Tanks, but no tanks: What’s the matter with Germany?

Sign up to get the rest free, including news from around the globe and interesting ideas and opinions to know, sent to your inbox every weekday. At a time of

considerable unity in the geopolitical West, there’s a wrinkle in the heart of Europe. For the past few days, tensions and anxiety have grown over Germany’s seeming reluctance to

dispatch its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, or even allow other European nations in possession of German military equipment to do the same. The dispute over the delivery of these

vehicles complicated a meeting of Western defense ministers at a U.S. base in Germany on Friday, aimed at coordinating further assistance to Kyiv. And it stoked ire within Germany

and among its European partners toward the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. On Monday, it was still unclear whether Germany would sanction the delivery of these

tanks to Ukraine, though newly installed Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said a decision would be made “soon.” Some 2,000 Leopards are scattered across Europe’s armies, making

them an attractive option to send to the front lines in Ukraine. Polish and Finnish officials have said they are willing to dispatch their Leopards, but are waiting for approval

from Berlin, which has to sign off on such transfers. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Sunday said her government would not get in the way of a Polish transfer of

these tanks to Ukraine.