Bundeswehr: Lindner lets Lambrecht rebuff in the ammunition crisis

ammunition crisis
Lindner dismisses Lambrecht: money is not the Bundeswehr’s problem

Christian Lindner (FDP), Federal Minister of Finance

Christian Lindner (FDP), Federal Minister of Finance

© Kay Nietfeld / DPA

Christian Lindner’s finance department makes it clear that money is not the Bundeswehr’s problem. A list of tasks was sent to Defense Minister Lambrecht in a letter.

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht can at the sluggish full equipment of the armed forces do not hope for further cash injections.

In a letter in reply to a letter from the SPD politician, the department of Finance Minister refers Christian Lindner (FDP) pointed out that against the background of an increased defense budget and the 100 billion special fund, there was no lack of money, but that the Ministry of Defense now had to do its jobs. The letter was presented to the German Press Agency in Berlin on Thursday.

Lambrecht had written to the Minister of Finance, according to “Spiegel”, that in order to replenish the ammunition depots it was “necessary to immediately provide significant budget funds and declarations of commitment”. Lindner should quickly provide more money, the “Spiegel” continued.

According to Lambrecht, at a top-level meeting in the Chancellery, industry representatives had offered “to be able to deliver significant quantities of urgently needed ammunition ad hoc or at least to be able to produce them in the short to medium term”. These announcements must be “exploited immediately in favor of the Bundeswehr”.

Lambrecht receives an announcement from Lindner’s department

For the top discussion with the defense industry on Monday there was obviously a “different perception”, according to the letter from Finance State Secretary Steffen Saebisch to his colleague in the Defense Ministry (BMVg), State Secretary Benedikt Zimmer. “The industry representatives there expressly pointed out that, in their opinion, the sluggish availability of equipment and ammunition was not due to a lack of budgetary funds, but to complicated, sometimes non-transparent and inconsistent requirements planning and bureaucratic ordering processes in your company.”

The common concern of strengthening the Bundeswehr has been taken into account with growing defense budgets and the special fund. “As you know, that has BMVg every opportunity to use the funds accordingly in the course of your own technical prioritization as a department. However, I must state that you did not express the need to procure ammunition mentioned here, either during the negotiation of the special fund and its economic plan, or in the course of the parliamentary procedure.”

After the top-level meeting, the budget holders of the federal government also pointed out to the Ministry of Defense that the procurement has so far been piecemeal. After all, the armaments industry cited there as an example that there were regular attempts during the year “to ‘buy’ ammunition from existing expenditure residues”, but that the companies could not fulfill these orders in the short term. This was also “not contradicted extensively”, but it was agreed on the sidelines of the conversation that the Ministry of Finance was ready to provide support. “This would also include support in improving your planning processes,” it says.

The letter contains open criticism of the working methods in the Ministry of Defence, but also the offer and encouragement to use the possibilities for flexible and quick use of the money pots.

Defense Minister Lambrecht under pressure

Lambrecht has been criticized for the slow procurement of equipment and weapons for the Bundeswehr. There is a lack of understanding from the opposition, but also from the ranks of the traffic light parties, that nine months after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, procurement for the German armed forces has not gotten off to a good enough start.

Retired Colonel Thiele

According to earlier information, the ammunition stocks of the Bundeswehr are only sufficient for a few days. The federal government does not want to give details with reference to confidentiality.

It was explained that ammunition worth 20 billion euros or more had to be procured. After years of austerity, however, the armaments industry has largely scaled back its production capacities and is now expecting firm orders

Carsten Hoffmann / fs

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