Sunday, June 19, 2022

Promises, promises. Deliveries, not so much.

The Wall Street Journal published this bar graph the other day, based on information from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Green shows the amount of military equipment promised to Ukraine, brown shows the amount actually delivered, with the US with a population of 331 million having promised the most and delivered less than half, for a value of about €2 billion.

Close behind the US is Poland -- Poland! -- with a population of 38 million, having promised and delivered military equipment worth €1.7 billion. Poland only freed itself from Russian domination in 1989, joined the European Union in 2004, and in about a quarter of a century has remade itself into a prosperous Western democracy. So, more than most, it knows what Ukraine faces if Putin succeeds in his war.

Britain (population 69 million), Canada (population 32 million), and Norway (population 5.5 million!) also punch above their weight, at least as compared to the rest of the EU. The same is true of tiny Estonia (1.3 million) and Latvia (1.8 million), which like Poland are recent refugees from Russian captivity.

Then comes the gallery of shame, led by prosperous Germany, which in 1939 was the first country to invade Poland, thus laying the fuse for the German-Russian division of Europe in 1940 and the global war that followed. The richest country in Europe, with a population of 84 million, Germany has promised a lot but has delivered only about €200 million, significantly less than the two tiny Baltic nations.


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