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Germany announces military overhaul with eye on cyber threats

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's defence minister announced a restructuring of the military on Thursday, including a new central command and a dedicated branch for cyber space, furthering a Bundeswehr overhaul launched in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"No one should have the idea of attacking us as a NATO territory. We have to convey this credibly and truthfully," Boris Pistorius told a press conference in Berlin.

The minister said the Bundeswehr will need an additional 6.5 billion euros ($7.06 billion) in the 2025 budget, as cabinet works to find the funds needed to hit a long-neglected NATO spending target in the coming years.

Under the new structure, the central command will combine two previously separate commands for domestic and foreign deployments, providing NATO with one point of contact, while the cyber space branch will focus on hybrid threats such as disinformation campaigns.

The restructuring comes after Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a sea change for Germany's military in the wake of the war in Ukraine, vowing to modernise the military and boost defence spending to meet NATO's target of 2% of gross domestic product.

Pistorius did not make any announcement on a possible reintroduction of military service in Germany, something which has been debated in light of the war in Ukraine.

He said the aim was to present a paper on various possible models later this month.

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(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, writing by Rachel More, editing by Miranda Murray and Devika Syamnath)