German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised in February to overhaul his country in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Six months after this Zeitenwende—turning point—it’s going better than many expected even if worse than some hoped.
Mr. Scholz announced three transformations in his startling speech to lawmakers on Feb. 27, three days after Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion started. First, Berlin would reinvest in its military to meet the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s goal of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense, and specifically would use it to upgrade equipment such as fighter jets. Second, Germany would treat energy policy as a national-security matter and wean itself off Russian natural gas. Third, Berlin no longer would pursue mindless diplomacy for diplomacy’s sake, especially with the world’s autocrats.