Shortly after Minister of Defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg announced the end of conscription earlier this fall, an independent commission set up to review the practice of the Ministry of Defence suggested to cut the ministry’s staff by half.
The cross-party commission presided by Frank-Jürgen Weise, the head of the Federal Agency for Employment, presented its report on 26 October 2010, as governments across Europe are announcing cuts in defence spending.
If taken on, the reform proposal would mean another shake up of Germany’s defence establishment. Minister zu Guttenberg announced that he would carefully review the proposals. The spending policies of the Ministry of Finance already played in his hands when abolishing conscription. Looks like a few more sacred cows are being slaugthered in Berlin over the next months.
There is a debate going on in Berlin at the moment about whether the reforms of the armed forces and the MOD will eventually lead to a more efficient Bundeswehr able to deal with future threats.
Take a look at:
“German Committee Recommends Cutbacks in Defense Spending” (Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune, 24 October 2010).