a force of 203,000 soldiers by 2031 but is struggling to keep current soldiers from leaving. Apart from the logistical costs of recruitment that require building infrastructure to train, house and feed recruits, there is also the question of labor shortages in an aging society.

In June, NATO revealed it was identifying new land corridors for rapid troop movements in Europe. While there are already plans for a landing in the Netherlands, the new designs would allow troops to move from Italy, Greece or Turkey into the Balkans or to the northern border via Norway, Sweden and Finland.

If Russia attacks a NATO member, the alliance has agreed to put 300,000 troops on high alert to defend its borders.

  • Ritu Sharma has been a journalist for over a decade, writing on defence, foreign affairs and nuclear technology.
  • The author can be contacted at ritu.sharma (at)
  • Follow Eurasian Times on Google News.

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