The German military suffers from an inability to provide troops with basic footwear, adding to a series of scandals over lack of equipment and poor combat readiness in the NATO member. The soldiers will wait until 2022 to have new combat boots due to "limited production capacity in industry," according to German media.
"It seems quite grotesque that it takes eight years to equip troops with new footwear," said Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, a member of parliament from the opposition Free Democrats who requested the information from the Defense Ministry, as reported by Deutsche Welle.
Earlier reports stated that the German military suffers persistent gaps in personnel and equipment that are hampering troops. The annual report released in 2018 by Hans-Peter Bartels, parliamentary ombudsman for the armed forces, follows a spate of media reports about shortfalls in everything from tanks to body armor that have raised concerns about whether Germany will be ready to take command of a NATO rapid response force this year. In 2017, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government announced the first increase in the size of the army since 1990 and higher spending over the next seven years. Nevertheless, "there has been no substantial increase" in the budget since then, Bartels found.
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