Germany may increase defense spending

by VTV418 May 2018 Last updated at 12:32 PM

VTV.vn - German chancellor Angela Merkel has hinted that defense spending is likely to increase in years ahead.

It comes amid budget talks and pressure from allies. Let's learn more about Germany's potential budget increase for the military with DW correspondent Thomas Sparrow.

Hello Thomas, let's start with a very concrete question: does Germany play an important role militarily in the world?

Well, let's put it this way: it is increasingly important, but probably not as important as some of its allies would want it to be.  Around 4,000 German soldiers are part of various missions around the world, which include key operations in countries such as Afghanistan and Mali. German soldiers are rarely on the front lines. They are more likely in charge of manning reconnaisance planes or involved in training. The German government wants to expand some of its global military missions, but it's no secret that Germany's military role internationally is not as relevant as its political and economic weight.

But why exactly does the German government want to increase its military role?

In part it has to do with international pressure from other governments. US President Trump, for instance, has more than once asked Germany to increase its military spending. Another reason is the perception that the military is under-prepared and affected by equipment shortages and funding difficulties which have to be resolved. And then there is also the fact that international security challenges seem to be increasing or at least changing and they therefore demand increasing international action./.

Is everyone happy about this planned move in Germany?

No. Germany's military role is deeply controversial and among many also unpopular. There are historical reasons for Germany's military reluctance. And some politicians are fearful of a potential new arms race and don't believe spending more on defense is the best way forward for the country.

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