Scholz’s logic at times (see below) is not only tortuous but torturous. His main message, though, seems unequivocal.
April 22, 2022
Excerpts from interview.
The SPD is a party of peace, but it has never been pacifist. The two great postwar Social Democratic chancellors, Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, made the security situation and Germany’s defense capability their vital issues. Their policy of détente was based on integration into NATO.
Part of our country’s tradition is the knowledge of the dramatic consequences of two world wars that originated in Germany, which forms the framework of our policy. But I do not see an instinctive pacifism. How else could Gerhard Schröder’s government have supported the Bundeswehr’s first combat mission? How could the Bundeswehr have engaged in Afghanistan after 9/11? There were heated debates about both, but there was also strong support.
The Bundeswehr’s options for supplying further weapons from its arsenal are largely exhausted. But we will certainly deliver whatever is still available – anti-tank weapons, anti-tank mines and artillery ammunition. That is why, in discussion with German industry, we have drawn up a list of military equipment that can be delivered quickly and we have discussed it with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. In other words, as before, defensive weapons and mortars for artillery action. We are paying for these arms deliveries. Germany is providing a total of 2 billion euros, a large part of which will directly benefit Ukraine.
We have delivered weapons for the upcoming fighting in eastern Ukraine in close cooperation with the U.S., France, Italy, the U.K. and Canada. Troop carriers and artillery are quickly deployable.
NATO’s stated goal is that we must be able to hold out for 12 days with our ammunition and equipment in the event of a conventional attack. In the current threat situation, particularly, I will do my utmost not to forget this commitment.
Imposing a no-fly zone, as has been called for, would have made NATO a party to the war. I took an oath of office. I said very early on that we must do everything possible to avoid a direct military confrontation between NATO and a highly armed superpower like Russia, a nuclear power. I am doing everything I can to prevent an escalation that would lead to a third world war. There cannot be a nuclear war.