Defense Minister Boris Pistorius assured Washington that Germany is ready to play a leading role in security policy in Europe and will provide the military capabilities for this. “Let us – the USA and Germany together – shape the future together with all those who stand for freedom, peace and the rules-based international order,” said the SPD politician in a keynote speech at the renowned Johns Hopkins University.

Germany is a steadfast ally and is capable and ready to take on its role in the alliance and in global politics. The Defence Minister wanted to continue his travel programme in Canada afterwards. He wanted to meet his counterpart Bill Blair in Ottawa today after speaking to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in the Pentagon in Washington.

New course after Russian invasion

In Washington, Pistorius explained Germany’s new course, which was changed in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Germany is in the midst of a military development process and has given up long-held restraint – such as the delivery of weapons to war zones, he said at Johns Hopkins University.

He wanted to correct the fact that Germany had given up conscription and said, “times have changed.” He spoke of a “mistake” and said: “I am convinced that Germany needs some form of conscription.” Military steadfastness must be ensured.

It is easy to fall into pessimism in the face of the world’s crises, but he reacts to it with grim determination. The Europeans are also aware that the US is focusing its attention on the Indo-Pacific and must respond to China’s arms buildup, aggressive economic policies and striving for geopolitical dominance. Germany is determined to make a contribution to the rules-based order here too.

Pistorius: Seize transatlantic opportunity

“I am convinced that only America and Europe together can keep the West strong and defend it against Russia’s expansionist ambitions and other actors’ hunger for power and dominance,” Pistorius said. And: “My message today is: As in other moments of the transatlantic partnership such as the Berlin Airlift, the Marshall Plan or the reunification of Germany – let us seize this transatlantic opportunity once again.”

After discussions with Austin, Pistorius also made public the decision in Washington that Germany would pay for the delivery of three longer-range rocket artillery systems from the USA to Ukraine. “They come from stocks of the US armed forces and are paid for by us,” he said. The systems cost more than double-digit millions. The Himars (“High Mobility Artillery Rocket System”) is a truck chassis-mounted multiple rocket launcher artillery system.