Germany is proposing to instantly increase military spending by $113 billion while offering weapons to Ukraine, reversing more than 70 years of military-averse policies that followed World War II. “Many of us still remember our parents’ or grandparents’ tales of war,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in reference to Hitler’s tragic aggressions. Germany’s pledge to militarize follows criticism of its failure to help lead the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The spirit of this announcement was that the German government feels responsible for peace in Europe,” says Mai’a Cross, the Edward W. Brooke Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern. “If you are the largest economy in Europe, you also have a responsibility to maintain peace.”
Cross spoke with News@Northeastern about the transformation of German leadership in the wake of the Ukraine war. Her comments have been edited for brevity and clarity.