East Germany's Military

Forces and Expenditures

by Keith Crane

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This report assesses the current and future contribution of the East German armed forces to the Warsaw Pact and attempts to determine whether their role in the Pact has changed in recent years. The study assesses the veracity of East German military spending figures and estimates costs of personnel, procurement of military durables, and arms trade. It compares East German military capabilities with those of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Group of Soviet Forces Germany, and finds that with the exception of the East German navy, rates of modernization in these forces have either exceeded or kept pace with those in East Germany. The report also estimates military manpower needs and compares them with demographic projections of 18-year-old cohorts. The study finds that East Germany will be unable to sustain current force levels with present terms of enlistment. The study also assesses East Germany's ability to sustain or increase current military expenditure levels in the 1990s and finds that the East Germans will have difficulty in increasing expenditure levels at past rates. The study concludes with a set of policy recommendations for conventional arms negotiations.

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