Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced today that the nation will expand its military by around 5,000 soldiers, bringing its total force to around 200,000, saying that growing demands for German military involvement abroad necessitates the growth.
This came alongside an announcement that Germany will be deploying a substantial force of tanks and armored vehicles to Lithuania, along the Russian border, where they will be joining the NATO anti-Russia force in the region, which already has upwards of 1,000 German troops involved.
While the timing would aim to directly link Germany’s military growth with its anti-Russia deployments, the reality is that the effort is also meant as a way to increase spending in an effort to placate the Trump Administration, which has been increasingly.
Though Germany has one of the world’s costliest militaries, they only spend around 1.22% of their GDP, by virtue of having a huge economy. The Trump Administration is demanding a minimum of 2% spending for all NATO members, which would mean Germany would be outspending Russia by itself.