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Ukraine Aid: A Strategic Investment in Global and U.S. Interests

Ukraine Aid: A Strategic Investment in Global and U.S. Interests \ Newslooks \ Opinion \.

President Joe Biden listens as Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President Joe Biden listens as Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during a meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, July 12, 2023. Seated right is Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and left, is Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Ukraine Aid: While it is true that sending billions in cash to Ukraine without any accountability makes little sense and waists taxpayer money, helping Ukraine have the necessary weapons to defeat Russia advances American interests and helps Americans at home.

Russia has been waging a brutal war in Ukraine for over two years now. President Zelenskyy has repeatedly stressed to American leaders that his country will not be able to defend itself and its people much longer without additional military and financial aid from the U.S.  Political disputes in Washington DC continue to delay the provision of assistance.
Many of my fellow conservatives do not support sending additional aid to Ukraine, arguing that U.S. funding priorities should be here at home rather than overseas. There is no doubt that a number of U.S. policies have been both counterproductive and harmful, but that isn’t necessarily a good reason to compound the problem. 

It is a fair question to ask why we should send U.S. taxpayers’ dollars to Ukrainians if Americans are struggling in their own country. And it is difficult to defend funding foreign pension plans and walking around money for corrupt oligarchs. But this is not an either/or situation – our support for Ukraine not only gives it the ability to continue to fight Russia’s illegal invasion, but it provides benefits for the U.S. as well.
The U.S. should not tolerate unjust invasions on sovereign territory, as Russia did in February 2022. Setting this boundary and putting our financial and military strength behind it sends the message that the United States stands with our partners and takes threats from our adversaries seriously – which is especially important as China and Iran continue to provoke us. We cannot let them see us as weak or unlikely to help, or they will feel emboldened to accelerate their threats.
As for the economic argument that U.S. dollars should be spent at home instead of overseas, it is important to highlight that much of the funding appropriated for Ukraine is directly invested back in the U.S., creating economic growth and American jobs. According to research from Marc Cancian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, about $68 billion – 60% of the funding already approved for Ukraine – will be spent in the U.S.

Members of congress have not been able to come to an agreement, however, on future aid to Ukraine. What detractors of additional aid may not realize is that of the approximately $60 billion proposed, nearly $40 billion, would actually be spent in the U.S. Many of the munitions and missiles Ukraine needs to defend itself are produced in factories right here in America – from Pennsylvania to Arizona and Texas to Ohio. 

Perhaps rather than opposing all support of Ukraine, we should find a way to support the ability of Ukraine to defend itself and stop simply sending large cash payments without any assurances that it is being spent wisely and solely to defend Ukraine. This shows the danger of foolish spending – not only does it waste scarce resources, but it erodes support for the actual important aid that helps keep the world’s dictators and bad actors in check and keeps our military industrial capacity healthy. Aid limited to actual weapons needed to defend Ukraine will come back to the U.S. and strengthen or military industrial capacity and will send a clear message to China, Iran, North Korea and Russia that their totalitarianism will not be viewed kindly. 
Lastly, it is vital that the U.S. defense industrial base remain healthy both as a deterrent to adversaries and to ensure we can scale up production quickly should conflict arise. In a volatile world, our arms manufacturing must always be ready. Keeping assembly lines hot not only helps Ukraine but prepares the U.S. for future threats and enables us to replenish our dwindling stockpiles. Additional aid for Ukraine, spent here in the U.S., energizes our defense industrial capacity.
Earlier this year, for instance, Ukraine received the first shipments of the new Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), developed by Boeing and Saab. Quick development and testing timelines showed what the defense industrial base can do with ample resourcing and Department of Defense support. Now, the GLSDB can be continually supplied to Ukraine, and production lines are ready should the weapon be necessary for future conflicts, such as in Taiwan. While GLSDB is used in Ukraine, it is creating jobs across the U.S., as it is manufacturing in Missouri, New York, and Arkansas. 
Aid for Ukraine that is wisely focused on providing needed weapons (as opposed to simply large cash payments) will benefit both the U.S. economy and global democracy. We should view it as not only an investment in Ukraine’s future, but an investment here at home as well.

More By George Landrith

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Newslooks.com

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