Friday, June 02, 2006

The "Europe refused to help us in Iraq" Myth

(Green are countries who helped in Iraq, Red those who didn't, and Gray are those with reason not to.)

When dealing with why some European countries (e.g. France and Germany) did not help us in Iraq, it can be easily forgotten that most of Europe (24 countries) has in fact helped us. True they have not sent large numbers of soldiers, never more than 25,000 in total, but that is because they suffer from many of the same problems and constraints as France and Germany. That they still managed to send some soldiers further shows the venal and self-serving nature of France and Germany’s refusal to help even in a limited capacity.

First a list of European countries who have not sent soldiers to Iraq and their reasons:

France - See prior post.
Germany - See post before that.
Ireland - Neutral.
Belgium - French puppet so see France.
Luxembourg - No Army.
Sweden - Neutral.
Switzerland - Neutral.
Austria - Neutral.
Slovenia - Unknown.
Croatia - Enough problems already.
Serbia - Ditto.
Greece - Anti-Americanism and fear of Turkey.
Finland - Unknown.
Russia - Combine France and Germany's reasons.
Belarus - Russia's puppet so see Russia.
Turkey - Agreed to send 10,000 soldiers but Iraq refused.

The list comes to 15 European countries and Turkey who have not helped out with soldiers. However, 8 of those countries have perfectly valid reasons for not helping and I am not sure why for 2 of the countries. For stat trackers this means that 24 of the 40 countries have supported us or 60% of Europe. 20% had legitimate reasons for not helping out along with 5% who I am not sure of the reasons. This leaves only 6 European countries or 15% choosing not to help. The population breakdown is a little different with 47% of Europeans in countries that helped, 38% in countries that chose not to, and 15% in countries with good or unsure reasons for not helping. The population breakdown is weighted in favor of the 6 countries that refused to help because they include the 1st, 2nd, and 4th largest populations of the 40 countries. This is further evidence that the decision to not help was driven more by geopolitics and perceived national interest than the behavior of the Bush Administration.

The 24 European countries on the other side of the ledger are Britain, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Most of these nations have sent nearly all the soldiers they are capable of sending. They all have publics against sending soldiers and have the same financial issues as France and Germany. The fact that they stood up in the face of these adversities and still supported the nation that has done so much for so many of them deserves our deepest gratitude. They most certainly do not deserve the discounting sneers of the left. Europe consists of more than just France and Germany; hopefully the left will understand that someday.


  1. Why wouldn't Iraq let Turkey send soliders?

  2. Iraq had said from the start that they didn't want soldiers from neighboring countries as part of the occupation forces. They didn't want those countries meddling in Iraq to their advantage.

  3. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Finland is also neutral. Politically it belongs to the west (EU). But militarily they can't be to much on the side of the US, because of their long border with anti-western Russia. Even joining the EU was only possible for them after the end of the cold war.