As the West steps up military aid to Kurdish forces fighting ISIS in Iraq, Germany has sent its own contribution in the form of beef sausages, burgers, biscuits and granola bars, according to The Local.
The shipment came after newspaper Der Spiegel reported that German plans to send military aid to the Kurds were in chaos after an internal army report showed that just 21 of Germany’s 56 military transport aircraft were fit to fly.
It also emerged that Germany could not send night vision equipment it had promised after it could not source enough of the optics. They also failed to provide protective vests after finding they had deteriorated to the point of uselessness while in storage.
The military report also revealed that, although the German military boasts over 400 tanks and 4,000 armoured vehicles, much of its hardware has fallen into disrepair. Just eight of its 109 Eurofighter aircraft are in a fit state for combat, while the majority of its transport helicopter fleet must remain grounded.
Despite the embarrassing state of his country’s armed forces, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier reaffirmed his country’s commitment to helping the Kurds on Monday: “We need the courage and willingness to intervene,” he said, adding: “We cannot leave the Kurds alone with only food. That won’t be enough.”
Horst Seehofer, leader of the conservative CSU party, which is in permanent alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, told Der Spiegel that “there just isn’t enough money there for the army to fulfil its duties,” adding that he wants the German parliament to discuss increasing military spending.
CSU defence analyst Florian Hahn claims that the country’s army needs €7bn to repair its deteriorated equipment.