News from Germany
Status report Afghanistan
At the moment 1250 German soldiers are on duty in the foreign mission of the Bundeswehr “Resolute Support”. According to recent press releases, the last 100 German soldiers have left the Kunduz region. The Federal Chairman of the German Armed Forces Association, André Wüstner, warns that lessons must be learned from the Afghanistan mission, also with regard to current foreign missions in Mali and elsewhere.
Soldiers in Germany are to receive a tax-free one-off payment of between 200 and 600 Euro in 2020 as a replacement for the usual gradual pay adjustment.
Legal Status of Military Personnel Act
A bill to amend the Legal Status of Military Personnel Act provides for an extension of the deadline to the first eight years of service, during which young soldiers can be discharged from the Bundeswehr in a simplified procedure. The intention is to better punish extremist tendencies in the Bundeswehr. However, the law means considerable legal uncertainty for all young soldiers and places everyone under a kind of general suspicion.
The federal budget is to be passed this year. 46.8 billion euro are earmarked for the Bundeswehr, 1.4 billion euro more than in the previous year. The evaluation is mixed: this is not enough for the needs of the Bundeswehr. Politically, it must be acknowledged that the government has planned to increase the budget – despite the fiscal challenges to overcome the Corona-crisis.
Compensation of homosexual soldiers
The Bundestag is planning a compensation law for homosexual soldiers who were discriminated against within the Bundeswehr because of their sexual orientation.
The current legislative process for the acquisition of an armed drone is very far advanced. The approval of an additional 248 million euros in the 2021 defence budget is intended to take account of the current security policy challenges in foreign mission. The German Bundeswehr Association clearly advocates the acquisition of armed drones for the soldiers on foreign missions and appreciates the taken political decision.
The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) has made a further contribution to the creation of a European Army with a recent position paper of October 2020 on the creation of a “28th European Army”. The German Armed Forces Association recognizes the SPD contribution as an important part of a still pending future debate on a Common Security and Defence Policy for the European Union.