"Germans learned in recent days that no more than seven of their navy's 43 helicopters can fly, only one of their four submarines can operate, and one in three of their army's weapons systems lack necessary equipment," the Wall Street Journal reports.
"The revelations last week in a leaked parliamentary report and acknowledged by German defense officials have led to allegations of mismanagement and media criticism of Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to hold the post and a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel. But one response has been slow in coming: calls to increase military spending despite mounting evidence that the German military is falling into disrepair. The disclosures and the ensuing debate show the limits of promises by German leaders this year--from Ms. von der Leyen to German President Joachim Gauck--that Europe's economic champion will take on more responsibility in world affairs."
"Germany has become a greater diplomatic power, particularly in the Ukraine crisis. But despite calls from Western allies that it should beef up its military capabilities, the government's focus on delivering a balanced budget and voters' longtime aversion to the use of force mean German leaders have little incentive to increase military spending."