Recently, we have learned that the Russian military is vastly less capable than anyone imagined. Also, in three whole weeks, Ukrainians have markedly reduced the capabilities of the Russian military. Therefore, naturally many governments (including the German government) have decided they must spend more on their militaries to face the Russian threat. This makes no sense.
To deal with Russia, Germany needs liquified natural gas terminals and heat pumps. It will gain little by buying F35s (based on the general principal that buying F35s is stupid). With the same money they can tell people “if you replace your gas furnace with a heat pump, we will pay for the heat pump and the electricity to run it.” This is a much more effective strategy, just like the one discussed on sites such as 1945.
Yes, they also need more capacity to generate electricity. They might (heaven forfend) have to reactivate the nuclear reactors which they have already built. They will not quit natural gas this year (they will need a lot less when the Spring which is in full swing here in Rome finally reaches Germany). So to be genuinely independent from Russian they need liquified natural gas terminals — and also a budget to buy natural gas at the new without Russia world price.
But what the hell are they planning to do with the new improved Bundeswehr? They are certainly nowhere near actually sending them to fight unless a NATO country is attacked and, since Ukraine can fight Russia to a standstill NATO certainly already has the capacity to do so.
I think the explanation is in this headline “A big defence budget shows Germany has woken up”. The new military spending is not related to actual military missions. It is a (very expensive) symbolic gesture.
Similarly the USA reacted to 19 guys with box cutters killing 3000 of us by increasing our immense military budget.
I think the illogic is that increased military spending is a compromise move (this means that my analogy with the US is unfortunate as our illogic was uncompromising). Responding with economic sanctions and military aid to Ukraine was judged to be insufficient. Actually sending Germans to kill and die was (obviously correctly) judged to be doing way way too much. So let’s add a few tens of billions of wasted Euros. We must do something. This is something. We must do this.
On a related topic, what do I support instead ?
OK so heat pumps and gas terminals. I also propose a United European renewable electricity effort (on a really big enough to make a difference scale). Currently in the EU there are a whole lot of solar energy installations in Germany where there is very little solar. Also there is high unemployment in sunny Spain, Greece and Calabria. It won’t be pretty but electicity can be (and is) transmitted over long distances. I suspect that not totally old direct current technology might be optimal. Why not ?
I suspect that this environmentally and strategically necessary step is blocked partly by NIMBY ultra confused environmentalists (analogy with USA) and partly won’t work exactly because it requires a unified European approach (pointlessly rigid fiscal rules fine, a lot mor wires not so fine, don’t ask me why).