Germany is finally focusing on defending NATO, but its military ‘lacks almost everything’ it needs to do it, a former German general says

A Bundeswehr NH90 helicopter is unloaded in Germany during redeployment from Afghanistan in May 2021.
Like other Western countries, Germany has scrambled to support Ukraine against Russia.
That has highlighted “the neglected state and outdated focus” of Germany’s military, a former general says.
Before Berlin can support Kyiv or defend NATO, it will have to refurbish its own forces.

Before Germany can arm Ukraine, it’s going to have to rearm itself.

That’s the warning from a former German general who argues that Germany must refurbish its badly neglected armed forces — though this will take years to accomplish.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Germany’s attempt to supply weapons to Kyiv have “highlighted the neglected state and outdated focus of the German armed forces,” Erich Vad writes in a recent essay for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

In the early years after the Cold War, the military of the reunited Germany — comprising the West German Bundeswehr

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This article was written by Michael Peck and originally published on