Day by Day

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Partnerships only work if everybody pulls together

And in the same direction.

So the Germans have 95 operable tanks at any given time and less than 200 working Armored Personnel Carriers. Their Air Force is in serious trouble. They have roughly forty operable fighter jets, a good portion of which are already committed to operations around Turkey and Syria. 
And then there’s the Navy. Shall we talk about the German submarine force? It’s going to be a short discussion. Coming into this winter they had one (!) operable submarine. Sadly, that one grounded on the rocks a few months ago so their total fleet of subs currently stands at… zero. 
How did things get to this point? A recent interview with the German Defense Minister included some choice quotes. One of them was the explanation that Germany hasn’t paid as much attention to the military because “we are surrounded by friends.” The alternate and somewhat more dismal explanation is, “because we just don’t care.”
In my very short time in Kabul, I saw lots of flags at the main airport.  French and Belgium and Australian and Greek and so on and so forth.

Out at Camp Phoenix, it was Armenians and Bulgarians.

Out in FOBs away from the comforts and political safety of the main base in Kabul, it was....  just Americans.

The only real reason we have our NATO allies helping us out in Afghanistan is to use them as a political fig leaf.  "See, what we're doing is right and good and just!  Look at all the people we have helping us!"  Except we don't really have people helping us, do we?  We have "allies" that can't field a force.  We have allies that cannot actually get their troops from one theater to another, and moreover, they do not care that they lack this ability, because the US of A has always been doing the heavy lifting so why should they bother?

I remember when NATO intervened in Kosovo, and the French had to hire civilian ferries to move it's troops because they didn't actually possess the watercraft needed to move troops and supplies up a river.  Or up anywhere.

After the tsunami in Indonesia, it was a US carrier group that every other country in the world used as a floating HQ.  Of course, they all wanted to rub elbows with the political figures that would allow them the most opportunity for graft, because that's what the rest of the world does while America busts its ass trying to fix shit.

If Germany cannot field a military, then they are worthless as a NATO ally.  They should either do their damn job, or we should dump them.

1 comment:

MauserMedic said...

Camp Phoenix, 2010. The place deserves it's own burn pit registry for what came in over the walls being burned by Afghans. Damn near passed out a respiratory reaction during running there outside; pretty sure it was a fine simulation of an asthma attack. Stuck to the cardio units inside the gym after that.