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The Bundeswehr (German: [ˈbʊndəsˌveːɐ̯], Federal Defence) is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The States of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German Constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government.
The Bundeswehr is divided into a military part (armed forces or Streitkräfte) and a civil part with the armed forces administration (Wehrverwaltung). The military part of the federal defense force consists of the Heer (Army), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Streitkräftebasis (Joint Support Service), and the Zentraler Sanitätsdienst (Joint Medical Service) branches.
As of 30 November 2015, the Bundeswehr has a strength of roughly 178,000 active soldiers, placing it among the 30 largest military forces in the world and making it the second largest in the European Union behind France in terms of personnel. In addition the Bundeswehr has approximately 40,000 reserve personnel (2014). With German military expenditures at €34.4 billion, the Bundeswehr is among the top ten best-funded forces in the world, even if in terms of share of German GDP, military expenditures remain average at 1.2% and below the NATO recommendation of 2%.
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