Merkel Forms New Coalition Government

Angela Merkel has her coalition, and it’s a decidedly “left” (by the German political definition of the term) leaning coalition.

Political deal rethinks German defense, puts armed drones acquisition on hold

Months of haggling over a new government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel culminated Wednesday as leaders of her center-right Christian Democratic Union, its sister party Christian Social Union and the center-left Social Democratic Party, or SPD, unveiled a written coalition agreement in Berlin.

Insiders say the topic of defense spending ended up being relatively uncontroversial during closed-door talks, and party negotiators agreed on language that would keep Germany in line with a pledge by NATO members to annually allocate 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024.

Members of the SPD had decried that goal as unrealistic and unnecessary during last year’s election season.

In what could be a nod to critics of a rigid spending goal, the coalition agreement stresses that increases in the traditional military budget would come with plus-ups in fields that also have the potential to solve or prevent global crises. Those could include delivering humanitarian aid or funding educational projects abroad.

Read More at Defense News
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