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It has long been known that the Bundeswehr's ammunition stocks do not even come close to meeting the required NATO specifications. However, the German government is silent about the exact status of the current stocks and what commitments have been made to NATO for the coming years. A publication of this information is so sensitive that the well-being of the state would be endangered, said the federal government in its answer to a small question from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

The Federal Government is thus invoking its right to refuse to provide information to Parliament, since in its view the interest in secrecy and the welfare of the state prevail in this case. According to the argument, if this information were made public, too precise deductions could be made about the operational readiness and combat effectiveness of "essential parts of the Bundeswehr" as well as NATO plans. For this reason, it is also not possible for a limited group of people to view the explosive information at the secret protection agency of the Bundestag.

This makes it clear what a sensitive topic the current and future ammunition stocks of the Bundeswehr are. The fact that there is an investment deficit of at least 20 billion euros in order to meet the NATO minimum requirements by 2031 has been announced publicly and also by Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht herself. In addition, due to the support lines for Ukraine, the German ammunition depots are likely to look even emptier than when the deficit was calculated.

When asked by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group whether the federal government had concluded contracts with the armaments industry to provide manufacturing capacities for ammunition or whether such contracts were being planned, the latter replied: "There are currently no such plans."

Jens Lehmann, CDU member of the Bundestag and member of the Defense Committee, sees the federal government's silence as a gross disregard for the Bundestag's powers of control over the government. In addition, Lehmann says: “What shocks me, apart from the far too little funding for ammunition from the federal government, is the fact that the BMVg is currently unwilling and unable to put a concrete figure on the financial effort to procure the ammunition handed over to Ukraine . Apparently, the BMVg has neither made inquiries to the ammunition manufacturers nor has it exhausted existing framework agreements in the short term in order to replace the ammunition that has been handed in as quickly as possible.”

What the federal government's plans look like to eliminate the Bundeswehr's ammunition deficit remains its closely guarded secret.

Editorial staff / oh