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Germany to Bolster Army

German soldiers (File Photo)German soldiers (File Photo)

Germany has announced plans to increase its army by 5,000 troops, with 500 extra reserves and 1,000 civilian posts, aiming to have a total manpower of 198,000 by 2024.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen in a statement published on the Bundeswehr (German armed forces) website, RT reported.

“The Bundeswehr faces demands like never before,” said von der Leyen. “In the fight against IS terrorism, the stabilization of Mali, or our considerable NATO presence in the Baltic States.”

These new plans to boost the Bundeswehr would cost an extra €955 million (over $1 billion) per year from 2024.

The United States under President Donald Trump has signaled its desire for other NATO members to make greater commitment to the alliance.

At a summit in Wales in 2014, the alliance members agreed to each country setting aside 2% of their GDP for their defense budgets, a target currently only met by the US and four other members–Poland, Estonia, Greece and the UK.

Germany’s military spending is around 1.22%, but at the Munich Security Council, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reassured US Vice President Mike Pence that Germany was committed to the agreement.

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