FDP expert rejects criticism: Strack-Zimmermann: "Panzerhowitzers are in constant fire"

There are reports from the Ukraine that the German Panzerhaubitze 2000 is already showing signs of wear.

FDP expert rejects criticism: Strack-Zimmermann: "Panzerhowitzers are in constant fire"

There are reports from the Ukraine that the German Panzerhaubitze 2000 is already showing signs of wear. According to FDP defense expert Strack-Zimmermann, that's no wonder. She says: "The self-propelled howitzers that we delivered are excellent. Some were even delivered later."

FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann defends herself against criticism of the federal government's arms deliveries in the "Today Important" podcast from "Stern". "The self-propelled howitzers that we delivered are excellent. Some were even delivered later," said the chair of the Bundestag's defense committee.

The fact that the self-propelled howitzers are already showing signs of wear is due to their frequent use: "The self-propelled howitzers are in continuous fire. And every weapon that is in continuous fire has to be serviced from time to time. That's why the experts are also in contact with the Bundeswehr. That's nothing unusual and speaks for itself not against the Panzerhaubitze 2000." That's why Ukraine actually needs twice as many self-propelled howitzers.

According to Strack-Zimmermann, the ring exchange that has failed so far is due to communication errors. "It's not malicious that the exchange of rings doesn't work that way. It's also the communication and the expectations of the eastern partners: what do we get from Germany and how quickly?" As Strack-Zimmermann described it as an example, it is about questions like: How many Russian tanks is a Leopard 2 worth, for example? There is definitely a need for improvement here, said the FDP politician, but talks are being held.

"The brutal force with which Putin attacked Ukraine (...) has lowered the inhibition threshold for other attacks," Strack-Zimmermann fears. The conflict is not new, but the war in Ukraine has made many people in the West much more sensitive to other conflicts. The West must react vigorously if the conflict escalates further, said Strack-Zimmermann. "For the first time since the Second World War, it is clear that we in the West can no longer afford to look the other way. Because that means that the other side takes advantage of it."

This creates an open conflict: "The free world, which accepts human rights and lives democracy, against the world of despots and arbitrariness." Putin did not expect that Europe and the West would react so united with sanctions and arms deliveries. You have to show that to other despots like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Xi Jingping.

Despite various differences between the parties in the traffic light coalition, Strack-Zimmermann defended the alliance: "It's nothing unusual in a three-way constellation that there are differences." The traffic light will fulfill the four years of government, Strack-Zimmermann can even imagine an alliance beyond that. "That doesn't mean that everything will be over after the 2025 election. You always have to have the option for the coalition to be effective beyond that. Anything else would be crazy. Because a lot of what we're trying to do today will only take effect in one or two or three years. So we're all interested in the traffic light working."

The traffic light was put to the test after a short time, but good negotiations had been carried out beforehand. That's what keeps the government together now, according to the FDP politician. "We were in office for 80 days and got off to a good start because we negotiated very seriously. There was no attempt, like in the Jamaica negotiations, to rip anyone off."

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