The 100 billion euros will benefit the Bundeswehr alone. Luckily, all attempts to divert funds for other purposes were repelled.
There is no disdain for civil defence, cyber defence, development aid and diplomacy, which contribute to security in their own way. However, they should be financed from other pots.
In the speech at the turn of the century in February, Chancellor Scholz had good reasons for saying that the special fund should flow exclusively into the equipment of the Bundeswehr. It is “blank” after the governments of past decades have refused it the necessary funds in different party political compositions, but unanimously misjudged the threat situation.
On the one hand, 100 billion euros is a lot of money, on the other hand it is only about a tenth of the amount that has been withheld from the Bundeswehr since 1989 as a “peace dividend”. They will not be enough to fill all the gaps.
The replenishment of the ammunition stocks alone will cost a good 20 billion euros; modern secure means of communication 16 billion; the Luftwaffe gets 40 billion for aircraft, including the overdue purchase of the “F 35” for the German contribution to nuclear deterrence, as well as for helicopters and armed drones.
The Navy receives corvettes, frigates and a submarine. The current budget did not have the money for it.
The real financial needs of the Bundeswehr are greater. The coalition could not make up its mind to adopt the chancellor’s promise to “invest more than two percent of gross domestic product in our defense every year from now on” in the budget planning.
Spread over four to five years, the 100 billion will make up for the lack of an increase in the defense budget. It remains unclear how the jump to a permanent two percent of GDP will be financed once the special fund has been issued.
Fuel, heating and electricity are also becoming considerably more expensive for the Bundeswehr. Likewise, the personnel expenses with the next collective agreements.
There is no compensation for this in the current budget; so this expenditure will come at the expense of planned investment in equipment: the well-known vicious circle that has led to the current emergency.
Defense experts also ask: Does the finance minister demand VAT on arms purchases? Then only a good 80 billion would be available net instead of the 100 billion.
The insight is not pleasant, but necessary: Germany has to spend more on its defense capacity in the long term. The 100 billion euros are a powerful start, but they won’t last forever. At the same time, the procurement system needs to be reformed so that the money can be used effectively.
All in all, two percent of GDP is not too much to ask. Private households spend a similar proportion on their insurance.
External security is the condition for a reliable everyday life, everyone should have learned that from the war in Ukraine.