If you've been watching state-run news in Germany over the past month (Channel One/Two (ARD/ZDF)....you'd notice in the prime hour period.....brief two and three-minute updates each evening, and later at 9:45PM.....a full ten-minute update over the mess in the Ukraine.
In the last week, I've watched several members of the Bundestag and several CDU/SPD players in the various ministries sit and chat over the mess.
Frankly, as an American viewing the coverage and perception of the Germans....I'd say three things are evident.
First, the average German on the street questions the character of the Russian government, and kinda wonders how things developed into this type of mess. Coverage kinda lacks timelines or explanations on how this started and how Russia just stomped into the room to cause chaos. There's almost no background going back to October/November of 2013 and show the original discussion points.
Second, an American watching German media coverage....gets the point that US participation in the Ukraine mess is virtually ZERO. NATO has been brought up, but you get the impression that other than a few deployments of US fighters into Poland....there's virtually nothing else that the US intends to do. Chancellor Merkel this week even made a curious statement suggesting that there is no world-power status now existing.....so the US is not considered of character to implement any change on anyone. This kinda suggests that Germany is limited on options unless it suddenly developed a military power, which it doesn't currently have.
Third. One gets the opinion that Germans are waking up and asking if the German Army, Navy and Air Force is capable of taking on a military mission. The general answer is.....NO. They were all peppy over the past decade to cut back on numbers.....infrastructure....and weapon development. The mentality is that it's all peaceful and no real threats to the German homeland. Now? Shocking realization.....I think. It'd take a whole decade to rebuild the German military into a capable force, and they'd need the French to take the same steps and hope that they were willing to honor agreements. Basically, you don't have ten years....and the rest of Europe followed Germany's lead over the past decade....cutting back on their own structure.
What's left? Putin has a scripted plan and I think that certain key events can occur....if it is a harsh winter....where natural gas pipelines are interrupted and some natural gas shortage is suggested....pushing natural gas costs across the globe up. Germans have no back-up plan, and I suspect it'll trigger some political chaos as folks ask politicians to ramp up a plan-B. Other than soothing the Russians and calming their boss....there's virtually nothing else left in the German bag of tricks.
In some ways.....you have to wonder what the Germans were thinking a decade ago, and how they got warm fuzzy feelings over the Russians. Then you have to wonder why the EU prioritized the Ukraine economic and trade treaty talks for the late part of 2013. Every step scripted? You just start to wonder about this.