Letters to the Editor: Germany has stopped hiding behind pacifism. It’s about time

A German-built Leopard tank in Hungary.
The German government has announced it will allow Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine. Above, a German-built Leopard tank in Hungary.
(Csaba Krizsan / Associated Press)

To the editor: Your piece on Germany’s historic pacifism cited old polling on the question of providing Ukraine with German-made Leopard tanks. More recent polling shows the German public supports tank deliveries to Ukraine, with 54% in favor and 38% against, according to a survey by public broadcaster ZDF.

While pacifism is indeed part of the Germany’s national consciousness, it does not reflect the feelings of the larger populace and is especially tenuous among young Germans. I was disappointed that your article did not quote anyone under 53 years old.

As Europe’s largest economy, Germany has concluded it must take a more active role in defense issues, as confirmed by its recent acquiescence on Leopard tank exports to Ukraine. If we look at polling from last year, when 73% of Germans opposed sending any weapons to Ukraine, we can see just how much war has changed the German populace. We must reexamine our old assumptions.


The unspeakable horror Germany wrought in the 20th century does not excuse an abdication of leadership during this war of aggression in Europe in the 21st century.

Caleb Larson, Berlin


To the editor: As Jonah Goldberg argues that the escalation of support for the Ukrainians makes the United States more secure, I cannot help but remember the thinking that got us into past conflicts.

Remember when our involvement in Vietnam was meant to halt the spread of communism through southeast Asia? In reality, that was a war waged by communist North Vietnam to unite the country.

The Iraq invasion, we were told, was to halt the development of weapons of mass destruction. This proved to be based on faulty intelligence.

Our entry into Afghanistan after 9/11 was to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, but it became a costly decades-long war against the Taliban.


Thousands have been killed and trillions spent on ill-fated wars that were supposed to make the U.S. more secure. Are we going down that same road again?

Glynn Morris, Playa del Rey