West German Military Modernization Goals, Resources, and Conventional Arms Control

by Joseph E. Nation

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This report compares the financial requirements of modernizing West German military forces with a range of budgetary resources both with and without negotiated conventional force reductions in Europe. The analysis focuses on the evolution of economic and demographic constraints on long-term West German defense planning, projects resource-requirement imbalances, and examines potential reactions to imbalances. The author concludes that reactions by Ministry of Defense (MoD) planners will vary depending on the emerging security environment and the results of West Germany's security debate. If substantial shortfalls appear likely, planners may be forced to make difficult choices, ranging from stretching out procurement purchases to making large personnel reductions and abandoning specific missions. However, MoD plans will probably be influenced more by changes in Soviet and Warsaw Pact member defense efforts.

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