: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Germany to increase troops: DW

Germany plans to boost the number of its soldiers for the first time since the end of the Cold War. After years of reductions, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said it was time to abandon downsizing in order to meet Germany`s growing commitments, according to Deutsche Welle.
New challenges in Eastern Europe, enhancing deterrence vis-a-vis Russia is one reason for the change of policy, DW reported.
It is no longer feasible to limit the number of soldiers in the German Armed Forces to 185,000.
”The message to the troops is clear. A quarter century of reductions to the armed forces is over. It`s now time for them to grow again,” said the defense minister.
Another reason is that five new overseas missions over the past five years have stretched the forces to their limit.
The minister says she needs 14,000 more troops. But the opposition says the approach is wrong as the new challenges can`t be met ”through rearmament or more tanks,” that`s according to Green Party Parliamentary leader Anton Hofreiter.
They can perhaps be met by soldiers with specialist skills. The army is urgently seeking hackers and ”nerds” to counter the possible cyber attacks, the report says.


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