By Constanze StelzenmüllerDuring major international championships, Germany — as a popular saying has it — is home to 82 million football trainers. (This columnist prefers basketball.) In the pandemic, it was a nation of impassioned virologists. Since the beginning of the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine in late February, it seems that every German has become an expert on irregular warfare against Russian tanks.
But then the country is being rocked by a seismic shift not seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago.
As it became clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin would make good on his threats against Ukraine, chancellor Olaf Scholz had already suspended the controversial gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2, and announced that Berlin would send arms to Ukraine. Three days after the invasion, he said in a historic speech that Germany would now fulfill its promise of spending 2% of its gross domestic product on defense, accelerate the move away from dependence on Russian energy, build two new liquid natural gas terminals, buy armed drones, commit to nuclear participation, and send more troops to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank. One observer tweeted that “Germany’s foreign policy …read more