US could 'shift focus' from Europe to Asia anytime, says German Defence Minister


New Delhi: German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius has expressed concern that Europe is relying too much on the US in the area of defence and that the grouping should take more responsibility for its own security.

The minister said there is pressure on him “at all times,” adding that Washington’s priorities could always change.

“We always have to keep in mind that the Americans could… shift their focus… towards the Indo-Pacific (region),” Russia Today quoted Pistorius as saying to Germany’s Deutschlandfunk (Dlf) radio broadcaster.

He added that this could happen for a range of reasons, and the likelihood of such a scenario may be influenced by the outcome of the US presidential elections next year.

Calling upon Europe to make more efforts to develop its own coordinated defence policy and assume the corresponding responsibility, he said that Europe could always rely on its “transatlantic partner” but added that “the balance can shift and we have to prepare for that.”

Pistorius also said Germany and the US would have to coordinate their approaches toward China.

When asked how Washington and Berlin were planning to deal with Beijing, he said, “I believe it will be done anyway, and that is necessary.”

He did not rule out Germany joining US-led sanctions against China should Beijing supply Russia with lethal weapons amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

‘Germany can’t protect itself’

His comments came days after he said that German army is not capable enough to protect the country against any offensive. Pistorius had further alleged that the Bundeswehr is understaffed and ill-equipped after being left neglected from the federal government for decades.

“We have no armed forces that are capable of defending [Germany] that is, capable of defending [it] against an offensive, brutally waged aggressive war,” Pistorius said during a meeting with fellow members of the Social Democratic Party.

He said Germany will have to increase its investment in its military in order to be up to NATO standards.

Last week, Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, the commander and highest ranking officer of the German army, said the 100 billion euro previously promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz would not be enough to make the country’s armed forces battle ready.

With inputs from agencies

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US could 'shift focus' from Europe to Asia anytime, says German Defence Minister
US could 'shift focus' from Europe to Asia anytime, says German Defence Minister
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