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Biden Seeks Over $100 Billion In Aid For Ukraine And Israel

  • Biden's funding request, expected to include $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel, aims to provide critical support to both allies.
  • The linkage of aid for Ukraine and Israel makes it challenging for Congress to reject the package.
  • Biden emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine and Israel in the face of threats to U.S. security and international partnerships.
Biden

Laying the groundwork to ask U.S lawmakers for tens of billions of dollars in military assistance for Ukraine and Israel, President Joe Biden linked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip who attacked Israel, saying both were threats to global democracy and security.

Speaking in a rare address from the Oval Office in the White House late on October 19, Biden said he is going to send an urgent funding request to the U.S. Congress, which reportedly will total more than $100 billion over the next year, that will be critical for the two major allies immersed in wars.

"Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: They both want to annihilate a neighboring democracy," Biden said, adding the funds were “a smart investment” that will “pay dividends for American security for generations.”

Ahead of his speech, the White House said Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to reiterate Washington's support for Kyiv in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion, launched in February 2022.

Afterward, Zelenskiy thanked Biden for his "powerful address."

"Together, we will not allow hatred [to] destroy freedom, and we will not let terrorists destroy democracy. Our common goal is to protect the free way of life for all of our nations," he wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"The unwavering bipartisan support for Ukraine in the United States is incredibly encouraging for all of our warriors and for our entire nation. America’s investment in Ukraine’s defense will ensure long-term security for all of Europe and the world," Zelenskiy added.

The request for funds -- U.S. media have quoted sources as saying some $60 billion of it will be earmarked for Ukraine and another $14 billion for Israel -- comes amid recent warnings from the Biden administration that time is running out to prevent Ukraine, which is struggling with a grueling counteroffensive as its weapon supplies dwindle, from faltering as it seeks to repel Russian troops.

Congress will have to approve the new funds. At present, however, legislative work in Washington is largely at a standstill because the House of Representatives has no speaker.

It is also uncertain whether such a package would pass, as support for military aid to Ukraine has been uneven in recent months with even some Democrats questioning how much money should go to Kyiv.

Ivo Daalder, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and chief executive officer of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, told RFE/RL that by linking Israeli and Ukrainian aid, Biden has made it difficult for Congress to reject the aid package.

If the aid package is approved, this would undermine "once again Vladimir Putin's calculation that the West is about to collapse when it comes to supporting Ukraine."

"You understand, if you're living in Russia, that Ukraine is not going to go away. That they will have continued military capabilities to fight," he said.

Biden said a failure to support Ukraine and Israel, which appears poised to launch a ground attack on Hamas militants in response to their incursion last week into Israeli territory that left more than 1,400 Israeli citizens dead, will jeopardize U.S. security and its status of a "partner other nations want to work with."

"To put all that at risk, if we walk away from Ukraine, if we turn our backs on Israel -- it's just not worth it," Biden, speaking hours after a lightning trip to Israel to show support for Jerusalem, said in his address.

He added that making decisions during times of war “requires asking very hard questions” and "clarity about the objectives and an honest assessment about whether the path you are on will achieve those objectives."

He noted that since the invasion of Ukraine was launched, Putin and other senior Russian lawmakers have threatened Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, all members of NATO.

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Biden said that if Moscow carried out an attack on those countries, or any other member of the military alliance, the United States "will defend every inch of NATO."

"We’ll have something that we do not seek," he said. "We do not seek to have American troops fighting in Russia or against Russia."

“We cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win. I refuse to let that happen," Biden said.

By RFE/RL

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 20 2023 said:
    President Biden’s seeking over $100 bn in military aid for Ukraine and Israel raises financial, economic and strategic comments.

    From a financial point of view, the US is the only country in the world that can print money with impunity to finance the running of the government, to offer military and financial aid to its allies and to wage wars. That is why it is bankrupt. It is facing a growing risk of a debt crisis, increasing global drive for de-dollarization, rising challenges from the petro-yuan for the dollar’s dominance in the global oil trade and declining value of the dollar.

    Economically, these billions of dollars granted to Ukraine and Israel aren’t going to produce permanent solutions or any solutions for that matter.

    In the case of Israel, if the United States focused its efforts on helping broker a solution based on a two-state formula: Israeli and Palestinian States living in peace, it could have saved itself all these billions of dollars and put an end to wars and massacres of both Palestinians and Israelis. That is why the Hamas attack on Israel and the annihilation of Gaza won’t be the last.

    As for the Ukraine, if the United States addressed the security concerns of Russia in December 2021, the Ukraine conflict might not have happened with hundreds of thousands dead and injured and the destruction of whole cities. The US had other ideas. Despite hundreds of billions offered to Ukraine in military and financial aid so far, its counteroffensive has fizzled out. Russia will prevail in the Ukraine or the alternative is a nuclear war.

    Strategically, the United States is a superpower fast in decline. The reason the Chinese-Russian strategic is on the ascendency in the world is that they are on the right side of history while the US sticking to outdated hegemony is on the wrong side of history.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • Hossein Afshari on October 20 2023 said:
    No way

Leave a comment




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