January 23rd, 2016 by divider



VSB defense:
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Federal Defence Forces of Germany (BUNDESWEHR)
The Bundeswehr (German for “Federal Defence”; About this sound listen (help·info)) is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The States of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German Constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government.

The Bundeswehr is divided into a military part (armed forces or Streitkräfte) and a civil part with the armed forces administration (Wehrverwaltung). The military part of the federal defense force consists of the Heer (Army), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Streitkräftebasis (Joint Support Service), and the Zentraler Sanitätsdienst (Joint Medical Service) branches.

The Bundeswehr has recently (as of September 2014) acknowledged numerous equipment problems and spare parts shortages that have rendered it “unable to deliver its defensive NATO promises”. With military expenditures amounting only to 1.35% of the GDP (2012), it is amongst the lowest budgeted armed forces in the world in terms of share of GDP. As of 31 December 2014, the Bundeswehr has a strength of roughly 180,000 active troops, making it the 30th largest military force in the world and the fourth largest in the European Union, behind the armed forces of France, Italy and the United Kingdom. In addition the Bundeswehr has approximately 144,000 reserve personnel (2010).

French Armed Forces (Forces armées françaises)
The head of the French armed forces is the President of the Republic, in his role as Chef des Armées. However, the Constitution puts civil and military government forces at the disposal of the gouvernement (the executive cabinet of ministers chaired by the Prime Minister, who are not necessarily of the same political side as the president). The Minister of Defence (as of 2012, Gérard Longuet) oversees the military’s funding, procurement and operations. Historically, France relied a great deal on conscription to provide manpower for its military, in addition to a minority of professional career soldiers. Following the Algerian War, the use of non-volunteer draftees in foreign operations was ended; if their unit was called up for duty in war zones, draftees were offered the choice between requesting a transfer to another unit or volunteering for the active mission. In 1996, President Jacques Chirac’s government announced the end of conscription and in 2001, conscription formally was ended. Young people must still, however, register for possible conscription (should the situation call for it). As of 2014 the French Armed Forces have a reported strength of 215,019 regular personnel.
The reserve element of the French Armed Forces consists of two structures; the Operational Reserve and the Citizens Reserve. As of 2014 the strength of the Operational Reserve is 27,680 personnel.

Apart from the three main service branches, the French Armed Forces also includes a fourth paramilitary branch called the National Gendarmerie. It had a reported strength of 98,155 personnel in 2011. They are used in everyday law enforcement, and also form a coast guard formation under the command of the French Navy. There are however some elements of the Gendarmerie that participate in French external operations, providing specialised law enforcement and supporting roles.

Music:Laszlo – Imaginary Friends [NCS Release]
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