The Wall Street Journal: Supporting Ukraine… Europe is languishing in the shadow of the United States
The Wall Street Journal reported, “The fear that the United States could eventually back down from its support for Ukraine against Russia is increasing pressure on Europe to increase its military and financial aid to Kiev”.
The Wall Street Journal quoted officials and analysts as saying, “The frustration in many European capitals due to Berlin’s delay in agreeing to send German-made tanks was not only due to their usefulness on the battlefield, but also the German delay in response made Europe appear to be completely dependent on the United States”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had insisted for several weeks that Germany would send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine only if the United States first sent Abrams tanks, a move Berlin said would give it greater protection against an angry Russian response.
A senior German official told the Wall Street Journal, “The German government will pledge to provide about 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv and will accept requests from countries such as Poland to donate a German-made tank to Ukraine”.
Berlin’s delay in taking the decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine has sparked frustration among the Western allies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, other European countries, including the United Kingdom, Poland and Estonia, say that Europe cannot hide behind the United States, which provides more military aid to Ukraine.
It’s worrying about the extent to which European countries depend on the United States.
The Wall Street Journal stated that American domestic politics also increases European fears that time is running out when it comes to Ukraine’s ability to defeat Russia, explaining that political divisions between the Biden administration and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would reduce securing more elections.
Funding for the defense of Ukraine after currently authorized funds expire on September 30th.
Likewise, some European officials also say that they fear that additional weapons to Ukraine will lead to a setback in the US political agenda with the start of the 2024 presidential election campaign, and another fear that the next president may follow a different path.
Many countries in northern and Eastern Europe are outraged by Germany’s repeated reluctance to support Ukraine more proactively, which has the unintended consequence of deepening Europe’s dependence on the United States for its military protection and political leadership against Russia.
Germany points out that it is one of the largest suppliers of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, along with the United Kingdom, although US support easily outstrips that of European countries.
Germany agreed to send heavy weapons, such as artillery and armored vehicles, but only after long delays and under heavy pressure from other allies.
But rather than win political credit for its aid, Berlin heightened mistrust elsewhere in Europe about the extent to which it really wanted to challenge Russia, Allied officials told the Wall Street Journal.
German leaders had previously said that “Europe cannot rely forever on the United States’ willingness to defend it, but German governments have for years postponed meaningful action to strengthen their national security policy by exhausting the equipment and readiness of the German military and focusing their foreign policy on trade promotion”.
The Wall Street Journal said, “Scholz’s opposition to giving Kyiv German-made Leopard 2 tanks unless the United States sends Abrams tanks has frustrated both pro-Atlantic countries like the United Kingdom and those who want a more independent European security policy, led by France”.
It also mentioned that French President Emmanuel Macron has been defending for years what he calls the strategic independence of Europe, as he always takes a stronger position within the alliances, most notably the NATO, but Moscow’s war on Kyiv revealed Europe’s continued dependence on Washington to defend the region.