Implications of Germany's declining defense spending
Looney, Robert E.
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With its reunification on 3 October 1990, Germany regained its full sovereignty and stands now in a position of greater global responsibility. Faced with dramatically increased demands on and expectations for Germany's armed forces, it must answer the question of how much it is willing to invest for safety and stability in Europe and for protection of peace in the world. In determining the level of commitment behind Germany's foreign and security policy, defense spending is an important indicator. This thesis demonstrates that Germany's defense expenditure seems to be inconsistent with its foreign and security policy objectives, and its professed willingness to bear new responsibilities. While substantiating this judgment with facts about Germany's declining defense spending, it examines the reasons for and effects of Germany's shrinking defense budget and suggests solutions for coping with challenges and problems arising from this phenomenon. The thesis recommends a further downsizing of the Bundeswehr, improving military cooperation, and the establishing of convergence criteria for defense within the framework of a European Defense Budget. Finally, the thesis forecasts that if Germany does not reverse the trend of declining defense spending it will probably decrease its political significance in Europe and in the world.
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