Olaf Schölz

The chancellor is reluctant to bow to public pressure.

(Photo: Bloomberg)

who expected Olaf Schölz would take advantage of his appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the delivery of battle tanks to the Ukraine to announce, the chancellor still has not understood. He is reluctant to do what everyone expects of him, let alone bow to public pressure. Stubbornness is the hallmark of his chancery.

So it happened in Davos as it had to happen. Scholz went on and on and on, listing just about every weapon system with which Germany equipped Ukraine in eleven months of war. But the word everyone wanted him to say never escaped his lips: Leopard 2. The German tank, developed during the Cold War, could be what military experts call a “game changer.” He could change the course of the war.

The Leopard 2 is used by many European armed forces, there are about 2000 of them in Europe. The Leopard 2 is clearly superior to most Russian tanks. Even if only a tenth were delivered, Ukraine could break through the recently frozen front and from Russia recover stolen land.

So why does Scholz hesitate? Is it not the stated goal of the Western partners to train Ukraine to do just that?

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In Davos, Scholz again referred to coordination between the Western allies and the risk of escalation. “Ukrainians can count on our support in their courageous fight, but it is also clear that we want to avoid a war between Russia and NATO,” Scholz said.

>> Read also: That is the number of Leopard 2 tanks that the European NATO countries have.

But you will know for yourself that you will not last much longer with this attitude. He maybe he can delay the delivery of the battle tanks, but he can’t avoid them anymore. The federal government also expects the leopard taboo to drop, if not now, then soon.

Scholz provided the decisive argument himself.

The chancellor would prefer that he could line up behind the Americans, as with almost all previous arms aids. They will do it on Friday USA presenting a new military package for Ukraine at the Allies meeting in Ramstein, apparently for the first time it will contain medium-range missiles with a range of 180 kilometers.

But the Americans have not yet delivered the American battle tank, the Abrams. They point out logistical reasons, the Abrams consumes a lot of fuel and there are a lack of spare parts in Europe. The Leopard, on the other hand, is a European tank for a war in Europe.

So the ball is back in the hands of Scholz. The irony of the tank debate is that the chancellor himself made the decisive argument for doing what he refuses to do.

If Germany is not allowed to go it alone, as the chancellor emphasizes, that now means yes to tank exports. Poles, Danes and Finns want to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The British are shipping their own model, the Challenger 2. It would be a go at it alone if it continued to lag behind.

More: Scholz is pushing for US battle tanks for Ukraine, but Biden is hesitant

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