Germany suffers from a shortage of up to 20,000 soldiers, and is considering accepting foreigners into the army, just as happened in Belgium | outside

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) is considering accepting non-Germans into the army. Germany is currently suffering from a shortage of more than 20,000 soldiers. Belgium already allows foreigners to enter military service.

The German army currently numbers just over 180,000 soldiers, but according to the goals set before Pistorius took office, this number should be 203,000.

Both the liberal FDP and the center-right CDU/CSU would be open to accepting people without a German passport into the army in order to achieve the goal. Pistorius still has to clear up some doubts, such as a potential language barrier.

“Thinking more European”

According to Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) – who chairs the German parliament’s defense committee – Germany needs to “think more European” when recruiting. She told the regional newspaper “Rheinische Post”. Johan Wadevoll (CDU) agrees, but still has questions. “Do candidates have to be citizens of an EU country? Or a NATO country? Or can they even come from abroad? What about language?”

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. © Agence France-Presse

Pistorius told Der Tagesspiegel newspaper that Germany would not be the first country to accept foreigners into the army. correct. For example, you can become a soldier in Belgium not only if you have Belgian citizenship, but also if you are a citizen of another EEA member state (all EU countries plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland) or of another country. Switzerland.

Denmark allows other EU citizens to join its army if they speak Danish. Ireland accepts foreigners if they have lived in the country for at least five years. Spain recruits from former colonies, and France has had a Foreign Legion for nearly 200 years: an army unit made up mainly of foreigners.

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Denton Watson

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