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December 15 2010 German army will become an all-voluntary force with 185000 soldiers.

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Defense News - Germany

Sunday, 12 December 2010, 09:35 AM

December 15, 2010, German army will become an all-voluntary force with 185,000 soldiers.
BONN, Germany - On July 1, the German Bundeswehr will become an all-voluntary force of about 185,000 soldiers. The heads of Germany's three ruling parties set the date at a Dec. 9 meeting of their coalition.
soldier combat field dress military uniforms German army land ground forces Germany in Afghanistan 006 German army soldiers in Afghanistan (Source Wikimedia ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office)

On Dec. 15 the federal cabinet will adopt the corresponding draft law, which will then be put to a final vote before both houses of the German parliament.

With the end of conscription, the size of the German military to fall from 240,000 troops to 185,000.

Ultimately, plans call for the Bundeswehr will consist of 170,000 professional soldiers with open-ended and limited enlistments, plus a voluntary service of up to 15,000 soldiers serving up to 23 months.

"A consensus existed between all, that security politics can not be shaped by the cash position," Defence Secretary Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said on German public TV. He had been asked whether his department would still be able to save the planned 8.3 billion euros ($11 billion).

Zu Guttenberg said a force level greater than 163,500 soldiers, which had been the minimal planning size, would naturally lead to greater costs. Nonetheless, his department would be bound to work as efficiently and economically as possible, said zu Guttenberg, without giving any concrete numbers.

Even though no one will be drafted anymore, conscription will still be left as part of the Grundgesetz, Germany's constitution. That way it can be reintroduced with a single majority instead of a two-thirds majority, if necessary.

The alternative civilian service will also get sacked, which could lead to a labor shortage.


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