9:13 AM 8/3/2018 – In my as always very humble opinion, the FBI’s problem is not that it is led by the lawyers, it is the only way to lead it. FBI’s problem as an organisation is its phenomenal, indescribable STUPIDITY.

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Wray Is Just Another FBI Lawyer In Charge Of Agents Who Deserve Better

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In my as always very humble opinion, the FBI’s problem is not that it is led by the lawyers, it is the only way to lead it. FBI’s problem as an organisation is its phenomenal, indescribable STUPIDITY. On the individual level, I am sure, they have many very bright and exceptional people but as the organisation, which as the functioning entity is very different from the individuals and the individual psychology, it is dense, as non-transparent as it gets, deeply dysfunctional, almost incompetent in some matters, reticent, backward, slow, as non-creative as it gets, etc., etc.. 

Their second most important problem, as paradoxically as it sounds, is COWARDICE which they constantly try to hide and to cover up with the claimed and made-up stories and narratives of their “heroism”, as the psychological mechanism of overcompensation. They probably go to work for the FBI, to start with,  to try to overcome these feelings and self-perceptions as cowards and inadequate personalities. It is just like the shy kid wants to join the street gang to feel more adequate as the part of the group. The gang principles and psychology are the main underpinnings of the FBI membership as the organisation. 

“The Hero with the Feet of Clay on a Pedestal Syndrome”, this formula comes to mind when reading the rather astute observations of the American public’s attitudes, rather ambivalent and complex, towards their heroes and public figures: 

“American society”, mused Dr Lief, the psychiatrist who thinks the facts indicate Hoover would have made a perfect high-level Nazi, “has a strangely polarised attitude towards its heroes. On the one hand people love to find the idol has clay feet, to find the flaw in the famous man. On the other, they are reluctant to take the hero off his pedestal. This is a curious contradiction in our society, and sometimes a dangerous one.”

The studies of the FBI’s founding father’s personality might serve as the good illustration of these complexities: 

“Dr John Money, professor of medical psychology at Johns Hopkins University, thought Hoover “needed constantly to destroy other people in order to maintain himself. He managed to live with his conflict by making others pay the price.” Dr Harold Lief, professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, concluded that Hoover suffered from “a personality disorder, a narcissistic disorder with mixed obsessive features… paranoid elements, undue suspiciousness and some sadism. A combination of narcissism and paranoia produces what is known as an authoritarian personality. Hoover would have made a perfect high-level Nazi.” 

Image result for J.E. Hoover with big gun

When J.E. Hoover was criticized in Congress for the lack of personal participation in the busting operations, which implied his lack of bravery, he made a point of been properly photographed with a big machine gun in his hands and the fierce expression on his face, and made sure that this story received the broad press coverage.

“Hoover hogged the limelight when the thugs were killed or captured and was jealous and vindictive when it fell instead on one of his proteges.”

This is their tradition. That’s how they manage their publicity. Not much changed after all these years. 

They also use (subconsciously, of course) the psychological mechanism of projection: they assume that the rest of the world is just as stupid, coward, and saturated with the hidden, covert and overt criminal tendencies, just like they are themselves. 

The story of John Connolly is the case in point: 

“Former FBI agent John Connolly crossed over into corruption while handling criminal informants such as James “Whitey” Bulger, and was later convicted of racketeering and second-degree murder.” 

________________________________

John Connolly – Former FBI Agent, Criminal – Biography

https://www.biography.com/people/john-connolly-091715

Sep 17, 2015 – Former FBI agent John Connolly crossed over into corruption while handling criminal informants such as James “Whitey” Bulger, and was later …

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The human body does not contain enough fluids to properly spit on this attitude. “Ty, sons,  Chickens!”. 

The main thing they care about is their nice and easy life, good salaries, “careers” (that what they would kill for), fringe benefits, travel, and the incalculable perks to make them happy. And mostly, the sense of the (almost religious) brotherhood, and above all, “POWER”! Norman Mailer was absolutely correct when he called the FBI “a high church for the true mediocre”. it was the truth in his time, and this is the truth now. Most likely, it will be the truth tomorrow if the FBI is not abolished and replaced with something more healthy as the organisation. 

Image result for norman mailer on fbi quote

The poor little things do not even know what the “power” is. For them, it is something to make them feel important and satisfied. 

With the soldiers like that no one should be surprised that America appears to be in deep shit (not the deep state). Thank God, it is just an appearance. 

The series of high caliber studies are needed to determine why, I do not know, WHY. But it is a problem. It has to be dealt with regardless of the exact diagnosis, on the empirical and the common sense basis. 

It is impossible to think and to write on this subject without experiencing deep frustration, anger, bitterness, and disappointment. 

Michael Novakhov

9:12 AM 8/3/2018

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Wray Is Just Another FBI Lawyer In Charge Of Agents Who Deserve Better
 

mikenova shared this story from The Federalist.

Christopher Wray was sworn in as the eighth Director of the FBI one year ago. He took the position as America’s top G-man after the national meltdown over the firing of former director James Comey. President Trump fired Comey on May 9, and 29 days later, while still learning to navigate the turbulent waters of the swamp, he formally announced his intention to nominate Wray.

Twenty-nine days is hardly enough time to find a good nanny, but the fledgling Administration not yet five-months-old found their man and placed their bets on Wray’s stellar reputation as a senior government lawyer from the Department of Justice. Wray was a winner on paper, and because grandstanding is what they do, senators on both sides of the aisle fawned over him, receiving assurances he would maintain his independence from Trump. For being in the right place at the right time, Wray was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 92-5, and on Aug. 2, 2017, he was sworn in as FBI Director.

In the rush to make the FBI right again, everyone, it seemed, got what they wanted. The politicians were happy. The Administration put out another fire, and the DOJ got another DOJ attorney to take control of the FBI. But a year later, now that the mass hysteria over Comey’s firing has subsided, what exactly did the FBI agents get out of all that drama?

As a former FBI agent, I am sorry to report that what they got was more of the same, in the form of yet another company lawyer from the DOJ, at a time when what the agents really needed was leadership in the form of someone who was actually an FBI agent. And because Wray’s ten-year term won’t expire until the year 2027, it is also my duty to report that, sadly, an entire generation of FBI agents will never know what it’s like to be led by one of their own.

FBI Directors And The DOJ

Since officially becoming the Federal Bureau of Investigation 83 years ago, the FBI has had a total of eight Directors. Only two of them had ever served as FBI agents (other agents have taken the top job but only briefly to keep the seat warm as “Acting Director”).

Clarence M. Kelley, a law school graduate and Navy veteran during World War II, was the FBI’s first Agent-Director. He wore the badge of FBI Special Agent over a 21-year period before permanently replacing J. Edgar Hoover as the top G-man in the mid-1970s. That was 40 years ago — before many FBI agents on the job today were even born.

After Director Kelley, the only other FBI Director who rose from the ranks of the FBI was Louis J. Freeh. He was an agent, federal prosecutor, and federal judge before he was sworn in as FBI Director. Director Freeh served for almost eight years before stepping down in June 2001. For the last 17 years, the FBI has been controlled by Directors who never served a single day as an FBI agent – Robert S. Mueller, III, followed by Comey, and now Wray.

All three were senior government lawyers from the DOJ before their appointments as FBI Director, and as lawyers in charge of the FBI, they set the top-to-bottom tone for an organization that is spending more time defending itself than celebrating its victories.

With an annual budget approaching $9 billion, the FBI employs some of the smartest, most capable and patriotic people you’ll ever meet. The FBI should be hitting on all cylinders, but the organization is faltering. Pockets of bad behavior, incompetence and unacceptable levels of mediocrity have tarnished the once-venerable FBI brand, and because lawyers have been running the show, they rightly deserve all of the blame for failing to provide the kind of strong, effective leadership the FBI now desperately needs.

Lawyers Are Not Leaders

At the heart of the problem is one simple fact: Lawyers, with few exceptions, are not leaders, they are litigators, wired to interpret and argue the law. In the courtroom or on the bench, lawyers are in their element, but in positions of authority, lawyers and other administrators up through the DOJ chain of command who have never been agents often do not understand and cannot connect in any meaningful way with the agents they try to lead. And without that bond, lawyers default to the lawyer’s playbook to manage the workforce, leaving the agents struggling to operate in what has become a stifling culture of micromanagement.

Excessive rules and regulations and overly restrictive guidelines promulgated by lawyers have stolen the initiative from agents faced with complex investigative challenges. Agents second-guess their own instincts and abandon their better judgment in favor of templates to drive their investigations. And when FBI agents look to their chain of command for leadership – never mind an occasional spark for inspiration – they don’t find leaders. They predominantly find compliance-obsessed managers in the field and at FBI Headquarters who overthink every problem and demonstrate time and again that they know their administrative minutiae better than they know their own people.

The FBI Response To The IG Report

Anyone who knows anything about FBI agents knows that one of the fastest ways to lose the faith and trust of the men and women of the FBI is to hold them accountable for something they didn’t do. You would think Director Wray would’ve read the memo on that particular point, but apparently he has not, and is showing his true colors as a lawyer from the DOJ in what is one of the signature challenges of his tenure – managing the fallout from the DOJ Inspector General’s Report on the Hillary Clinton e-mail and private server investigation.

As detailed in the report released in June 2018, a small group of outliers at the highest levels of the FBI exercised shameful, embarrassing and extraordinarily poor judgement, and because of the dereliction of a few, Wray is doing what lawyers do. In the face of withering criticism, he implemented Tier One Level CYA and ordered mandatory training for thousands of members of the FBI workforce who did absolutely nothing wrong.

In his nine-page written response to the IG’s 568-page report, Wray parroted the debatable conclusions of the IG’s report a dozen times to minimize the negative impact of extreme and well-documented political bias. And after calling for an all-hands-on-deck review of FBI policies and practices (as recommended by the IG), he expanded on the IG’s recommendations, ordering workforce-wide “political bias training, Hatch Act training,” “further training on media contact and the limited authority to release information,” “additional training on recusal obligations and conflicts of interest,” “renewed training on the governing policies related to device use,” and the list goes on.

This is what happens when lawyers try to manage a law enforcement and counterintelligence agency. A few people get out of line, and the lawyers in charge go to DEFCON 1 and scramble to release the floodgates of more training, more policies and practices, sending exactly the wrong message to all of the good, hard-working people of the FBI who – it should be noted here for the benefit of the lawyers – actually followed the rules.

Agents don’t need any more training, or least of all, more rules. What they need is someone with the guts to simply enforce them, to drop the hammer squarely on anyone who breaks the rules no matter who they are or what title they hold. Agents are grown-ups. They should already know what the rules are, and if they don’t, they have no business working at the FBI.

An Agent-Director For The FBI

Now, more than ever, with all due respect to Wray, what FBI agents need is an agent to lead them, a gifted and seasoned criminal investigator or counterintelligence agent who, just like them, made the cut after a highly competitive FBI Special Agent selection process, survived the FBI Academy at Quantico, carried a gun and a badge, worked the hard, complex cases, and fought the good bureaucratic fight.

They need an Agent-Director who knows first-hand the camaraderie of working side by side with other agents focused on a mission so important and unique that only an agent would understand. And they need an Agent-Director who can inspire and unlock the full potential of every agent across the FBI to restore the culture of leadership, discipline and accountability before today’s FBI becomes home to yesterday’s heroes.

This is the kind of leader agents desperately need, not another lawyer from the DOJ.

Steven G. Noh, CPP® is a former FBI agent who served in the FBI Los Angeles Field Office as an FBI SWAT operator and sniper. A board-certified protection professional, Mr. Noh currently resides in Orange County, CA where he works as a licensed investigator and security consultant specializing in protecting intellectual property from the insider threat.

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed 1951, by Robert Frost. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
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U.S. Intelligence Officials Warn of ‘Pervasive’ Russian Efforts to Disrupt 2018 Elections
 

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Senior intelligence officials described Russian efforts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections as deep, real and ongoing, showcasing their efforts to combat a threat President Trump has repeatedly dismissed.

“This Thing Has Tentacles We Have No Idea About”: Mueller’s American Target List Is Becoming Clearer
 

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Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

From AP/REX/Shutterstock.

Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian military officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers was a stunningly difficult feat of counter-intelligence and criminal investigation. The document’s 29 pages were filled with granular details about the clandestine, overseas 2016 election-interference operation. Yet the indictment’s greatest significance may be buried in the facts that Mueller underplayed, and in the possible conspirators—Americans—whose identities the special counsel only teased.

“The thing that this indictment completely changes is it says that the hacking conspiracy wasn’t complete before all of these communications between Russians and Americans took place,” says Susan Hennessey, the executive editor of the blog Lawfare. “It was ongoing, even after WikiLeaks released the D.N.C. material in July 2016. It endured in the period in which we know members of the Trump campaign were communicating with indicted conspirators about the topic of the conspiracy. Whether or not we’re talking about Donald Trump Jr. or someone on the periphery, we still have a lot of missing pieces. But it pretty dramatically increases the possibility that someone actually did cross the line.”

Trump Jr. and his dad’s presidential campaign have denied trafficking in stolen Democratic e-mails. The special counsel keeps chipping away, though. “Mueller’s work says these Russian guys were in touch with Americans all over the place,” one congressional investigator says. “And there is a point in the 2016 timeline, after which, if you talked to these people—whether or not you believed they were Russian agents—and said, ‘Hey, I love what WikiLeaks is putting out there. Can you give me some more?,’ you are soliciting goods that you know to be stolen. And that’s a crime.”

Mueller’s indictment makes reference to five Americans who were in touch with the Russians through Guccifer 2.0, the hackers’ online front. Two of those individuals have essentially raised their hands: Roger Stone, the gleeful political dirty trickster and longtime Trump adviser, and Lee Stranahan, a reporter for Breitbart News and then Sputnik, a Russian government-controlled media outlet. Both have denied knowing that Guccifer was peddling stolen e-mails. The Smoking Gun, an investigative-journalism Web site, also volunteered that it is the “reporter” who Mueller says was offered stolen e-mails by Guccifer. Mueller describes a fourth American as a “state lobbyist and online source of political news,” who received 2.5 gigs of stolen Democratic data from Guccifer. That fits with the profile of Aaron Nevins, a Florida Republican operative who blogged under the pen name Mark Miewurd (get it?), and who has claimed he was acting as a journalist in seeking out the hacked e-mails.

The fifth and murkiest American, “a candidate for U.S. Congress,” sought and obtained damaging information on his or her opponent, according to Mueller. Speculation has centered on four Florida Republicans: Carlos Curbelo, Brian Mast, Matt Gaetz, and Ron DeSantis. Democrat opponents of each had to contend with the public release of hacked internal campaign information; all four won their races, and all four have denied any link to Guccifer. (DeSantis has called for an end to Mueller’s investigation, and Gaetz introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.)

“Mueller’s most recent work—in combination with the charges against Maria Butina, which refer to two Americans—certainly tells the story of American involvement in the Russian election interference,” says Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. “That adds to the story we already know: we know the George Papadopoulos story, we know the Don Jr. story. And Michael Cohen is alleging that the president was aware of the Don Jr. Trump Tower meeting. So the question at this point is really—is this whole incredible cast of characters guilty of something other than extraordinarily bad judgment? I’m as close to this as anyone who’s not on Mueller’s team, and I would say it’s still quite hard to tell.”

Mueller’s indictment may not name the five Americans, but he drops clues as to their identities. More intriguing are his hints of unknown unknowns. The special counsel has repeatedly targeted key actors who had not previously appeared on the media and political radar—the most recent example being five finance-industry witnesses in the trial of Paul Manafort who were given immunity in exchange for their testimony. “After the July hacking indictment, Rosenstein made a statement that it does not charge Americans,” Hennessey says. “Yes, that’s factually true. But it does not charge Americans yet. We don’t want to get too far ahead of the facts, especially when you’re describing uncharged conduct. People are entitled to the presumption of innocence. But the indictment describes conduct by Americans that is clearly criminal on its face.”

So while Mueller may not be ready to indict any domestic players right now—or may value them more highly as cooperating witnesses—including accounts of their actions in his recent filing is a loud warning. “This investigation touches so many people whose names and contexts we on the outside have very little knowledge about,” says Juliette Kayyem, a former federal prosecutor and a Homeland Security official in the Obama administration. “The key sentences in those indictments were about the four Americans. That is not only a signal to us, the public, that this thing has tentacles we have no idea about—it’s also a signal to them that this is your chance.”

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Washington (CNN) A suspected Russian spy was employed for more than a decade at the US Embassy in Moscow before being fired last year, a senior administration official tells CNN. The woman, a Russian national, worked for the US Secret Service for …
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Tampa girl, 4, dies after being thrown into river by mother, police say
 

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Child dies after allegedly being thrown in Tampa river, mother charged with murder
 

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A 4-year-old girl has died after her mother apparently threw her in a Tampa river on Thursday, police said. Shakayla Denson, 26, was charged with first-degree felony murder, aggravated child abuse and grand theft auto charges, Tampa police said.

CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP reports that Denson is accused of stealing a car from an auto repair shop, then parking the vehicle near Hillsborough River. Police said she then she walked into the river at about 4 p.m. and left her daughter, Je’Hyrah Daniels, in the water.

Denson was taken into custody walking not far from where the child was allegedly dumped in the river.

Police said they responded to a report of a child in the water at 4:30 p.m., and a dive team member discovered an unconscious child submerged about 75 feet off shore.

“Unfortunately at this point, there are a lot more questions than answers,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, who called it a “completely tragic event.”

“It’s a crazy world we live in,” he said.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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A 4-year-old girl has died after apparently being thrown from a bridge on Thursday in Tampa, police said. Police told CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP witnesses told them a woman stopped a vehicle on the Columbus Drive Bridge and dropped the child into the …
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A Florida mother who allegedly threw her 4-year-old daughter into a river in Tampa, Florida, has been charged with murder, police said on Thursday. The girl, identified as Je’Hyrah Daniels, was thrown into the Hillsborough River around 4 p.m. after her …and more »
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Mueller wants to interview Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, lawyer says
 

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Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has requested an interview with Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, who helped set up the now infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting, according to Agalarov’s lawyer.

“Conversations are ongoing” about a potential interview, the lawyer, Scott Balber, wrote in an email. “Unclear how this will play out.”

Balber did not elaborate on whether Mueller is also interested in speaking to Agalarov’s father, Aras Agalarov, a billionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.

The Agalarovs were partners in the Trump Organization’s hosting of the 2013 Miss America pageant in Moscow. They also played a key role in arranging the June 2016 meeting of Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and now senior adviser; Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager at the time; a Kremlin-linked lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya; and others, according to congressional testimony.

Aras Agalarov had told an intermediary, Rob Goldstone, that Veselnitskaya had “information that would incriminate” Hillary Clinton, Goldstone wrote in an email to Trump Jr. on June 3, 2016.

The meeting took place days later, on June 9.

Veselnitskaya says she lobbied at the meeting against the Magnitsky Act, a set of sanctions and visa bans on certain wealthy Russians. Trump Jr. has said he took the meeting because he was told Veselnitskaya had dirt on Clinton, but it never materialized.

The meeting is of keen interest to Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible links to the Trump campaign.

In 2013, Donald Trump was featured in one of Emin Agalarov’s music videos. In late June, Agalarov released a video appearing to mock the Mueller investigation and using impersonators to portray Trump and Clinton.

Also at the meeting was Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, an Agalarov employee.

Veselnitskaya told NBC News last year that Emin Agalarov was crucial in setting up the meeting, although she claimed at the time that she had never met him.

In testimony to the Senate judiciary committee, Trump Jr. said he did not remember whether or not he had spoken directly to Emin Agalarov about the meeting.

In an interview this month with “VICE News Tonight” on HBO, Emin Agalarov said he and Trump Jr. did speak before the meeting was set up.

“I said, ‘Listen there’s some people that want to meet you,’” Agalarov told Vice. “’They obviously want something that could potentially help them resolve things that you could be interested in or maybe not. If you can spare a few minutes of your time, I’d be grateful. If not, no problem.'”

“Obviously Don Jr., obviously being Don Jr., said: ‘Of course. I’ll do it if you’re asking,’” Agalarov said.

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Совещание с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности • Президент России
 

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Совещание с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.

8:05 AM 8/2/2018 – Mr. Mueller, please answer the main question: Who is or are the author(s) of operations “Trump” and “9/11”?
 

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M.N.: The “Foreign Lobbying” is relatively peanuts, and there is nothing new there. Mr. Mueller, please answer the main question:  Who is the author of operations “Trump” and “9/11”? And they strongly appear to be related.  How were they designed and conducted? Who are the major players besides those that we already know? What was … Continue reading“8:05 AM 8/2/2018 – Mr. Mueller, please answer the main question: Who is or are the author(s) of operations “Trump” and “9/11”?”

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German military may recruit foreigners amid Trump, Russia tensions
 

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The German military, the Bundeswehr, had 21,000 unfilled positions in 2017, and the service is now looking beyond its borders to fill its ranks.

A Defense Ministry report in late 2016 proposed recruiting from other EU countries, and the ministry confirmed in late July that it was seriously considering doing so.

“The Bundeswehr is growing,” a ministry spokesman told news agency DPA. “For this, we need qualified personnel.”

Germany’s military has shrunk since the Cold War. In 2011, the country ended mandatory military service. From a high of of 585,000 troops in the mid-1980s, the service’s numbers have fallen to justunder 179,000 in mid-2018.

About half of current members of the German military are expected to retire by 2030, and with an aging population, finding native-born replacements may get tougher.

German leaders have pushed to add more troops while beefing up defense spending.

In mid-2016, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said she would remove the cap of 185,000 total troops to help make the force more flexible. She said the military would look to add 14,300 soldiers over seven years. (In early 2017, the Defense Ministry upped that to 20,000 soldiers added by 2024.)

“The Bundeswehr is under pressure to modernize in all areas,” she said at the time. “We have to get away from the process of permanent shrinking.”

Efforts to grow have included more recruitment of minors — a record-high 2,128 people under 18 joined as volunteers in 2017, but signing up young Germans has been criticized.

Recruiting foreigners was generally supported by the governing parties, with some qualifiers.

Karl-Heinz Brunner, a defense expert and member of the Social Democrat Party, said foreigners who join up should be promised citizenship.

“If citizens of other countries are accepted, without the promise of getting a German passport, the Bundeswehr risks becoming a mercenary army,” he told German newspaper Augsburger Allegemeine.

Florian Hahn, a defense spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union, said such a recruitment model “could be developed,” but “a certain level of trust with every soldier must be guaranteed.”

Personnel woes are only part of the Bundeswehr’s problem.

Reports have emerged in recent years of shortages of everything from body armor to tanks. German troops overseas have been hamstrung by damaged or malfunctioning equipment. A lack of spare parts has left some weapons systems unusable.

Reports of inoperable fighter jets — and insufficient training for pilots — have raised questions aboutwhether Germany can fulfill its NATO responsibilities. As of late 2017, all of Germany’s submarines were out of service, and the navy in general has struggled to build ships and develop a strategy.

Gen. Volker Wieker, the military’s inspector general, said in February that the force would be ready to assume command of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in Eastern Europe in 2019.

The Bundeswehr had a long-term plan to address ” still unsatisfactory ” gaps in its capabilities, Wieker said, but it would take at least a decade to recover after years of dwindling defense spending.

Defense spending is a contentious issue in Germany — one supercharged by President Donald Trump’s attacks on NATO members for what he sees as failures to meet the 2%-of-GDP defense-spending level they agreed to reach by 2024.

Governing-coalition members have feuded over how to raise defense expenditures. Those in favor of a quick increase say it’s needed to fix the military. Others want the money directed elsewhere and have said Chancellor Angela Merkel is doing Trump’s militarist bidding.

“What we’ve seen in the last few years — really the sort of tragic and kind of embarrassing stories about the state of the Bundeswehr — that is certainly sinking in, and Germans are now supporting more defense spending than they have in the past,” Sophia Besch, a research fellow at the Center for European Reform, said on a recent edition of the Center for a New American Security’s Brussels Sprouts podcast .

“There is just this huge debate … around the 2% [of GDP defense-spending level] being the right way of going about it,” Besch added.

Some Germans also remain chastened by World War II and the Cold War, which devastated and then divided the country. The Bundeswehr still struggles with its Nazi history.

“There’s a definitely a generational aspect to this,” Besch said. “The sort of traditional pacifist approach … I think is mostly permanent in the older generations.”

Others just aren’t that worried.

“I think the issue today is that Germany just doesn’t feel threatened. Germans just don’t see a threat to themselves,” Besch added. “They see perhaps a threat in the East, but their relationship with Russia is complex. They just don’t see the need to invest that much in defense spending.”

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Germany’s military is struggling amid rising tensions with Trump and …

Business Insider11 hours ago
The German military, the Bundeswehr, had 21,000 unfilled positions in 2017, and the service is now looking beyond its borders to fill its ranks.

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