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Die Panzer-Entscheidung: »Es zeigt sich ein Muster in Scholz’ Kanzlerschaft« | DER SPIEGEL

Jan 26, 2023

Die Panzer-Entscheidung: »Es zeigt sich ein Muster in Scholz’ Kanzlerschaft« | DER SPIEGEL

Olaf

Scholz

announces the good news, at least for the Ukrainians, about the tank deliveries in front of the German Bundestag. A U-turn after many doubts. And it is correct. Because it really is a war in Europe. It's happening not far from here in Berlin, against a big country like Ukraine. And that is why in everything we do, we must always make it very clear that we are doing what is necessary and what is possible to support Ukraine. But at the same time we prevent the war from turning into a war between Russia and NATO. And we will continue to observe this principle at all times.
die panzer entscheidung es zeigt sich ein muster in scholz kanzlerschaft der spiegel
So it must be said that this is another turning point in the chancellorship of Olaf

Scholz

. And there is also a pattern in the chancery of him. He often waits until the end before doing what I would call a "power move". That was often the case, with the tipping point in February last year, with the double boom in energy aid, also with the appointment of the new defense minister, and now with tank deliveries. He is under pressure for days, weeks and obviously he can take it, it has to be said. He was not only under pressure domestically, but also notably under foreign policy pressure.
die panzer entscheidung es zeigt sich ein muster in scholz kanzlerschaft der spiegel
Many allies have been demanding for days that Germany finally release the Leopards. Reactions from NATO partners to the decision were even more effusive. "Refuel," the Latvian foreign minister tweeted. To what extent the military tipping point was

Scholz

's strategic calculation or to what extent he was cornered remains questionable. One thing is certain: the past few days and weeks have put

Scholz

's chancellery and the coalition under considerable strain. It must be said that it caused massive damage. Because the impression was created that he was not the driving force, as if he wanted to delay it, as if he wanted to force others into this alliance, as if he too was afraid of this decision.
die panzer entscheidung es zeigt sich ein muster in scholz kanzlerschaft der spiegel
It seemed that way, it could also be due to a lack of communication, but I do believe that this impression will remain in many other capitals and with other partners. And that

Scholz

will of course also have to do some cleanup work in the coming weeks and months. This also applies to relations with Washington. After all,

Scholz

pretty much forced the Americans to supply main battle tanks as well. This is actually very unusual for this traditionally relatively clearly defined relationship. So big brother and security policy is Germany mouse and so on. It seems to me that it corrected the balance of power a bit.
die panzer entscheidung es zeigt sich ein muster in scholz kanzlerschaft der spiegel
And what are the consequences of this for this relationship? I can't say yet. I think the relationship between Berlin and Washington, of course, may come under repeated strain in the coming weeks. Especially when it comes to the question of how things are going militarily now? After all, the wishes and needs of the Ukrainians do not stop with the now announced supply of Leopard 2 tanks. Former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk, full of praise for the German decision, has already summarized the wish list of he. Including fighter jets. The question of how far NATO needs to increase its military efforts and commitments again may soon arise.
die panzer entscheidung es zeigt sich ein muster in scholz kanzlerschaft der spiegel
Militarily, that is a different quality with which we are now engaged in this war. And soon the question may also arise to what extent we allow Ukraine to use these machines. Could they also be there to reconquer the Crimea, for example? That is definitely in the interests of Ukraine. Whether it is in the interest of the West is a matter of debate, highly controversial in many states. But these are milestones that I believe will reach not only the coalition but the entire West in the coming months.
die panzer entscheidung es zeigt sich ein muster in scholz kanzlerschaft der spiegel
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