On Monday, long-shot presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy stated that “We will be Uncle Sucker no more” in a post for The American Conservative. The statement largely echoed the view he expressed during last week’s presidential debate: that Europe isn’t providing enough support for Ukraine.
However, most experts on the matter would quickly point out that Ramaswamy is absolutely wrong on this issue — as are MAGA lawmakers such as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.
Europe has, in fact, provided as much aid to Ukraine as the United States.
“The total contribution to Ukraine since the start of this war is about €72 billion. Europe has given roughly the same as the US,” Thierry Breton, the commissioner for Internal Market of the European Union said in an interview with French radio station France Inter.
According to research from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German-based economic think tank, between February 2022 and May 2023, the U.S. pledged nearly €71 billion of total aid to Ukraine. EU countries and institutions committed €68 billion in total over the same period, nearly the same as Washington.
It is true that the U.S. has provided more military aid, but the EU has provided more financial aid, including loans and subsidies.
Sending Their Own Hardware to Fight in Ukraine
Several NATO members have sent tanks, armored vehicles, and small arms from their existing stockpiles of armament. Norway, for example, has pledged to provide its F-16 fighter jets while it buys F-35s from the United States. This is a win. Older hardware will go to Ukraine, while Oslo will field more advanced aircraft, which could help deter Russia.
Many smaller nations have actually given more than what could be described as “their fair share.” The Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia have each sent aid totaling more than one percent of their gross domestic product, according to the Kiel Institute’s Ukraine Support Tracker.
Lithuania, Poland, and Bulgaria stand out for their contributions as measured by share of GDP.
It is Hurting Russia – That is a Win for the USA
Over the course of its war, Russia has lost more than 100,000 troops wounded or killed – and the total number might be twice that figure. It has lost thousands of tanks and hundreds of other vehicles, and its standing in the world is diminished.
Last year, it was reported that the war was costing Moscow around $1 billion a day, and that figure has likely increased. Replacing the destroyed hardware will take years, possibly decades. Russia has been seriously weakened in the war and that has been accomplished with what the Center for European Policy Analysis describes as “peanuts” for the United States and its allies.
As previously reported, in cold, geopolitical terms the war in Ukraine is destroying Russia’s capabilities to the point that it really cannot be described as a near-peer adversary, apart from its nuclear capabilities.
All of this has been accomplished without any U.S. boots on the ground.
Ramaswamy is among those who suggest that somehow the United States can play Russia off against China. That is unlikely to happen. Even if that could have been the case, the Kremlin is going to remember that the West sided against it. The ship of Russia as an allied state has sailed, so the best course of action is to sink it.
Finish the Job in Ukraine
To take a line from President Joe Biden, the U.S. should finish the job. Russia may not be beaten yet, but with continued U.S. aid against it, Moscow will be so weakened that it won’t pose a threat to Europe or anyone else for a generation.
Finally, there is the case that the U.S. cannot take on China alone. Even if that dubious notion were true, when Russia is defeated with the U.S. standing by Ukraine, the world will remember. The U.S. has allies in the Pacific and in Europe, and these alliances help to ensure China won’t be a threat anytime soon.
China will be the one standing alone, as Russia will be too weak to help Beijing.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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