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The German Lamb Is Learning to Howl

The nation that went to the gates of Moscow in World War II has become as aggressive as a cuddly cat. But with its decision to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, Germany's "culture of reticence," particularly with respect to Russia, may soon be a thing of the past.

HAMBURG – “Tankeschön,” reads a punning meme making the rounds online these days. It shows a German panzer with a Ukrainian flag. A year into the war, Germany is suddenly set to deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks. The decision signals a stunning reversal of a longstanding, and obsessively upheld, principle of German foreign policy: no offensive hardware for Ukraine; we Germans can’t afford to rile the Russians.