Biden Promises an Additional $500 Million in Controversial Aid

Biden Promises an Additional $500 Million in Controversial Aid

( – President Biden visited Kyiv on Monday, just days before the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion. In a meeting with President Volodomyr Zelenskyy he pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in additional US aid. Ukraine can certainly use the help, but there’s growing concern about how much the administration is spending on this war.

Biden Makes Historic Visit

On February 20, Biden made his first trip to Kyiv as president. Unlike a normal presidential visit, it wasn’t announced in advance, and instead of landing in Air Force One, he traveled from the Polish border by train. When he arrived, Biden joined Zelenskyy in laying flowers at a war memorial and gave a speech praising Ukraine’s resistance. Then he pledged more military aid to the country’s armed forces — another $500 million.

Between January and November 2022, the US sent a total of $112 billion in aid to Ukraine. Over half of that — $67 billion — was military aid, mostly weapons and equipment. The rest was split between humanitarian aid and money.

As well as the new half billion dollars, Biden also announced more deliveries of artillery ammunition, anti-tank missiles and air search radars — but he didn’t meet Zelenskyy’s requests for fighter aircraft and long-range missiles. Since the war started, Biden has been willing to send huge and expensive packages of defensive weapons, but he’s reluctant to deliver systems that would actually let Ukraine win the war. For example, he refused to send tanks until British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak went first by donating 14 British tanks.

Is This Costing Too Much?

Americans are usually happy to defend freedom in other countries, but the eye-watering cost of defending Ukraine is causing second thoughts. The latest polling shows that most people still think the US should support the country against the invasion, but enthusiasm for actually spending money is fading. Last May, three months into the war, 60% of Americans thought we should be sending weapons; now that’s down to 48%. Support for other actions, including taking in refugees, funding the Ukrainian government and even imposing sanctions on Russia, is also down.

Some experts are concerned that cash — or even weapons — could be redirected by corrupt officials in Kyiv. Others simply look at our own fragile economy and think all that money could be put to better use at home. The percentage who think sanctioning Russia is more important than protecting our own economy has fallen sharply. Most Americans still want Ukraine to be free, but not at this price.

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