New Berlin | The Indian Express

One of the most defining moments of the current conflict in Ukraine is Germany’s decision to abandon seven decades of quiet caution and throw itself into Ukraine’s defense against Russian invasion. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who initially refused to take a stand against Russia’s threatening mobilization of troops on the Ukrainian border, announced last week that Germany would give Ukraine 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 surface-to-air missiles to counter “Russian aggression”. Scholz also announced the allocation of $112 billion to increase defense production in anticipation of how Europe may now find itself in the midst of prolonged military tensions. This is a significant development for a country that firmly turned its back on nationalism as militarism after the trauma of the Hitler years and World War II. Berlin’s U-turn in defending Ukraine, including participating in financial sanctions and suspending the Nord Stream 2 project, which it was hesitant to do earlier, has bolstered opposition to Russian actions — and bolstered resolve. European.

The evolution of Germany’s idea of ​​its post-war military, from self-defense to humanitarian intervention to multilateral participation in expeditionary wars, took place against the backdrop of massive public protests against even rearmament for national defence, against the nuclearization of German territory during the Cold War, and in the 1990s, against participation in the Iraqi and Yugoslav crisis. German airbases and finance were available for the 1990 Operation Desert Storm, but no soldiers, and during the war in the former Yugoslavia, Germany helped enforce a sea embargo against Serbia and Montenegro. But German public opinion also underwent a shift after the Serbian army carried out a massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica. Germany’s turn-of-the-century leadership allowed the country to participate with other NATO nations in the US-led Afghan war in 2001, despite protests from German citizens. It was based on the reasoning that Europe’s economic power simply could not stay out of a war on terror, waged for “everything dear to our world”, as said the Chancellor at the time, Gerhard Schroeder, including freedom, democracy, tolerance and human life.

Given the voice German citizens have had on war and peace, Scholz, who only became chancellor in October last year, took a huge gamble. Depending on how this ends and how the German economy – so dependent on Russian gas – comes out of it, there will be significant changes in the way Germany sees itself in Europe, in the transatlantic alliance and in the rest of the world. Angela Merkel has taken a bold step by opening her country to migrants fleeing the war in Syria amid rising xenophobia in Europe. His successor took the next one. Watch this place.


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