Alfons Mais, Chief of the Bundeswehr, despairs…
“You wake up in the morning and realize: There is war in Europe. Yesterday we held a “Day of Values” in the army. At its core was the question “What do we serve for?” It has never been easier to make this clear to the generation that did not live through the Cold War.
In my 41st year of service in peace, I would not have thought I would have had to experience another war. And the Bundeswehr, the army that I am allowed to lead, is more or less blank. The options we can offer policymakers to support the Alliance are extremely limited. We all saw it coming and were unable to penetrate with our arguments to draw and implement the conclusions of the annexation of Crimea. That doesn’t feel good!
NATO territory is not yet directly threatened, even if our partners in the East feel the constantly growing pressure. When, if not now, is the time to leave the Afghanistan mission behind us structurally and materially and to reposition ourselves, otherwise we will not be able to implement our constitutional mandate and our alliance obligations with any prospect of success.”