Sending tanks to Ukraine will be Scholz's biggest failure, by Stanislav Borzyakov for VZGLYAD. 01.25.2023.
After a series of jokes about “GRU agent Olaf Scholz”, threats from Poland and fierce bargaining with the United States, the German chancellor agreed to supply tanks in the Leopard 2A6 modification to Ukraine. The circumstances of these persuasions did not say anything new about the confrontation between Russia and the West. But a lot is about Scholz personally.
For two days, Olaf Scholz was under pressure - and they did put pressure on him. Germany for the third time in its history, against the warnings of Otto von Bismarck , will send its tanks to Ukraine to confront Russia. We must think, plus or minus with the same result.
It is not known for certain why Berlin did not give its consent to the supply of heavy tracked tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine directly at the meeting of Ukraine's allies at the Ramstein military base and what the operational resignation of the German Defense Minister on the eve of this meeting has to do with this.
Perhaps Scholz hesitated because of the pacifist wing in his party, the SPD, the oldest in Germany and advocating cooperation with Moscow even during the First Cold War and the Berlin Wall. Perhaps Scholz himself was sincerely crippled at the thought of that very third time when German tanks were sent against Russia.
Be that as it may, the chancellor clung to the last straw - he demanded that the United States also supply heavy tanks to Ukraine (and thereby share responsibility for the escalation), knowing full well that the Pentagon is categorically against the idea of supplying Abrams for technical and mercantile reasons . Like, they are difficult to manage, expensive to operate, require constant prevention from specialized specialists, and in general - they are unlikely to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine, rather, they will burden. German "Leopards" in the modern modification of these shortcomings are deprived.
The Pentagon, which is typical, is still against it , but tanks will still go to Ukraine - both American and German. US President Joe Biden decided to let Scholz win this discussion and tore off a certain number of Abrams from his heart (they say, choke on them), but they will be purchased specifically for Ukraine, and their own stocks will not be touched.
This American-German fair was behind the scenes, but it was as if it were live. The world's largest media reported on interim results with reference to sources - and such a stir is understandable: after all, the third world war is at stake . Which of this is pure fiction, and which is real news - go and figure it out now.
But from the outside it looked like this. Biden threw ten tanks on the table like poker chips (according to the Arab media ). Scholz, pinned to the wall by his own strategy, was forced to support the bet - and also gave ten ( according to Spiegel , "up to a company", that is, a maximum of 14).
Realizing that the tactic was working, the Americans went rogue. A few hours later, 30 American tanks appeared in the media, then “up to 50,” which the White House is supposed to announce before the end of the week. After that, Berlin decided to close the bet and officially announced the transfer of a company of Leopards in the 2A6 modification in the near future and another company later (deliveries of American Abrams in an unclear amount are also spaced apart in time - some now, some later).
A lot or a little depends on the optics. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny stated that he needed 300 NATO tanks. Adviser and speaker of the office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak wants 400 to "end this war within a few months." Biden, according to all the same sources, believes that Ukraine needs at least 500 cars.
The meaning of the ongoing game is to collect from the “pine forest”, and in a short time. "Abrams" (with the possible exception in the form of a few prototypes) is a story about some future, but "Leopards" about the present, they should arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks.
To date, at least 12 NATO countries are ready to provide tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and this will be more of a contribution “by capabilities” than by the level of political participation. More than others (also at least a company) will be provided by Poland, and almost equally anti-Russian and pro-Ukrainian authorities of the Czech Republic will not give a single one - they themselves have to. Norway will tear eight pieces from the heart, and Belgium would be glad, but sold all its Leopards ten years ago.
About two battalions can enter the circle - up to 50 vehicles, which will appear at the Armed Forces of Ukraine within a month. This, of course, is not the 300 units that General Zaluzhny spoke about with his “modest” requests against the background of other requests, but we must add to them the Soviet-style heavy equipment that Kyiv already has at its disposal.
It is quite obvious that this “ensemble” is needed for the next offensive of the Ukrainian troops (tanks are not required for other purposes), which, apparently, should begin before the spring warming and thaw, hence the rush. European Council President Charles Michel said this a few days ago:
“What happens in 2023, and a lot of that depends on the next few weeks, will determine our future.”
At about the same time, several publications appeared in the American media at once with stories about how Washington advisers dissuaded Kyiv from spending forces on the defense of Soledar and Artemovsk, suggesting that they focus on a “strike in a southerly direction.”
It can be assumed that the purpose of such a strike is the destruction of what is called the "land corridor to the Crimea."
Measures to respond to this threat, as well as where the strike will actually follow, are to be determined by the command of the RF Armed Forces.
But in general, it is clear that the measures should be such that these Leopards are preserved intact only in the tank museum in Kubinka near Moscow.
As for the purely political conclusions from this story, the second cold war with the global confrontation between Russia and the United States is taking its course, and something fundamentally new can only be said about Chancellor Scholz.
He completely and completely failed as a "peacemaker" and representative of the "moderate wing" in Germany and the EU as a whole. Instead of stopping a company of NATO tanks on the way to Ukraine, he sent two there and agreed on the approach of two American companies.
But a two-day delay turned him into an “enfant terrible” and a swindler for the “hawks” of NATO, with whom he almost ruined multi-billion investments in six months (that is, investments in the defeat of Russia in Ukraine, the reliability of which should be confirmed by the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine).
Literally, it turns out that Germany “gave back” when Poland threatened it with “political isolation”.
And no one doubts that Berlin gave the necessary approval for the re-export of German tanks to Ukraine to the same Warsaw, not because it wants it or does not want it, but because otherwise the Poles would defiantly disregard its “veto” - and they clearly gave understand it.
That is, as a strong figure and leader within NATO, Scholz also completely failed. And as a politician capable of defending the national interests of his country, he failed much earlier .
But his main failure will follow later. It has already been proven twice that the German attempt to send tanks to Ukraine against Russia is followed by failure. You need to be an outstanding leader to try a third time with the hope of success, but Scholz, as mentioned above, is a failed leader and a bankrupt politician, therefore, by definition, he cannot count on success.