First drop of aid to Ukraine opens $60 billion pipeline

Munich, Germany, Feb. 18, 2024. Demonstration at Western Security Conference protests sending arms to Ukraine to extend and expand the war.

The Biden administration announced March 12 that it will rush a new $300 million military aid package to Ukraine. 

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters: “This ammunition will keep Ukraine’s guns firing for a period, but only a short period. … It is not a sustainable way of funding Kyiv.” (Reuters, March 12) Sullivan said the funding would be used for artillery rounds and munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

The White House has been scrambling to find ways to send immediate military aid in the face of a crumbling situation on the battlefield and growing popular opposition in the U.S. and Europe to further funding of the corrupt Ukrainian regime. 

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military has recently suffered major defeats, including the chaotic and complete collapse of Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka, a town which is key to securing all of Donbass, 10 miles from the Russian-held city of Donetsk. The battle had been raging since October and anchored the Ukrainian regime’s position in the country’s east. Avdiivka’s loss puts Kiev’s 930-mile front line at risk. 

Supplemental ‘add ons’

While $300 million is a mere band-aid, it is an important signal of continued U.S./NATO intervention. There is still a funding package before Congress for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in the pipeline. The supplemental package, which would provide $60 billion more for Ukraine, expanded from $105 billion to $118 billion after weapons lobbyists worked the Senate and House.

This same package includes more than $14 billion to finance Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza against the Palestinian people.

Supplemental bills for current wars are used to add tens of billions of additional dollars to a military budget that is already the largest in history. This year’s supplemental funding is on top of the $886 billion  military budget passed by both houses of Congress in December.

All the most sophisticated and fantastically expensive Western weapons in NATO’s armories have failed to reverse the defeats of the corrupt Ukrainian military.   Thousands of Western sanctions have failed to collapse the Russian economy. Nevertheless, the weapons and the sanctions keep piling on.  

Drive to plunder Russia’s frozen funds

U.S. officials are looking at options for seizing some $300 billion in Russian assets immobilized in 2022 and using the money to pay for Ukraine weaponry. While only $4 billion is held by U.S. banks, most funds are held in banks in the European Union countries. If these countries’ governments take this drastic move, it puts their own assets and investments in Russia at risk. 

The EU countries would also be hurt disproportionately to the U.S. – just as they have been by adhering to the sanctions imposed on Russia. 

Washington’s schemes for funding the war are endless, because U.S. wars are immensely profitable for some of the larger industrial corporations left in the U.S. These corporations include Lockheed Martin, RTX Corporation (formerly Raytheon Technologies), Northrup-Grumman and Boeing, considered the main companies of the military-industrial complex. 

Billions of dollars are made in profits on U.S. wars of intervention, whatever the result. Assuming Washington’s strategic goal is to install a stable U.S. client regime, where U.S. corporations can exploit labor and extract resources, most of the recent wars have failed. 

U.S. troops have been driven out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and its occupations left tens of millions of displaced migrants and brought ruin to those countries. U.S.-led interventions destroyed Libya and devastated Syria. And yet enormous profits were made by major U.S. corporations.  

Besides the military industries, others of the largest U.S. industrial corporations — General Electric, General Motors, Ford, John Deere, Apple and Dell and the major oil and gas corporations — depend on military contracts for guaranteed profits. Any steps forward for peace or for diplomacy threaten their bottom line.

Corruption and the hidden market

Despite the unprecedented scale of the arms flowing to Ukraine from the West, the Kiev authorities regularly claim a shortage of weapons.

Many weapons rushed into Ukraine are quickly resold on the hidden market. There’s no tracking system. According to a Jan. 10 Pentagon report, “$1.005 billion of the total $1.699 billion (59 percent of the total value)” of arms provided to Ukraine “remained delinquent.” This includes Javelin and Stinger missiles, night-vision devices, AIM-9X missiles, Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, modern anti-tank systems, grenade launchers and expensive artillery systems. 

According to a Defense Department watchdog agency report, big-ticket weapons systems sent to Ukraine are often rendered useless on the battlefield because the Pentagon lacks a plan to train Ukrainian troops to use or maintain them. This includes Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Patriot interceptor systems, Strykers and Abrams tanks and high-tech reconnaissance equipment. (Stars and Stripes, Feb. 21)

The U.S. military contractors who supply the weapons lose nothing if the weapons go missing, are stolen or are delivered without parts or improperly maintained. They have already been paid.

Kiev faces a crisis on every front

The fractured and corrupt Ukrainian government is facing a crisis on every front, including with Ukraine’s people.

Governments of NATO member countries are now debating whether to send NATO troops into Ukraine to try to reverse a collapsing situation. At the same time, more than 650,000 Ukrainians eligible for military conscription have left Ukraine to live in EU countries, among the 6.5 million Ukrainian refugees. (BBC Ukraine, Nov. 23, 2023) 

What the most recent quick-fix infusion of $300 million in weapons means is that top decision makers in the U.S. ruling class are determined to continue with a failed but profitable policy. Even if it means continued impoverishment on a global scale. And right here in the U.S., where there is no money for desperately needed social programs.

In poll after poll, the U.S. population opposes continued funding of the U.S.-NATO war in Ukraine. Similarly, the U.S. population is now overwhelmingly opposed to Washington funding Israel’s genocidal war and sympathizes with the Palestinian people. Yet the money keeps flowing, and the horrific weapons keep being shipped, whether they are used or stolen. 

Ukraine has already received aid of more than $75 billion from the U.S., more than $93 billion from EU members and $12 billion from Britain. (, Feb. 23) 

Each of these countries has continued sending these weapons against the will of its own people. 

Yugoslavia 25 years ago

The setback for the Kiev regime comes as the NATO-funded war enters its third year. This March 24 will be the 25th anniversary of the start of 78 days of massive U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. That war marked the first major expansion of NATO across Eastern Europe in an effort to threaten, totally defeat and plunder Russia.

It will take more decisive actions by working people here in the U.S. and in the EU to oppose these wars and to reject all politicians who continue to approve the next war and the next funding bill, in defiance of their campaign promises. 


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