Speed Reads

re-armament

Germany to boost defense spending in response to Russian aggression

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told an extraordinary session of the Bundestag on Sunday that Germany must rebuild its military "to protect our freedom and democracy," Reuters reports.

This announcement comes after the chief of Germany's army, the Bundeswehr, said Thursday that the army has been "more or less stripped bare."

Scholz said the government will make a special investment of 100 billion euros in the military in 2022 and will increase annual military expenditures to at least 2 percent of GDP, the level NATO established as a guideline in 2006. Germany spent only 47 billion euros, or 1.53 percent of GDP, on defense in 2021.

Der Spiegel reported that some of that 100 billion would be spent on "drones and new fighter jets."

Scholz announced Saturday that, after hesitating for months to provide lethal aid to Ukraine, his country will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to aid in the fight against Russian aggression.

Also on Saturday, CNN reported, the German government indicated that it would support restricting Russia's access to the international financial intermediary SWIFT after initially balking at the potential damage to German businesses.