It is remarkable, Rich, how the Germans continue to carry Putin’s water on the matter of keeping Ukraine defenseless. Putting aside Angela Merkel’s revisionist history of the Cold War and the causes of Soviet collapse, I think a couple of statistics are relevant:
Germany, population 80 million, annual defense spending: $44 billion.
Ukraine, population 46 million, annual defense spending: $5 billion.
Germany, of course, enjoys the guarantee of security provided by the United States, which spends many times more than the Germans do on defense. Yet, Germany still ranks near the top of the world’s nations in military spending (between seventh and ninth, neck-and-neck with Japan and India). It certainly seems that someone in Berlin thinks “more weapons” is not inconsistent with “Western values and persistence.”
I continue to believe (as previously contended) that the biggest obstacle to the arming of Ukraine is the pivotal role played by Barack Obama, during his fleeting time in the Senate, in disarming Ukraine – back in 2005, in tandem with Republican Senator Richard Lugar and with the support of the Bush administration. At the time, Senator Obama proclaimed that the elimination of Ukraine’s stockpiles of conventional weapons would ensure “the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around the world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.”
It is now fairly clear to most sensible people that guns don’t kill people, Russians with guns kill people without guns. But, unfortunately for Ukrainians, our “strategically patient” POTUS is in no hurry to come around to common sense.