Why Germany delayed sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine; This requires them to be able to make a difference. To help push Russia back from the territory of Ukraine and hand over the initiative to Kiev.
Germany produces the majority of modern heavy tanks in Europe – Leopard 2s. About 2,000 of them spread among the European allies. And Germany has all the export licenses.
This meant that while he remained silent, others, such as Poland. Who were desperate to get tanks to Ukraine as soon as possible, were prevent from doing so. They lacked the green light of Berlin re-export.
Of course, Ukrainian soldiers must be train to use the vehicles. It is not yet known how many and how soon they can be use in Ukraine.
But Berlin’s long-standing reluctance, even as Russia has committed human rights abuses after human rights abuses in Ukraine. Has led to intense pressure from Western allies, who have so far been eager to show solidarity with Russian aggression. .
Chancellor Scholz’s Indecision has also divided his country, including his governing coalition and even his own Social Democrats. “Leave the leopards!” This slogan was shout at the regular protests in front of the German parliament. But within it the debate about sending tanks raged among the German parliamentarians.
What was it that caused such terror in Olaf Scholz?
The importance of history is the weight of modern German leaders. It cannot be emphasize enough.
Friday is Holocaust Remembrance Day. On the Reichstag in Berlin hangs a giant sign with the inscription “We will not forget”.
As the aggressor of the two world wars. Many Germans are wary of being the main producer of tanks in Ukraine.
Of great importance is Germany’s “Zeitenwende,” or “turning point,” announced by Chancellor Scholz shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For Germany itself, but also for all of Europe.
Berlin has promised to invest heavily in its aging, outdated military. Take a much more assertive role in European defense. A real break with Berlin’s timidity after World War II and favoring the Allies in security matters.
This “transformation” has been bumpy and far from over, but it’s certainly underway, and it’s a big change for Germany.
Since World War II, Berlin has been reluctant to take the lead, but as Europe’s largest economy. The Allies often expect Germany to do just that.
Other issues with sending tanks
Back to the tank debate, Germany’s other vulnerability to overcome would be using their Leopard 2s against Russian forces.
Germany feels deeply responsible for the murder of millions of Russians during the First and Second World Wars.
Another, not entirely separate, problem is that large parts of German society. Epecially in the formerly communist eastern part of the country, where many express disillusionment with the way Western society works – traditionally feel close to Russia.
According to the NGO monitoring Russian disinformation in Europe, many Germans are vulnerable.
Despite this, the vast majority of Germans sympathize with ordinary Ukrainians caught up in the ongoing conflict.
However, in a survey shortly before Christmas, 40% of Germans who took part understood. That the Kremlin blamed the West for the invasion of Ukraine – the expansion of NATO’s military alliance to the east.
Olaf Scholz is a self-confessed Atlanticist, but his SPD party has historically – though by no means completely these days – looked east to Moscow, where many party members are somewhat suspicious of the United States and its NATO dominance.
For all these reasons – and a few more that I will explain – Chancellor Scholz did not want Germany to go it alone, nor did he want it to be the main guide on a tank front into Ukraine.
Another German concern is that while European countries, including Britain, Poland and the Netherlands, say the Kremlin is clearly escalating the conflict, many in Germany fear that the delivery of heavy tanks and other offensive weapons to Ukraine could push Vladimir out. Putin to an even wilder extreme. Even the use of nuclear weapons.
Why Germany delayed sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine; They believe that Chancellor Scholz is one of the reasons for Washington to send tanks to Ukraine, one of the reasons for Europe to feel that the American nuclear power plant is on board and next to it.
All in all, Olaf Scholz did not want Germany to stand out and become the sole supplier to Ukraine.
It is possible that he suddenly turned around because he realized that if he continued to hold back these tanks, he could isolate himself among his own allies.
Another thing to keep in mind is that despite the current and past controversy surrounding Chancellor Scholz’s procrastination in the procurement and delivery of other military equipment, Germany is among the top three donors of military aid and a major provider of humanitarian aid. aid to Ukraine.