Two Weeks in Austrian Defence | Nov 5

In Blog, English, Uncategorized by Bernhard Völkl

National day display >>> Expendable generals

TWIAD is your bi-weekly, English-language briefing on national security and defence affairs in the alpine republic. The most relevant news reports, press releases, articles and announcements are recapped and, where necessary, put into context for greater accessibility. Feel free to get in touch and leave us your feedback and thoughts, ask questions in the comments or join the #TWIAD raucity on Twitter!

National day display

Not a slightly cruel joke, but meant dead serious, the Bundesheer displayed its abilities and equipment on October 26 under the motto ‘What we’re still capable of today, what we won’t be able to do tomorrow’. Financial distress cast a long shadow over the national day’s traditional public display in Vienna, and had almost led to its cancellation. In the end, the display could take place, at a cost of EUR 450,000, a third less than was originally budgeted for, and with less heavy materiel. Minister Starlinger used the occasion to once again plead for a higher defence budget and the extension of military service to 8 months.

For further information on the current financial distress of the Bundesheer, check out this backgrounder on the development of the Austrian defence budget, this list of Bundesheer materiel and systems in need of replacement, and the General Staff’s budget demands in numbers and in relation to perceived threats.

The expendables

Minister of Defence Thomas Starlinger is facing a lawsuit over his decision to recall three generals after irregularities in their promotion. Trade unionists close the FPOe accused Starlinger of having revealed confidential information and of false testimony. The overall Bundesheer union – of which the FPOe-related faction is not part – has, however, criticised the lawsuit as being motivated by party politics.


Header image: Bundesheer/Martin Hoerl

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About the Author

Bernhard Völkl


Bernhard is a reserve officer in the Austrian Armed Forces and works in e-commerce.

About the Author
Chiara Libiseller

Chiara Libiseller


Chiara Libiseller is a doctoral candidate and Teaching Assistant at the War Studies Department, King’s College London. Her research traces the evolution of contemporary military concepts to understand broader patterns and fashions in the ways Anglo-American scholars and military professionals study and understand war. Her broad interests include military strategy, military history as well as Austrian and European defence.