The Secretary of Defense wants to go down in history. For finally equipping the Bundeswehr properly. After all, Scholz is providing her with 100 billion. But when it comes to how the money is spent, others negotiate. And Lambrecht? She is silent.
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has big plans for her term of office. The SPD politician wants “that one can say in retrospect: She made sure that the Bundeswehr is finally properly equipped.” Lambrecht recently explained this in an interview with t-online.
She would have the framework for it. After all, the Chancellery provides both financial and content-related support. In his government statement on February 27, Chancellor Olaf Scholz even announced a turning point in German defense policy. There should be a special fund. 100 billion euros to adequately upgrade the armed forces.
A huge opportunity if there weren’t a problem: Lambrecht is obviously not sufficiently involved in the subject. Again and again she gives an impression of indifference. Is she not informed enough? Or is she just not in the mood? One thing is clear: the defense minister is not at all responsible for equipping the Bundeswehr herself, for which she would like to be celebrated in the future.
Secret negotiations between members of the traffic light and the Union are currently taking place regularly on the special fund. Officially, this is about a precise wording for the planned amendment to the Basic Law. In fact, it’s all about the money. Specifically: How should the 100 billion be spent.
Three federal ministers are on the traffic light side. These are Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and of course: the Defense Minister. Each of them brings a state secretary with them.
These talks with the Union are extremely important for Lambrecht. After all, this is about the money she needs to put her announced plan into action. Actually, Lambrecht should even be the negotiator. If another house expresses interest in the special fund, the Secretary of Defense should know in detail whether and how much money she can spare.
But the truth is that Lambrecht hardly ever takes part in the talks. As FOCUS Online learned, the discussions mostly take place between the Greens and the Union. The FDP mediates. Participants said that the SPD minister was “physically present, but not much else”.
In public, Lambrecht reports optimistically that she has the feeling “that everyone – CDU/CSU, SPD, Greens and also FDP – wants to pull together and equip the Bundeswehr as it urgently needs it.” in good talks and she expects a result before the summer break.
Lambrecht apparently spends most of the joint meetings in silence. Even when a report produced by SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich threatened to end the talks during the negotiations last weekend, the minister held back.
Mützenich had threatened in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) that the traffic light could, in case of doubt, push through the adoption of the special fund for the Bundeswehr even without the Union. “If Germany is in an emergency situation, Article 115 allows borrowing with a simple majority,” said the SPD parliamentary group leader in the FAS.
For a Union, an affront that Lambrecht left uncommented at the moment, as several participants reported to FOCUS Online. Only in an interview with the ARD morning show did the minister say that she saw no need for the traffic light coalition to go it alone.
In order to get involved in the negotiations for the special fund, Lambrecht would have to be shoulder-deep in detailed questions. But she doesn’t want that at all. Although the SPD politician is now officially the commander of 180,000 men and women in the Bundeswehr, Lambrecht apparently doesn’t even know the different insignia of rank in the military. Lambrecht also consistently rejects intensive training in the complex structures of her own company, according to BMVg circles.
Maybe that’s the problem. In any case, one will not (as of now) look back and say that Lambrecht was the one who made sure that the Bundeswehr was finally properly equipped. Rather, one will point to Olaf Scholz, to Baerbock or Lindner – and maybe even to parts of the Union. If things continue like this, Lambrecht will at best say: She was there too.