The Largest Aid Package to be Sent to Ukraine
Six months into the Russo-Ukrainian war, the US Defense Secretary announced a new aid package for Ukraine, totalling almost $2.7 billion. Containing anti-tank systems, munitions, howitzers, and other military vehicles, the package would add to the $13 billion that the US has already pledged to Ukraine if passed. The new package would likely use funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which was appropriated by Congress close to the start of the war. $675 million of the package is going to new military assistance, while $2 billion is providing additional funding for the country and other nations in that region.
The last aid package was even larger, totalling $2.98 billion which passed in late August. Similarly to the new proposal, it contained munitions and air defence systems. This represented a shift from primarily military training support to supplying funds for the purchase of weapons and munitions, which has continued with this package. This change has come with a shift in priorities for the Ukrainian military, as they are now launching counter-offensive operations to reclaim territory that Russia has taken.
Early reaction from lawmakers has been mixed, as some have criticized Biden for his previous statement that the US would avoid “forever wars” while pumping billions into Ukraine. The US administration has argued that calls for a ceasefire and diplomacy are ideal, however, Russia is reportedly unwilling to negotiate and Ukraine doesn’t have the leverage to force its hand.
Liberal Political Commentary
Although the United States maintains close relations with Ukraine, it is important to realize that the U.S. does not have a direct obligation to support any country not a part of NATO. All aid packages sent to Ukraine are done voluntarily, and the United States reserves the right to stop at any point. However, support for Ukraine, at least limited, must continue. Limited monetary aid packages provide options for Ukraine to launch a promising counter-offence without direct involvement from the U.S. (we can all agree that deploying U.S. troops would mean disaster for all parties involved). In the midst of a decisive era for the future of global politics, we must establish our nation in the political world as a force to uphold and protect the democratic principles which drive the free world.
Any Russian backlash to U.S. monetary aid should be disregarded. We are living in a careful balancing act between political tension and global annihilation; an international game of chicken that we cannot lose. Any backtracking response to Russia will only lead to more and more aggressive demands by Moscow. We must stand firm on our ground and we must not stop supplying Ukraine with monetary aid.
Conservative Political Commentary:
The Biden administration has pledged to add an additional $2.7 billion in aid to the Ukrainian cause. This is in addition to the substantial military package already pledged to aid Ukraine. According to Mr Austin “Every day, we see the resolve of the allies and partners worldwide who are helping Ukraine resist Russia’s illegal, imperial, and indefensible war of conquest and we must evolve as the fight evolves. “President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine stated that the military aid is helping in “making a common cause, defending freedom.”13 million Ukraine civilians have been forced to flee their homes due to the war. The additional funding is aimed at defence infrastructure and for investing in a future for a strong Ukraine. The additional funding will also aid in protecting Ukraine’s NATO neighbours who could be in danger of future Russian aggression.
The Biden administration plans to dip into the United States' personal military supply to meet the newly set aid expectation which could require a gearing up of military production on the American Homefront. Mr Austin is quoted as saying “That means reinvigorating our defence industrial bases to match both Ukraine’s priorities and our own needs and it means coming up with new ways to accelerate our production of key capabilities. “Due to Western pressures Russia has been forced to seek military equipment from other sources such as Iran and North Korea. It is predicted that the freezing temperatures of winter will negatively affect support for Ukrainian aid as Russia’s control over natural gas causes prices in the West to go up to heat their own homes. It is unsure whether U.S. congress will continue to support so much aid to Ukraine after the midterm elections as many republican candidates are against more aid.
Liberal Journalist Opinion:
The Ukrainian conflict will not be the only conflict the United States will have to fund against Russia. The current alliances of the world are eerily reminiscent of those of the cold war with the United States firmly against Russian objectives. The United States' stance to protect the independence of Ukraine has come with a steeper price tag than initially thought. This is how every war conflict the United States has been in begins. First comes the financial ties and eventually we end up putting boots on the ground. The Biden administration has already gone so far as to pledge America’s own military stockpiles of ammunition and weaponry. This puts pressure on American supplies to replenish these stockpiles in case we are drawn into any conflict. The next step will likely be the training of the Ukrainian military with a steady supply of American soldiers. The question is not if Americans will end up in this fight for freedom but when. The line has already been drawn in the sand with the Russians firmly pitted against the Americans. Given the amount of unrest in the country currently, a distracting war would do wonders to reunify Americans and likely Biden’s approval ratings would improve significantly.
-Written by Alexis Walker
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