Dr. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann

German soldiers won't get new combat boots until 2022

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"The first pair of heavy combat boots had been given to 160,000 of 183,000 soldiers, the ministry added in a response to an inquiry by opposition parliamentarian Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann.

The delay was heavily criticized by a number of opposition lawmakers, who said the government had failed to adequately prepare the key NATO member's military for combat -- a charge that has frequently been levied against the defense ministry in recent years.

'Boots are the key to everything,' Strack-Zimmermann told CNN. 'You don't go skiing with a pair of trainers and you don't go hiking in high heels.' 

'It is important that soldiers are equipped with the right pair of shoes -- in Mali you need different footwear than in other places. So it's a question of safety, and not that of fashion,' she added.

'Everyone in the armed forces should have received their new pair of boots by the end of 2020,' Strack-Zimmermann noted, calling the inability to provide the footwear on time 'extremely embarrassing.'"

Artikel von Nadine Schmidt und Rob Picheta, CNN