As an anxious world watched Russia deploy soldiers along its border with Ukraine in January, Germany offered to send Ukrainian troops 5,000 helmets. The offer — coming from a country highly dependent on Russian natural gas delivered through Ukraine — was widely treated as a joke.
Fast forward a month and Germany shocked industry watchers and politicos as it promised to ship anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine, upending a defense policy in place since the end of World War II. It also announced a massive increase in its defense budget, one that is lifting defense stocks.
Analysts say these and other moves help shift discussions of global defense spending and defense stocks from Afghanistan toward Russia, China and North Korea.
"It's very early days but I think it will be interesting to see how this evolves and what that portends for European defense and security spending and posture and acquisition in the next year," said Carisa Nietsche, an associate fellow for the trans-Atlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
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