It is no secret the Europe does not spend as much as the United States, or arguably enough, on its military and defense.
This trend has trickled its way to the soldiers there now, whom have reportedly been told in certain instances to “imagine” the sound of bullets when those munitions are not readily supplied for use.
Last year, German soldiers in the country’s Light Infantry Battalion 413 near the Baltic Sea complained that they did not have enough sniper rifles, anti-tank weapons or the right kind of vehicles, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“During exercises, they told a parliamentary ombudsman, their unit didn’t have the munitions to simulate battle. Instead, they were told to imagine the bangs,” the WSJ reported, and the material shortfalls led to “discontent and frustration.”
“Fighting wars—and preventing them—doesn’t entail just bullets and bombs. Troops and heavy weapons must be moved to the front, requiring fleets of planes, helicopters and trucks. Arsenals must be ready to reload weapons, necessitating stockpiles of munitions. Armies must be ready to defend themselves and to counterattack, which requires specialized systems. In Europe, all are in short supply.”
Last month during his trip to Brussels, President Donald Trump criticized European leaders for their insufficient defense spending.
“Trump won’t have made many friends during his trip to Brussels,” Richard Shirreff, a retired British four-star general and a former senior NATO commander, told the WSJ. “However, Trump is dead right that European nations do not spend enough on defense.”