Project SyndicateProject Syndicate

Germany’s reckoning

By Helmut K. Anheier

03 Feb 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

German society has yet to come to terms with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Helmut K. Anheier writes in Project Syndicate. Its response to the new geopolitical realty will define the country's future.

BERLIN – Germany’s recent decision to furnish Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks may have taken longer than most of its allies wanted, but it nonetheless represents a major breakthrough. It is in keeping with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s proclamation of a dramatic policy reorientation – a Zeitenwende – made just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

If this reorientation is implemented in full, Germany will emerge as one of the world’s top military spenders and arms exporters. Its economic interests will be much more bound up with security concerns, and its approach to foreign affairs will grow more assertive. Germany will be not just Europe’s largest economy, but also its largest military power.

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