This is the beginning of the end. The main reason for the West's determination to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons
Swiss flag (Photo:EPA/UPG)
I will say what no one is talking about: this is a tectonic (or even greater) shift
The reason for the decision to transfer tanks to Ukraine was the understanding that it is necessary to talk with Russia from a position of strength. If we can say that the U.S. has understood this (though it may not always be reflected in their political decisions), then for Germany, we must say this is an epochal shift. Since the 1970s of the last century, they have tried to run between raindrops in order to reach some point somewhere where the economy is the economy, and politics is politics. These were different times. But there have always been so-called special relations between Germany and Russia.
The decision to supply tanks is, of course, critical for us. How many, when, and under what conditions remain up in the air, but the decision itself is, to paraphrase Churchill, the beginning of the end. That's it, no more special relationships, no return to any friendly status quo. Germany and Russia will no longer be friends in today's reality.
Now we are happy with this armament (we aren’t drinking champagne, as we will leave that for the future, for victory), but we still have two goals ahead of us.
The first: to repel the Russian offensive. We know that it will happen, and that Putin is preparing for it.
The second important challenge: to mount our own offensive or offensives. This is why we have a critical need for heavy weapons.
Well, and a third thing we mustn’t forget: although we are looking at the situation in from the standpoint of right now, we will at some point need deterrence against Russia, whatever that Russia is. If their regime changes, great. If it doesn’t change, then we will change it. But nevertheless, we will critically need deterrence, and we will need it regardless of membership in NATO.
A lot of things that will later be related to Lend-Lease, and are now related to heavy equipment - I think that's 100% for sure - will go further. The situation at the front is critically important, and our allies are monitoring it minute by minute, and helping us minute by minute.
But the main reason for the West's determination to supply heavy weapons is political, because Putin doesn't want to talk on our terms (by this I mean on the West's terms, since I consider Ukraine to be part of the West). And the best guarantee of our security is full integration into the West, and so that we have a voice there.
Putin is trying to dictate terms, hoping for both us and our allies to exhaust ourselves. He will play to raise the stakes, and there will be further attacks. The reasoning for this is also political; not in the sense of some big political game, but in the sense of giving Putin a clear signal: either talk on our terms, or raise the stakes.
I will also say something that no one is talking about: that is a tectonic (or even greater) shift. Look at the decision by the Swiss. They have never fought in their entire history. Neutrality is part of their state model, their economic structure. Do you remember the famous joke, ‘when a Zurich banker jumps from a window, jump after him?’ If you invest in Switzerland, nothing will happen to your money. The Swiss did not want to supply us with weapons for a long time, not even ammunition for the Gepards. Yet a few days ago, when deciding on the Leopards, the Swiss said that ‘neutrality is neutrality, but when there is a fundamental violation of international law, there is correct neutrality and there is wrong neutrality.’
This to me is a better example of what I said at the beginning: good must protect itself, or evil will eat it. We have to bite this evil head off. First everything else, and then the head.
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