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Is Germany doing enough to support Ukraine?
Friday, 6 January 2023
Hello from Germany,
Well then, tanks from Germany to Ukraine, after all!
After months of wheedling, the German government finally pledged to Ukraine a first batch of Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
Yesterday evening, the German government announced the decision following a phone call between U.S. president Joe Biden and German chancellor Olaf Scholz.
This text here and today is about the question, of whether Germany is doing enough to support Ukraine (here you can read, why the Marder is good for Ukraine in their defence against invading Russia; for example, that it is an armoured personnel carrier that "has its roots in World War II when the German army learned the hard way that formations with lots of tanks but few infantry can punch through enemy lines, but can’t hold the ground they capture.").
It is now widely recognised in Germany, that the energy partnership with Russia was a historic mistake. Cheap energy for my industrialised country has blinded it to the negative consequences. One and the most decisive consequence was that Putin's dictatorship could be consolidated with our money and that he could build up his war machine with it.
What continues to be debated here in Germany: Should we give more military support to Ukraine?
A good benchmark for discussing this issue is to compare Germany with other countries.
The numbers there show that after the United States and the United Kingdom, Germany pledges the most military aid to Ukraine.
Also, if you look at the total aid to Ukraine, Germany ranks third.
So you could say that Germany is doing a lot.
But there is another point of view.
If you put the absolute numbers of support for Ukraine in relation to a country's economic output, then Germany is doing significantly less than other countries.
Upshot: The numbers do not allow any clear conclusions to be drawn as to whether Germany is doing enough to help Ukraine. My gut feeling: We are doing too little. A country that is economically strong, a country that, due to its history, has a great responsibility for fighting dictators and a country that played into Putin's arms in the past, such a country should not be a follower but a champion of freedom.
The Strolling Economist