Donald Trump is chasing the bills. Germany is notoriously remiss in spending the promised 2% of its GDP on Defence. The attitude is a mix of ingratitute, anti-Americanism and pseudo-pacifism. Why would anybody take precautions if, on your behalf, American soldiers will put their lives on the line? It is so easy to be a pacifist while the heat is low, particularly if you can rely on others to take it, should push come to shove.
Of course, Germany does have an army, the Bundeswehr, which used to be very respected, at least until the Russians got out of the country and the debilitating cuts began. They see their obligation in assisting NATO partners with mission participations they are poorly equipped and adequate for. The self-set task is to clear the seas with the British and to patrol the African deserts with the French, albeit the partners have a long-standing history and understanding of their territories while the Germans are exhausting themselves as multi-specialised and ultimately unspecialised aides.
The problem is therefore twofold: In addition to the low budget the troops lack focus.
Various weapon systems are in shambles. According to the “Report on the Material Employability of the Main Weapon Systems of the Bundeswehr in 2019”
less than 50% readiness can be expected of the Tornado (jet), the CH-53 (helicopter), the Lockheed P-3c Orien (maritime surveillance aircraft) and tanker ships class 704; less than 40% can be expected of the PUMA (tank), A400M (carrier aircraft), H 145M LUH (helicopter), GTF ZLK (hardshell truck) and NH-90 (helicopter).
And while Germans were so comfortable in their pseudo-moral shirker-parcifism, they whittled down their stable energy system to become ever more reliant on Russian gas.