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West German Military Modernization Goals, Resources, and Conventional Arms Control

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Over the past several years, West German leaders have unveiled carefully constructed and ambitious plans, commonly called Bundeswehr 2000, to modernize military forces in the next several years. The financial requirements of these modernization efforts are certain to be large, particularly since replacement equipment is almost always more costly than its predecessors. Requirements appear substantial even with conventional force reduction agreements that cut forces. Several factors further complicate West Germanys modernization efforts. A precipitous drop in the number of male youths will make achieving conscript personnel goals virtually impossible. This demographic trough also will exert strong upward wage pressures for careerists and make careerist personnel objectives both more difficult to achieve and more costly. The falling Soviet threat, strengthened by political and economic reforms in Eastern Europe the debate over NATO strategy and force structure and the emerging debate about the need for and role of the Bundeswehr complicate modernization efforts. The reunification of Germany also seems certain to alter modernization plans. West Germanys ability to achieve its military modernization goals is important. For the immediate future, Germany will remain the most critical European player in NATOs defense strategy. This will be true as long as Soviet forces are in Eastern Europe and regardless of the outcomes of reforms in the East, Conventional Forces in Europe CFE negotiations, and German reunification. This report compares the financial requirements of achieving Bundeswehr modernization goals with a range of projected budgetary resources. The financial requirements of major equipment production and projected resources are estimated for two cases in the absence of conventional arms control in Europe and following a first-stage CFE agreement.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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