Americans learned last week that President Joe Biden will ask Congress for an additional $13 billion in “emergency” aid to Ukraine. But why? Biden continues to throw Americans’ tax dollars at the Kyiv government with no explanation of strategy or purpose, or program controls to ensure the money goes where it is intended. The result is the US taxpayer is losing enthusiasm over Biden’s cavalier spending on Ukraine without telling the billpayers what the end game is. Whereas Congress has been generous in the past, raiding the US treasury may not be so easy this time.
In an Associated Press article, correspondents Lisa Mascaro and Colleen Long wrote that, despite the relative ease with which prior requests for Ukraine military and financial aid have received congressional approval, this time may be different. They explained:
“A political divide on the issue has grown, with the Republican-led House facing enormous pressure to demonstrate support for the party’s leader, Donald Trump, who has been very skeptical of the war. And American support for the effort has been slowly softening. Biden and his senior national security team have repeatedly said the United States will help Ukraine “as long as it takes” to oust Russia from its borders.”
Regardless of the media’s inclination to blame former President Trump for all the ills of the country, failing support for Biden’s blank check spending drawing from the American taxpayers’ account is shaky reasoning. In a June 15, 2023, Pew Research poll, “Currently, 44% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the US is giving too much to Ukraine, up modestly since January (40%) and the highest level since shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine last year,” Andy Cerda wrote for the Pew Research Center. Though four percentage points does not seem like much, it represents a recent trend of a ten percent increase.
Furthermore, there is a more troubling statistic from the recent survey of Ukraine supporters. The total of those surveyed showed a four-fold increase compared to March 2022 among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who believe the amount of money the US gives Ukraine is “too much.” Biden’s party stalwarts are also showing flagging support, with 14% indicating that too much is being spent on Ukraine, compared to only 5% in March last year.
The problem for the White House is of its own making. Americans are traditionally willing to stand up for the little guy against the bully. With its brutal invasion and the wanton killing and maiming of thousands of Ukrainians that followed, Russia was the clear aggressor. Throwing US support to the Ukrainian fighters was the right thing to do. As the fighting has continued, however, the piecemeal, weak approach the Biden administration is taking in providing military support particularly has caused Americans to wonder what the strategy is. The “as-long-as-it-takes” approach Biden’s national security team keeps touting is not a strategy; it’s an activity.
Furthermore, the unwillingness of Biden’s Defense and State Departments to come clean on exactly what pathway to success they are following in Ukraine is fomenting skepticism regarding the president’s intentions. Adding to the loss of confidence that Biden has a plan to end the horrific fighting in Ukraine, the administration objected strongly to recently passed House of Representative legislation establishing an Office of the Special Inspector General for Ukraine Assistance. “The American taxpayer deserves an accurate accounting of the money being shoveled to Ukraine. No one benefits, least of all the Ukrainian fighters, when US military aid is not managed with system integrity,” Liberty Nation reported recently.
Biden’s plan for Ukraine is incomprehensible, and the White House staff doesn’t want the American public to know how the money currently going to Ukraine is being spent. It’s not former President Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for supporting Ukraine that is the problem; it’s the failure of the Biden administration to explain what it’s doing with the money. President Biden could reverse the weakening resolve of many Americans simply by holding a televised address to the nation to explain the plan. Tell the people what he believes it will cost, why he believes it will end the fighting, and describe what that end will look like. Short of that, Americans dwindling support for Ukraine will continue.
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