War in Ukraine Conflict rocks Germanys anti militarist doctrine

War in Ukraine: Conflict rocks Germany’s anti militarist doctrine

Days after Russia invaded Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to spend more than 2% of his GDP on military spending. A profound political change for the country.

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Posted on 7/4/2022 6:54 PM Updated on 7/4/2022 6:56 PM

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At the end of World War II, Germany, horrified by the atrocities of National Socialism, set an unbreakable rule for decades: to remain a pacifist country. Berlin has an established dogma not to supply deadly weapons to countries at war.

Without investment, the consequences are immediate. The fighter planes, the warships, the outdated tanks of the Bundeswehr are regularly victims of breakdowns. Year after year, the army’s numbers are dwindling, rising from 500,000 men in 1990 to 200,000 today. But the invasion of Ukraine will shake Germany’s anti-militarist doctrine. And when he spoke to MPs on February 27, 2022, three days after the conflict began, Chancellor Olaf Scholz conjured up a change of times. “With the invasion of Ukraine, the world has entered a new era,” declared the German Chancellor. This means that the world after will not be the same as the world before. And this new reality calls for a clear answer. Our principle is that what is necessary is done to ensure peace in Europe, Germany will make its contribution and its solidarity, but it is not enough to announce it.

“We need to invest much more in the security of our country to protect our freedom and our democracy. The 2022 budget envisages an extraordinary investment of 100 billion euros.”

In doing so, the German Chancellor also pledged to spend more than 2% of her GDP on military spending, in line with the target that NATO has set for its members. This is a major turnaround for Olaf Scholz and Germany, even if the amounts released will probably not be enough to make up for the investment backlog of recent years. In the face of a major external event, Olaf Scholz proves that Germany is capable of a far-reaching policy change, as Angela Merkel did in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster. The one who was still chancellor had decided to get out of nuclear power.