Well, then: Germany is supplying Ukraine with Marder tanks and a Patriot anti-aircraft system. But with this decision, Olaf Scholz is once again the last one – couldn’t it be better?

Let’s start with a joke: If you order a tour from Olaf Scholz, you’ll get it – from Emanuel Macron and Joe Biden. The German Chancellor is the last in the Allied line of three. How that fits in with his claim to Germany as a leading power will remain his secret.

To understand the decision by France, the United States and eventually Germany to supply Ukraine with the next heavy weapons system, the armored personnel carriers, one has to look at the “timing”. Why are these light tanks, which Ukraine has been demanding for many months, only now being delivered?

Americans, French and Germans do not want to give Russia an excuse to escalate the war towards NATO. Since Russia itself has been escalating the Ukraine war for weeks now with attacks on the Ukrainian infrastructure that are in violation of international law and inhumane, there is no longer any reason for the most important Western Allies to hesitate to offer military aid for the victim in return for the next to raise level.

It is a threefold signal: to the Russians, the Ukrainians and the people in their own countries. To the Russians that the West will not let up in its military aid to Ukraine. So that Putin should reconsider launching the next large-scale offensive against Ukraine in the spring. The same signal goes to the Ukrainians: solidarity stands. Without aid from the West, Ukraine would probably be militarily lost. And it is an indirect appeal to their own populations to stick with it.

It is no coincidence that Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz are announcing their decision to supply Bradley and Marder tanks, respectively, only a few hours after Putin announced an orthoxic Christmas truce. This ceasefire, ostensibly to allow people of Donbass to go to church, called for by Patriarch Kirill, one of Putin’s closest allies and Ukraine’s greatest enemy, is a stratagem. Psychological warfare, nothing else. Putin is doing what he has always done – trying to subterfuge and divide the West while making Ukraine wrong in front of the world. That didn’t work for the West, as the decisions about the new arms shipments show. Good this way.

As far as German domestic policy is concerned, it can be said that Scholz’s decision would probably not have been made without the pressure exerted by his two coalition partners – above all the FDP. Only recently did Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock make a course correction.

By declaring in a foreign policy policy interview that Ukraine must win this war. Scholz, on the other hand, has still not changed his old formula, according to which Russia must not win and Ukraine must not lose. This exposes Scholz – even to his partners in Europe – to the suspicion that at some point he is aiming for “normal” political and economic relations with Russia again. The change-through-trade doctrine is particularly deep and firmly rooted in the SPD.

As important and correct as the decision by Macron, Scholz and Biden is, it has a biting aftertaste. How many Ukrainian soldiers could still be alive if the Western Allies had made this decision earlier – it could have been months ago.

The decision to deliver the “cheetahs” to Ukraine shows just how important German arms deliveries are. They’re taking the Iranian drones out of the sky one after the other. That’s why it’s also right that Germany is now finally supplying Ukraine with a Patriot missile defense system.

It would be even better if Germany started training Ukrainian soldiers on Leopard battle tanks now. So that valuable time is not lost again, the next step should be to supply Ukraine with what is probably its most important weapon – without which it would probably be impossible to recapture the areas occupied by the Russians. This morning, SPD party leader Saskia Esken said in an interview that the partners are already discussing the delivery of Leopard tanks. The current movement should not have been the last.

Conclusion: Germany, France and America’s decision for the light battle tanks and other anti-aircraft systems is correct. The help comes late, if it came earlier, many lives could have been saved. But it doesn’t come too late either; in terms of war tactics, it might even come at the right time.

But Scholz should do more to finally “get ahead of the situation” instead of constantly anxiously chasing others. Otherwise there will be nothing more with the German leadership role.

Info and pictures – leopard, marten, cheetah: why heavy weapons are called predators