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Ukraine aid self-serving investment by Washington: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-03 19:03

The tremendous amounts of military aid the United States has been providing to Ukraine to support its conflict with Russia has long been proclaimed by the Joe Biden administration as the necessary cost to defend "the free world".

However, the first breakdown of which US states have benefited from the billions of dollars spent on arming Ukraine the Biden administration has been circulating on Capitol Hill since last week exposes a less noble picture. The aid is an investment for the benefit of the US, both economically and strategically, as President Biden hinted in an address in October.

The circulated spending breakdown is a move to persuade more Republican lawmakers to support Biden's new aid proposal for Kyiv, worth $60 billion, which is contained in the $106 billion emergency supplemental released in October for Israel and the "Indo-Pacific" strategy as well. But it also reveals an important reason why the Biden administration is so keen to replenish the Ukraine aid the moment it nears depletion. As Biden said in the speech in October when he unveiled the supplemental spending bill. "Let me be clear about something," Biden said. "We send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpiles. And when we use the money allocated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores, our own stockpiles with new equipment."

As The Washington Post said in its report on the "best-kept secret about US military aid to Ukraine", the "funds that lawmakers approve to arm Ukraine are not going directly to Ukraine but are being used stateside to build new weapons or to replace weapons sent to Kyiv from US stockpiles". Of the $68 billion in military and related assistance Congress has approved since the conflict broke out in February last year almost 90 percent is going directly to upgrade the US' military capabilities.

There is another meaningful revelation in the circular. The state-by-state breakdown for the latest $27 billion worth of investments allocated by Congress, and the spending on "munitions and tactical vehicle procurements", clearly demonstrates that companies in four states — Arizona, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Wisconsin — collectively received contracts totaling more than $1 billion for their products that aid Ukraine. Another $18 billion in contracts is spread around manufacturing facilities located in more than two dozen other states.

Although Biden claims "just as in World War II, today patriotic American workers are building the arsenal of democracy and serving the cause of freedom", he should not have pretended to not know that both Pennsylvania and Arizona are the pivotal swing states in the presidential election next year. As major beneficiaries of his administration's generous aid project, Biden wants to see these key states to vote in his favor in the upcoming presidential election.

To the Ukrainians, who have long woken up to the fact that the conflict is becoming a proxy war to defend US hegemony in Europe and beyond, it is not "patriotic American workers" that are building an "arsenal of democracy" and "serving the cause of freedom", but greedy US military-industry complexes running full steam to make money from Ukrainian lives, serving the political cause of the Democrats.

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