Germany Adding Troops, Warships to Expanding Indo-Pacific Military Presence

 Germany announced Thursday it is sending troops and warships to the Indo-Pacific to boost its military presence in the increasingly disputed region.

The move comes as Luftwaffe assets undertake advanced air-combat training in Australia as part of Exercise Pitch Black 2022.

Berlin’s move shows it is serious about joining other Western nations in delivering muscle in the region amid growing alarm over Beijing’s territorial ambitions, Reuters reports.

The German navy sent its first warship in almost 20 years to the disputed waters of the South China Sea last year – at the risk of irking its top trade partner – and this month has 13 military aircraft on exercises in Australia, as Breitbart News reported.

At the conclusion of the Australian exercises, the Luftwaffe will continue its Rapid Pacific deployment onwards to Japan and the Republic of Korea.

General Eberhard Zorn told Reuters the Bundeswehr’s next plan centers on sending troops to participate in training exercises in Australia next year, while the navy would send a fleet of several more warships to the region in 2024.

“This is how we want to consolidate our presence in the region,” Zorn said in an interview with the outlet at the defense ministry in Berlin

In 2020, Berlin published a new Indo-Pacific strategy with a focus on strengthening alliances with democracies in the region, marking a turning point beyond other commitments in Europe.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in February pledged a dramatic hike in spending on the military after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, even as Australia and Japan looked to boost their levels of regional cooperation. 

Germany, which has been frugal on military spending in the second half of the 20th century, pledged to hike defense spending above two percent of its total GDP as part of the expanion.

Asked whether Germany might send a warship sailing through the Taiwan Strait as has the United States, Zorn conceded that was a political decision to be made at the highest political level.

“We do not want to provoke anyone with our presence but rather send a strong sign of solidarity with our allies,” he said. “We stand for the freedom of navigation and the safeguarding of international norms.”

Zorn said China’s military strength once lay in its sheer number of soldiers; now its armed forces were also getting technologically well equipped.

“We are observing an enormous build-up of Chinese forces,” he said.

Germany Adding Troops, Warships to Expanding Indo-Pacific Military Presence Germany Adding Troops, Warships to Expanding Indo-Pacific Military Presence Reviewed by Your Destination on September 01, 2022 Rating: 5

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