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Over the weekend, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reversed course in direct response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, thereby vindicating former President Donald Trump.
Last week, it was reported that after Ukraine had made requests for aid from the international community, Germany had answered the call in a lackluster fashion. Calling it a “betrayal of friends,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko of Kyiv scoffed at the 5,000 helmets that were sent when 100,000 had been requested.
“What kind of support will Germany send next?” he snarked. “Pillows?”
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht insisted her nation was “standing on Kyiv’s side” but claimed “arms deliveries would not be helpful” in respect to de-escalation, noting a German government policy that prohibits arms exports to conflict zones.
Meanwhile, Chief of the German Army Alfons Mais posted to social media that “the army that I am allowed to lead, is more less bare.”
“We all saw it coming,” he went on, detailing that arguments within leadership made them incapable of acting before the situation had escalated to this point.
Only now has Scholz seen fit to act in deference to these failing positions. On Sunday, the chancellor announced to the Bundestag that Germany would be increasing its defense spending to meet at least the two percent of GDP contribution that is expected of them as part of their NATO obligation.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a massive boost in defense spending on Sunday that he says will bring the nation's investments above the key 2% commitment of GDP, as the Ukraine conflict forces Berlin to rethink its foreign policy. pic.twitter.com/9Jg8lQxKpD
— DW Politics (@dw_politics) February 27, 2022
“From now on, we will invest more than two percent of the gross domestic product in our defense every year,” Scholz announced with an additional sum of €100 billion to bolster the military.
Scholz also reconsidered Germany’s armament export policy and committed 1,000 anti-tank weapons, 500 surface-to-air missiles, and permission for the Netherlands and Estonia to ship their German-made munitions to Ukraine, Breitbart reported.
Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg pointed out on Twitter that these were the exact measures that Trump had been pushing for during his administration.
President Trump pushed NATO members to meet their treaty obligations under the 2014 Wales Summit and increase military expenditures to 2% GDP. We spend 3.5%. I’m glad Chancellor Scholz has come around to this during a crisis. Welcome back Germany. pic.twitter.com/M3itopsum6
— Keith Kellogg (@generalkellogg) February 27, 2022
In fact, Trump didn’t just call for these measures, he warned that if Germany didn’t work to uphold their end of NATO obligations, they would remain controlled by Russia.
Here’s Donald Trump a couple of years ago pointing out that Europe, especially Germany, was going to be held hostage by Russian oil and that it represented a massive threat to NATO #Ukraine #Russia #NATO #Putin #trump #Kiev pic.twitter.com/cSAcNYGvgB
— Valmir Thaqi (@BelliW10) February 25, 2022
“We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France,” Trump said to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “We’re protecting all these countries…And then these countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.”
Trump was referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which he sanctioned during his administration to prevent just the kind of sway that Russia was able to exhibit over the region once President Biden reversed the sanctions.
The inappropriate balance of contributions continued throughout Trump’s administration, but this didn’t stop him from making the case that something was going to have to change.
This tweet from CNN is a freaking time capsule. The smugness from the comments. The mocking.
In 2022, Trump was proven right! https://t.co/tbrmwWe8pl
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) February 26, 2022
The response from global leaders, German diplomats included, was to mock Trump for his certainty that dependence on Russian oil posed a threat to global security. So, while Trump remained steadfast, the rest of the world is only just coming around to these realizations.
“There was no other response possible to Putin’s aggression,” Scholz said.
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