The witch hunt against former Defense Minister Lambrecht is now over. After endless personal speculations about Heil, Högl, Klingbeil or Schmidt, the SPD Interior Minister Pistorius, who had not previously appeared on the radar, was chosen as her successor – beyond all feared dogmatic enforcement of the SPD women’s quota. . After all, Merkel’s former military adviser, General Vad gave a relatively fair and analytical assessment of the incident and the persona of Lambrecht and of the history of the Ministry of Defense in general, which also puts the „structural deficits“ (Claudia Major) before the lack of personnel, which no superman of any kind can turn off in the short term, even with the best will and competence or qualification:
„Fairness for Lambrecht: The general media criticism of the outgoing defense minister does not go far enough.
It is now up to her successor to ensure that military support for Ukraine is not at the expense of the Bundeswehr Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned from her post yesterday. Of course, certain appearances and statements were suboptimal, clearly she had no professional competence. But neither did most of their predecessors. Which are also known to have been involved in serious political scandals. Lambrecht did not have any serious affairs, she only made a few mistakes. It’s fair to say that. Various factors came together in her failure as defense minister: On the one hand, Germany sees itself as a pacifist civil power with a pronounced disinterest in the military. This also applies to many German politicians, especially the Greens, who don’t understand anything about the military because they’ve never known it. This actual indifference still applies – despite the loud but, given the ailing state of the Bundeswehr, little credible war rhetoric with regard to the Ukraine war.
In addition, the defense minister in Germany has always been the bogeyman of the nation. The ejection seat of the republic. With the Ukraine war, Lambrecht’s ministry unexpectedly advanced to become a key ministry. What followed was a sobering public realization: Germany currently has a non-operational army without ammunition in the Bundeswehr, with a single fully operational brigade, with at times fewer main battle tanks than Switzerland, few ready-to-run jets and the smallest navy in German history. But: Ms. Lambrecht is certainly not solely responsible for this.
The fact that Germany cannot defend itself is not just her failure and rightly worries many. For the defense minister, this means that small mistakes carry more weight, especially in view of the media bias and the permanent public observation of the defense minister, which Ms. Lambrecht was not familiar with in her previous ministerial assignments. And the defense minister’s mistakes are publicly and fairly ruthlessly exploited in Germany. That is known. For example, the mistake that Lambrecht initially and hesitantly only delivered helmets to the Ukraine – in retrospect, an unfortunate political decision that she did not make alone. If you now say that they should have sent tanks right away, that’s pretty self-important.
And politically not possible. The alleged lack of ammunition for the Bundeswehr is not attributable to Lambrecht either: the Bundeswehr has been lacking ammunition for years. And it will also take years to stock enough ammunition for national and alliance defense. That will cost a lot of money because the depot organization also has to be rebuilt. The media blanket criticism of Lambrecht and the media malice fall short and are not fair. And the chancellor is certainly partly responsible – also for the personnel decision made thirteen months ago. Now Chancellor Scholz has to deal with the successor – a not easy task between women’s quota and professional competence. The new one has to be ejected. It will be interesting to see if and for how long this will go well. In any case, the new defense minister must increase the Bundeswehr’s financial framework: the 100 billion euro special fund has always been praised as a great measure. However, the proud sum is far from enough to ensure the operational readiness of the Bundeswehr and to fulfill the commitment to NATO. That will be a Herculean task with top priority for the new incumbent.
Then the new defense minister should prudently and wisely push ahead with military support for Ukraine. This must not lead to the perpetuation of the non-operational capability of the German armed forces. This is a major challenge given the political pressure. The Bundeswehr and Germany’s security must come first”
. Erich Vad is an ex-general, management consultant and publicist. Between 2006 and 2013 he was a group leader in the Berlin Federal Chancellery and military-political advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Classified as „Fair“. The security expert Claudia Major also said „it“ is not only a personnel problem, but also a structural problem. In addition, one has the impression that the opposition is only waiting for the next „mistake“ in order to then also demand Scholz’s head. General Vad also said: „That’s right what Claudia Major addresses with „structure“. The BMVG is already a highly problematic bureaucratic monster that is difficult to domesticate. Volker Rühe and Peter Struck still had the shop under control. But that was a long time ago. The diffusion of responsibility in-house, which has been denounced by the military commissioners for years, and the cumbersome procurement procedure is and will remain a problem for the newcomer.“
Pistorius will have to deliver the Leos at the upcoming Rammstein meeting as an entrance symbol, otherwise he would be convicted of hesitancy, incompetence, missing the “Zeitenwende”/ turning point and unwillingness to take on the hoped-for German leadership role in NATO and the EU, and with it and him Scholz, who then made another “mistake ‚ and had to resign – in the best case of the prosecution and allegation. It doesn’t go below that, even if everyone says that the Leos won’t be available and operationable until 2024 – apparently those political forces don’t want to make the war any shorter or care about it. Apart from such subtleties, despite all the media and opposition nagging, the comment by the chairman of the Bundeswehr Association still stands in the way: Pistorius is the right man and a good defense minister (3ven before he did anything) . the Bundeswehr would feel connected to him (why?- there isn’t there a more detailed explanation – maybe more so than Lambrecht, but is that enough in the medium term?), but the Bundeswehr also knows that in a year or by the next election date he won’t be able to catch up on everything that generations, including the Christian Union, including Lambrecht, have messed up in front of him and expect a real Zeitenwende/ turning point at best in 4-5 years, but this should start now. And it’s not just a question what Pistorius, but also what Scholz actually wants. The Left Party once again only wants to get out via the social justice track – already too much money for the Bundeswehr, therefore „efficient procurement“, end of the German “economic war” against Russia and lifting of sanctions. The AfD wants more money for the Bundeswehr, but expects just as diplomatic solution with Putin ala Vad or Milley (Korea solution) and lifting of the „economic war“sanctions.
Pistorius won’t be able to do any of that either, Scholz would have to initiate it, but especially not as a German solo effort and without Biden, nothing will work anyway, unless you’re hoping for a Trump/Elon Musk deal. .There would have to be a decision from the USA ala Milley or Hodges from the USA. The Germans and also Scholz, and even more so Pistorius, are rather subordinate batches who have to bow to this pressure and have to maneuver tactically. Not foreseeable for the time being. And immediately after the appointment, the croaking and nagging starts again from the Christian Union: does Pistorius have the “qualifications”? When will you ever have this alleged “qualifications”? In truth, these political orces are now trying to make Pistorius appear incapable as well, in order to then demand Scholz’s head, let the traffic light coalition burst, set up a Jamaica coalition, perhaps install Strack-Zimmermann or Roettgen as defense minister, .so that the old SPD Ostpolitik, the remainder of “hesitancy” will be abolished, all old Ostpolitik remnants and Germany will then become the “leading power” within NATO and the EU right after the USA, although it should still be without weapons of mass destruction and is making the real Zeitenwende/ turning point. Bundeswehr Association or not. General Vad added: „I think Pistorius is a good and qualified personnel decision. He is also 62, no longer wants to be chancellor, as interior minister of NS always had a good connection to the Bundeswehr, could do the job for a few years and try to give the Bundeswehr „spin, direction and speed“. I think he can do it! „
But „what“ should he manage. Deliver a couple of Leos, restructure the whole procurement system in 1 year, then deliver fighter jets—the opposition will always find a hair in the soup, because the croaking from the Union and some media people suggests that it’s not about the Bundeswehr and the defense minister, but about the overthrow of Scholz. Whether they can manage „that“, but „what“ exactly, no idea, apart from an unclearly formulated „leadership role“, maybe, but it is about the ultimate eradication of all elements of an Ostpolitik, the prospects of an armistice and a European peace order with a Russia . Because what else should this stupid “qualifictaions” quack not even a few hours after the inauguration be called otherwise? It’s not about what the Bundeswehr Association and Vad say about it, but: Merz wants power, Röttgen or Strack-Zimmermann as defense minister and Baerbock can remain in a hoped-for Jamaica coalitionas foreign minister. Although the Bundeswehr Association can play an important role in supporting Pistorius and ultimately Scholz, because these forces cannot easily get past him. But let´s see.
The escalation logic is best formulated by Claudia Major tonight at the ARD TV talkshow Maischberger. If the aim is to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it cannot just be Marders and Leos, but the next step must be to deliver helicopters and then fighter jets as well, in hopes of pushing Russia out of Donbass and Crimea. That is the equally optimistic scenario that ex-NATO General Hodges has, for example, that Crimea will be reconquered by August 2013 at the latest. But vice versa: what if not: What should the West deliver then and at what point could this goal only be achieved through direct intervention by NATO or the USA if one sticks to this goal. And if you are not assuming a Cuban scenario, what would you do if, for example, if Putin did use three tactical nuclear weapons as a last warning? Escalate? Accept that just three areas are nuclear destroyed, but probably only in a radius of 50 kilometers? Should one then react nuclear or accept this? Especially since Major also believes that even if Putin was toppled, the ruling elite in Russia was and is for this war and that is not just a question of one person. In short: It is foreseeable that there will be further deliveries of weapons, including helicopters and fighter jets, but then a limit will be reached where this can no longer be escalated without a direct confrontation. It remains to be seen to what extent the Ukrainians will have regained territory by then and whether or not they will be able to recapture Donbass and Crimea, as Hodges believes. If not, it will likely come to Chief of Staff Milley’s Korea solution. And that means that the parts of the Ukrainian population that are then under Russian occupation are left to the oppressors and dictators, just like in North Korea. At that time in Korea there was also a discussion under McArthur as to whether the USA shouldn’t also attack China, maybe even start a world war with the Soviet Union in order to roll back communism. At that time, China did not have nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union had, but not yet as many delivery systems, which is why Truman toppled McArthur for fear of a limited nuclear attack by the Soviet Union on the USA. After Stalin’s death, when Eisenhower knew that Khrushchev had no interest in an escalation, Eisenhower threatened China with nuclear war again, which is why the armistice on the Korean peninsula that is in force today came about. But today both Russia and China have masses of ICBMs, tactical nuclear weapons, so the situation is different. Therefore, it is likely that after further deliveries of helicopters and fighter jets, the line to short- and medium-range missiles will no longer be crossed and, depending on the territory gained, the new lines will be draw if Putin launches or launches not limited nuclear strikes or there is an armistice and the surrender of the Ukrainian population as in North Korea, as provided for in the case of an emergency by Chief of Staff Milley’s Korea option.