but one of the most important decisions about the future of European security was announced Monday in Germany. Defense Minister Peter Struck has been on the airwaves and in the papers a great deal since the beginning of the year, talking about military reform. He’s been having a bit of a rough time of it. The Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung tartly noted that at the same time Struck was calling on the Bundeswehr to suit up for more demanding missions, he was announcing plans to cut the German armed forces? procurement over the next decade by considerably more than 20 billion euros. That’s more than a fistful, even by military standards. Predictably, there?s been a fuss, most loudly from armaments companies, saying that the planned cuts deny them the “planning security” that they had come to expect from the government. Second loudest has been the opposition, which has been doing its job by opposing the government’s plans.
But Struck’s pronouncements weren’t the important ones. The most important news about German defense, and thus European security, came from the Renate Schmidt, Minister for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. No, really.