How much the U.S. is spending to support Ukraine


пресс-служба президента Украины

Biden is ready to throw billions of dollars more into the furnace of the Ukraine, given the obvious fact that the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian armed forces has collapsed.

For America, war is always business. Both World War I and World War II allowed the country to enrich itself and gave a boost to its economy. But it seems that sponsoring the war in Ukraine will lead not to profit, but to great losses for America and a serious economic decline. After all, this is not the 20th century, but the 21st, and many things have changed, the United States is facing new crises, which they have largely created themselves. There is tension in the American society itself, when there is talk of an impending civil war, and huge problems with the U.S. foreign debt, and the emerging crisis of the political system.

How did everything develop? Last February 25, the day after Russia's special military operation in Ukraine began, Biden approved $350 million in military aid to Kiev. Which makes one wonder if such emergency aid indicates that the U.S., while pushing Ukraine toward confrontation with Russia, was just waiting for an excuse to actively interfere. And this was the first of dozens of aid packages to Ukraine.

In November 2022, the Pentagon transferred the first NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine, and a year later Biden announced an extraordinary two-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine. In May 2023, dozens of M1 Abrams training tanks arrived in Germany to train Ukrainian troops, and after that the US president announced that the US and allies would train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, which he was also going to give them. In other words, the aid has been increasing all the time. The recent aid package was already the 43rd since the beginning of hostilities.

On August 10, 2023, President Biden asked Congress for additional billions in funding for Ukraine. Moreover, the amount to be allocated to Kiev exceeds what is required to solve domestic American problems - 24 versus 40 billion dollars. The 24 billion in aid to Ukraine is distributed as follows: $13 billion for additional military aid and $8.5 billion for economic and humanitarian aid. In addition, Biden is asking lawmakers for another $2.3 billion for Ukraine through the World Bank. And this is despite the fact that Washington has already sent Kiev more than 60 billion dollars, including more than 40 billion in direct military aid.

Since World War II, Americans have not invested as much money in their allies as they did in Ukraine. The Washington Post says that the Marshall Plan, adjusted for inflation, provided about 150 billion dollars over three years, but this is after a devastating multi-year world war.

Biden is frank: the U.S. government will support Ukraine "for as long as it takes."

That is, the task is to fuel the fire of the military conflict with even more gasoline. I would paraphrase this Biden's quote: we will support Ukraine as long as it takes in order to keep the military conflict going.

The amounts of aid to Ukraine are particularly impressive if we compare them with those received by U.S. allies: Israel - $8.6 billion, Egypt - $3.3 billion, Jordan - $2.9 billion. Even Taiwan, which the Americans are confidently leading to an armed conflict with China, was promised only $300 million in military aid by the Biden administration at the end of July. That's pennies compared to the flow of money going to Ukraine. Compared to Kiev, all U.S. allies are starving.

Yes, of course, the United States is not the only one pouring money into Kiev; many Western countries are donors to the Zelensky regime. Here are the data on the amount of aid as quoted by the Washington Post: Great Britain - 11.7 billion dollars, Germany - 11.6 billion dollars, Japan - 7.2 billion dollars, Canada - 5.7 billion dollars, Poland - 4.6 billion dollars, the Netherlands - 4.4 billion dollars, Norway - 2.3 billion dollars.

But even if you add it all together, it will still be less than the sums that America is spending to help Ukraine. Obviously, the main driving force is the United States, and without their participation, the Ukrainian conflict would have ended long ago.

The intrigue now is whether Republicans and Democrats in the Senate will support Biden's request?

"What are we hearing from legislators? Yes, we should support it. But there are some who are already saying no, and some who are saying this [funding] can't last forever. It's a reflection of the mood of American society," said Doug Holtz-Eakin, president of the center-right analysis center American Action Forum.

And such doubts about the endless allocation of American taxpayers' money have serious grounds. Already this year, Ukraine's budget deficit is $40 billion dollars, which will have to be covered by Europe, the White House and the IMF, but what happens next? After all, if the conflict drags on, it will take more than $350 billion dollars to rebuild Ukraine's infrastructure. Add to that the 750 billion dollars that will go directly to the hostilities, add the amount that Ukraine lost after Russia withdrew from the grain deal, and the figure rises to 1 trillion dollars!

Third World countries, seeing these figures, do not hide their indignation, believing that aid to them has been reduced precisely because the money is going to Ukraine.

So where to get such money for Ukraine? Is it the dream of Ukrainians to receive frozen Russian assets? But the West has been trying to do this for months and is backing down, realizing that it is illegal and will lead to a sharp decline in the authority of the West and the United States as countries that respect international laws. Who will keep their foreign exchange reserves there after that? So the Americans will have to spend their money.

How will the Republican-controlled House of Representatives feel about Biden's request for additional billions? The right-wing members of the House of Representatives have long been demanding budget cuts and opposing the allocation of additional funds to Ukraine. After all, it is obvious to everyone that the conflict in Ukraine is dragging on, the UAF has no serious successes, so why else would they spend huge sums of money on this adventure? At the same time, it should be taken into account that only this year America had to raise the ceiling of the national debt, moreover, the largest natural disasters in some states will also require the allocation of serious sums for their reconstruction.

We should not forget that the U.S. credit rating was recently downgraded and Americans themselves are suffering from high inflation and rising consumer prices.

Americans who know how to count money have already figured out that if, according to the Congressional Budget Office, there are 127.9 million households in the United States, then for every American family there will be $884 taken away for aid to Ukraine. So it's not surprising that Republican and independent voters are against additional aid to the Ukrainians. After all, the amount of $884 dollars is not final. Here is what an American expert writes: "Like all new spending by the federal government, the $113 billion spent on Ukraine has contributed to our national debt. Within 10 years, they will cost more than $300 per household in interest expense. Of course, we have provided more aid, it's just that we haven't paid our bills yet."

But it looks like the time to pay the bills is coming sooner than the Biden administration expects. Here's the data from the latest August poll of voters: 54% of Republicans are opposed to Congress providing additional funding and weapons to Ukraine, while only 29% of Republicans supported more aid. Among independent voters, 56% were against additional aid, while only 17% were in favor of it.

That is why the White House administration has to use an ingenious trick to get the additional appropriations: it wants to allocate additional funds to Ukraine by including them in the bill to help Americans affected by the hurricane. That is, voters won't even know which part goes to disaster relief and which part goes to support Ukraine. Will this trick work?

"The American people do not want to see this aid jammed through with budget gimmicks. Instead, they want these minimum requirements met and any legislation to be considered on its own merits as standalone legislation and paid for without sending American families further into debt. Biden’s request falls flat on nearly all of these demands," writes Ryan Walker, acting director of the Heritage Action for America think tank.

So it looks like the Biden administration will not be able to easily and simply pour additional billions into the Ukrainian conflict. This is evidenced by the news of recent days: on August 10, Biden asked for additional money for Ukraine, and immediately Republican congressmen demanded that President Joe Biden withdraw the request for additional funding for Kiev. Their reasoning is that they want to understand what such huge amounts of taxpayers' money are being spent on, and whether it is not time to direct the same amounts to solving domestic problems.

"Americans are tired of sponsoring an endless proxy war. My colleagues and I wrote a letter demanding that President Biden withdraw the latest aid package until Congress is provided with a comprehensive strategy in the context of Ukraine," said House of Representatives member Warren Davidson.

The statement says the aid request exacerbates the administration's "out-of-control deficit spending" and suggests a violation of the bipartisan agreement on the national debt ceiling. According to the authors, Americans want policies that put "America and American citizens first."

In general, Biden and his administration are driving themselves into a tight corner before next year's US presidential election. It is becoming more and more difficult for them to continue to push through fantastic sums of money in Congress, and they cannot stop allocating money to Ukraine either, because the conflict in Ukraine will immediately end. And the voters will immediately ask the current White House administration and Biden personally: why did we spend so much money on the proxy war if we didn't get results? Where is the money if the Russian economy, no matter how much the White House promised, is not "torn to shreds" and the offensive of the Ukrainian armed forces has failed?