Biden Working to Prevent Possible Trump Cuts to Ukraine Aid

by | Jan 29, 2024

Biden Working to Prevent Possible Trump Cuts to Ukraine Aid

by | Jan 29, 2024

joe biden and donald trump

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

President Joe Biden is working on a document that would promise military assistance to Ukraine for the next decade. The White House hopes to get Congressional approval and prevent Donald Trump from changing course in Ukraine if elected. With the commitment to Kiev, Biden is seeking President Zelensky to adopt a defensive position and abandon aspirations to retake territory. 

The Washington Post reports that the White House is working with the State Department to compile a document that will pledge short and long-term military assistance to Ukraine. The administration will seek Congressional buy-in. A portion of the policy would be included in a $111 billion supplemental defense spending bill that includes $61 billion in military assistance for Ukraine.  

“According to US officials, the American document will guarantee support for short-term military operations as well as build a future Ukrainian military force that can deter Russian aggression,” The Post explains, “ It will include specific promises and programs to help protect, reconstitute and expand Ukraine’s industrial and export base, and assist the country with political reforms needed for full integration into Western institutions.”

It continues, “Not incidentally, a US official said, the hope is that the long-term promise will also “future-proof” aid for Ukraine against the possibility that former president Trump wins his reelection bid.”

After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Trump started to criticize Biden for failing to prevent the war. Trump claims that, if elected, he will be able to end the conflict within days of retaking office. 

It is unclear how Trump plans to accomplish this. As president, he significantly escalated tensions with Russia in Ukraine by providing Kiev with lethal arms. 

While the Biden White House cannot ensure that his predecessor does not alter Ukraine policy, last year, the Wall Street Journal explained that the significant number of pro-Ukraine war hawks in Congress will create roadblocks for policy changes.

Additionally, the White House is pushing Zelensky to forego offensive operations this year. “The Biden administration is putting together a new strategy that will de-emphasize winning back territory and focus instead on helping Ukraine fend off new Russian advances while moving toward a long-term goal of strengthening its fighting force and economy,” the Post explains. 

“The emerging plan is a sharp change from last year, when the US and allied militaries rushed training and sophisticated equipment to Kiev in hopes that it could quickly push back Russian forces occupying eastern and southern Ukraine.” The authors add, “That effort foundered, largely on Russia’s heavily fortified minefields and front line trenches.”

In the early months of the war, Kiev’s Western backers pledged to support Ukraine for as long as it takes and pushed Zelensky to abandon a potential agreement with Ukraine. Nearly two years into the war, the White House has depleted its funds to arm Ukraine, and Western arms stockpiles are running low. 

In Ukraine, Kyiv’s weapons depots are also depleted, and under-equipped soldiers are struggling to push back advancing Russian forces. 

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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