The descendants of a once mighty military machine are now considered by their own inspector general as being "an embarrassment". General Wolfgang Schneiderhahn told the Bundestag that depite their positive contribution in Afghanistan, German troops needed to have "a better feeling for discipline and to show a greater readiness to serve the state".
His comments came after troops had been moaning about their conditions during deployment - e.g. the quality of their sleeping bags. This lack of esprit de corps may in part be due to the fact that German forces are not allowed in offensive combat situations and, in Afghanistan for example, are only assigned to protecting reconstruction projects - and that only during office hours.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Sarkozy have for some time been strutting around Europe extolling the virtues of an integrated European Defence Force; French and German troops have actually formed a Euro Brigade and have carried out joint exercises in their borderlands - the Saargebeit or somewhere. Border guards sounds about right.
The Telegraph: Moaning German soldiers an 'embarrassment' say chiefs