International Military Support for Ukraine

There is some growing angst about the amount of treasure and weaponry that we’re sending to Ukraine in support of that nation’s effort to defeat the barbarian Russian invasion and to drive the barbarian back out. Typical of the angst is Victoria Coates’ (a former Deputy National Security Advisor to former President Donald Trump) beef, which includes concern about the amount of aid the US is providing compared to that provided by the European nations on whose ramparts the barbarian would be should he overrun Ukraine:

Given the fact that the Germans and the French are not doing anything close to this in terms of support is shameful. This is not our job. This is Europe’s backyard. Europe needs to shoulder this burden.

To an extent, Coates’ beef is valid; however, as the table below shows, the European shortfall is not at all universal. Most of these data are drawn from statista; for Sweden and Finland they come from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Nation Amount Sent Billions GDP Billions (IMF) Percent GDP
Poland $2.55 $716.00 0.356%
US $46.56 $25,035.00 0.186%
Great Britain $5.13 $3,198.00 0.160%
Denmark $0.59 $387.00 0.152%
Sweden* $0.85 $604.00 0.141%
Finland* $0.36 $281.00 0.128%
Norway $0.62 $505.00 0.123%
Netherlands $0.90 $990.00 0.091%
Canada $1.35 $2,200.00 0.061%
Germany $2.47 $4,031.00 0.061%
Italy $0.65 $1,997.00 0.033%
France $0.69 $2,778.00 0.025%
*Converted from € a/o 2Mar23


Poland actually is providing more support relative to the size of its economy than we are. That shouldn’t be surprising, though, as the memories of the barbarian’s occupation and depredations of their nation remain fresh in Polish minds. Poland also has taken in the most Ukrainian refugees; although a factor in that is the border the two nations share, which shortens refugee travel.

Great Britain, shorn of EU political limits, is right up there with us.

The real European shirkers, especially given their extant military establishments, are Germany and France, as noted by Coates, and Italy. Their behavior is truly shameful, especially for Germany, whose eastern States were under the barbarian’s jackboots not so long ago, also. The shortfall for France is not so surprising, for all the shortfall’s…disreputableness…given that nation’s constant efforts to make nice with Russia.

My claim here is not that the we should cut back on our material—and materiel—aid to Ukraine, but that we should push—pressure—those European nations who are shirking to do much more. Were those nations to meet their obligations—moral as well as material, and not only to Ukraine but to their own peoples and to their obligations toward each other under the spirit of NATO—Ukraine would be in a much better position to destroy the barbarian invasion.

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