German government approves new plans for war, including food rationing and compulsory conscription
06/10/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Germany is preparing for an all-out war in Europe with Russia, finalizing a new 67-page defense plan full of strict wartime measures that make it clear they are expecting the worst.

The new measures come in the form of updates to Germany’s Framework Directive for Overall Defense of 1989, which outlines the measures the country will take should a war break out. The new defense framework was approved by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's cabinet this week and replaces the previous guidelines.

Not surprisingly, a return to compulsory conscription features prominently in their plans, which means that citizens could be drafted at any time during the war. This compulsory military service was abandoned by the country in 2011, but Germany is now one of several nations that is talking about bringing it back.

In addition to the military draft, the guidelines state that skilled citizens over the age of 18 could be forced to work in some types of civilian jobs that would be deemed useful in wartime, such as nursing or baking bread. Meanwhile, hospitals must prepare to take on a significant influx of patients.

In a statement about the new guidelines, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said: “As a result of Russian aggression, we have a completely changed security situation in Europe.”

Parts of Germany could be fully evacuated, and the country will advise its citizens to shelter in “solid-construction” basements, subway stations and underground garages for protection during air raids; they note that attacks could take place with “sometimes extremely short warning times.”

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Food rationing and bans on quitting jobs

Strict food rationing and distribution measures are also included to address potential food shortages during wartime. Calorie-dense staples such as oats, rye and wheat that have long shelf lives could be withheld in secret locations and placed in emergency reserves with a view to giving the German population one hot meal a day. Water might also be stockpiled to use for firefighting purposes.

One of the more shocking elements of the plan is an outright ban on people quitting their jobs in key sectors. In addition, the media would be forced to publish updates, while companies could be ordered to only manufacture goods for defense purposes.

Plan includes support for NATO allies

Updates to the framework also note that Germany may need to come to the aid of its Baltic allies. The cabinet said: “Germany is no longer a frontline state, but serves the allied armed forces as a hub for the alliance in the heart of Europe.”

The plan notes that Germany could order a major troop movement to the east in order to defend its eastern NATO flank, in addition to hosting and feeding thousands of allied NATO soldiers as they make their way toward the front line through Germany.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who has said that his country should be ready for war by 2029, said that these plans are a response to the heightened security threat the world is facing right now.

"The overall defense of Germany is a task to which we all have to make our contribution, state and civil institutions, as well as each and every one of us. We need a resilient society that can deal with the challenges,” he said.

Referring to conscription, he said: "In an emergency, we need defensive young women and men who can defend this country."

The German military has been grappling with equipment shortages in recent years, with a parliamentary report that was released in 2023 stating that if the current pace of military revitalization persists, German forces would need half a century to catch up.

Germany is not the only NATO member that is actively preparing for a potential broader war on the European continent. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that this is an overreaction. At a foreign media briefing in St. Petersburg this week, he said: “Someone has imagined that Russia wants to attack NATO. Have you gone completely insane? Are you as thick as this table? Who came up with this nonsense, this bulls**t?” He added that Russia is only trying to protect itself in Ukraine.

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