Action Community Service for Peace questions increased military spending in Germany

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo by Bundeswehr (armed forces).

Peace Brigades International-Germany is a member of the Action Community Service for Peace (Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienst für den Frieden/AGDF).

The PBI-Germany website has posted the AGDF media release: Billions for defence are “highly questionable in terms of content and democracy”

In February, Deutsche Welle reported: “German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a plan to beef up the German military on Sunday, pledging €100 billion ($112.7 billion) of the 2022 budget for the armed forces and repeating his promise to reach the 2% of gross domestic product spending on defense in line with NATO demands.”

That article adds: “Germany reported a record high in NATO defense spending for 2021, submitting a budget of €53 billion for the current year. That figure marks a 3.2% increase over the year before. In 2020, spending was capped at an estimated €51.4 billion.”

Jan Gildemeister, the Managing Director of the AGDF, says the billions would partly be invested in “highly problematic new armament projects” such as armament-capable drones or the largest European armaments project “Future Combat Air System” (FCAS).

The trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program — intended to provide a swath of new military capabilities to France, Germany, and Spain by 2040. The program is separated into seven pillars each of which is led by a company, including Dassault (a new fighter jet), Airbus (a remote-carrier drone) and Indra (sensor systems).

Gildemeister adds: “And not only that: Germany’s participation in nuclear weapons will continue without discussion, the modernization of which will be supported by the purchase of expensive F18 fighter jets. As can be seen on the stock exchanges, there is already a profiteer, namely the arms industry.”

He also says for peace: “It would be urgently necessary that priorities be set here towards more social justice, less destruction of nature, climate neutrality, diplomacy, strengthening international institutions and the expansion of the Civil Peace Service. Instead, however, military investments are currently being talked about only largely uncritically.”

Germany and Canada

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht, Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand at the Munich Security Conference earlier this year.

Similar to the concerns being expressed in Germany, we note that the Canadian government recently increased the military’s budget by $8 billion (on top of the half-trillion dollars already allocated for the next twenty years), has considered increasing spending to 2 per cent of GDP, has entered final negotiations with Lockheed Martin to spend $19 billion on F-35 warplanes, and plans to spend $5 billion on armed drones.

The Peace Brigades International statement on the war in Ukraine notes: “The dominant security discourse associated with the militarization of societies is a setback. Billions more spent on weapons will not make the world safer.” 

The Ottawa Citizen recently reported that the war in Ukraine is seen as a “win-win” situation for the US military and arms dealers. As weapons are shipped to Ukraine, the US military replaces that with new weapons for themselves, a transaction that profits arms dealers. The news article adds that the long-term goal of the US government is to arm Ukraine with NATO standard equipment, which would mean more sales for arms dealers.

On May 31, the day before the CANSEC arms show begins in Ottawa, PBI-Canada will be hosting this webinar on Canadian weapons exports and militarization of territory in Colombia, Mexico and on Denesuline lands in northern Alberta, Canada.

The following day, World Beyond War and other groups will hold a protest at the CANSEC arms show prior to Anand’s keynote speech to arms dealers. More on that here.

Categories: News Updates

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