SDP Becomes the Salamander Democratic Party?
Well before Trump was even a Republican, here and other places in the natsec arena warned Germany ... hell ... begged Germany to step up.
She needed to take her place on the stage as a responsible partner in the security of Europe - a full partner in the West. We tried to tell her she needed to spend her fair share, to make the alliance stronger ... but she always seemed to want to do just the bare minimum ... and then less.
We were concerned about her weakness, but more we were concerned that she was allowing herself to get too close to Russia, too dependent on Russia ... but her Smartest People in the Room™ convinced their people they knew what was best.
They sneered at the unsophisticated Americans and their complaints.
Then Trump came along and then they laughed at the very idea that they had anything to worry about. Say what you want about him and his exceptional national security team, but they were right.
That critique was long standing, but other previous administrations of both parties refused to call Germany on their shortfalls.
Here we are 4-yrs after the laughing German UN delegation ... and with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, now Chancellor Olaf Scholz seems to be going Salamander;
...the condition of our Bundeswehr and civilian defense structures, but also our excessive dependence on Russian energy suggest that we felt a false sense of security after the end of the Cold War. Politics, business and large parts of our society were only too happy to draw far-reaching consequences from the dictum of a former German defense minister, according to which Germany was only surrounded by friends. That was a mistake.
Good. A nice step ... now follow it up.
More help to Ukraine, Poland, the frontline states of NATO who - though smaller and poorer than Germany - are punching way above their weight compared to Germany.
If you really want to keep the Russians at bay, then they have to be defeated in Ukraine. Germany and the West did not pick this moment, but the moment is here.
Good step by Germany. While I have understandable concerns about Germany and France's desire to co-opt the EU towards something it should not be, that is a struggle for another day. In any event, I think especially the Central Europeans and Baltic republics will thwart any effort there down the road.