Slovenian Army chief sacked after NATO test failure
Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar has given the Chief of the Army Staff his marching orders after one of its key brigades failed a NATO combat readiness test, after years of defence spending cuts.
Miro Cerar said: ‘Since the Chief of Staff has ultimate responsibility for the army's readiness, work and operational use of all units, the government has dismissed General Andrej Osterman.’
Cerar said he had given Defence Minister Andreja Katic a month to undertake the necessary measures to grant full combat readiness of the 72nd brigade.
After coming close to needing a bailout following the global financial crisis, Slovenia slashed defence spending by a third between 2010 and 2017 to one percent of economic output.
According to Katic, this will rise to 1.14 percent by 2024, still shy of the target set by NATO allies in 2014 of raising defence spending to two percent over a decade.