"With the invasion of Ukraine, we are in a new era," Scholz Chancellor Olaf Scholz said while announcing plans which mark a huge, historic policy shift – drastically ramping up defense spending – in response to the Russian war in Ukraine.
"Germany will channel 100 billion euros ($113 billion) this year into a fund to modernize the military, Scholz said Sunday in a speech to a special session of the lower house of parliament," Bloomberg writes of the Sunday announcement. "By 2024, the government will spend at least 2% of gross domestic product each year on defense, he added, in line with a NATO target that Berlin has consistently failed to meet."
“On Thursday, President Putin created a new reality with his invasion of Ukraine. This new reality requires a clear response. We have given it,” Scholz said.
But of course the "reality" of NATO allies needing to carry their fair share of the security burden of Europe was obviously foreseen by Trump. This is yet another area, along with the European energy crisis playing out, where he's been proven right, ironically enough. This after being scorned in Europe for years. But we won't hold our breath for MSM pundits to admit this, even though it's clear some European capitals are scrambling to belatedly enact what Trump called for years ago.
Scholz told parliament: “We have to ask ourselves: What capacities does Putin’s Russia have? And which capacities do we need to counter his threats?” Parliament was gathered for an extraordinary session. “It’s clear, we will need to invest a lot more in the security of our country to defend our freedom and our democracy.”
We are stepping up our support for Ukraine.
For the first time, the EU will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and equipment to a country under attack.
We are also strengthening our sanctions against the Kremlin.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 27, 2022
“Putin wants to establish a Russian empire…the question is…whether we can summon the strength to set boundaries to warmongers like Putin,” the chancellor added.
"Dithering and weakness" are words it's almost easy to imaging having come out of Trump's mouth related to Berlin or others in past years, and now here's how the political establishment perceives the situation: "Scholz had been widely criticized by opponents and allies alike in recent weeks for what they perceived as dithering and weakness in the face of Russia’s mounting aggression toward Ukraine," Bloomberg describes.
In 4 years Trump convinced Germany to raise defense spending from 1.2% of gdp to 1.4%. In 4 days Putin convinced them to raise it to 2%. https://t.co/PNnIp9YSdQ
— Matt Steinglass ?? ????? ? ????????? ??????? (@mattsteinglass) February 27, 2022
It's Germany's foreign minister Annalena Baerbock who has been most out front in terms of urging Berlin to take a "180-degree turn in foreign policy" and that now is the "right moment". In reference to the shock of Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine, she said: "If our world is different, then our politics must also be different" – also after Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline regulatory approval process and joined the push to target Moscow's SWIFT access.
Germany also changed its policy of not sending its weapons to conflict zones. In a major reversal Scholz posted a statement online this weekend saying, "The Russian attack marks a turning point. It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Putin. That's why we're supplying 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles to our friends in the Ukraine," he said.