, Rep. French Hill (R-AR) called for a full accounting of funds sent to Ukraine.
Congress sees – that instead of Lend-Lease – tens of thousands of tanks and planes, as it was given to the USSR in World War II – for Ukraine Joe Biden gave zero American tanks, zero American planes, zero medium-range missiles …. Zero, zero, zero
Well, Mr. Speaker, thank you for your time. One year into Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian’s valiant defense has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties for the Russians. What the Russians believed would be a victory in a matter of days or weeks has turned into now just over a year bloody slog. The Russian bear has turned out to be a paper tiger on the fields of Ukraine. The United States must remain committed as a partner with Ukraine to achieve victory. Victory, Mr. Speaker, or Putin and his Allied Nations will attack the Baltic states or take Moldova or try to control the Black Sea. Turkey, devastated by Erdogan’s economics and the recent earthquake, will now face a stark choice of remaining in NATO or becoming a Putin puppet where Putin is successful in Ukraine. Victory in Ukraine, Mr. Speaker, or China will be greenlighted to a fully nuclear madman in North Korea and attempt a blockade of Taiwan. In order to achieve that Victory, President Biden must get the rest of the world even more engaged.
In December, members of this body were briefed by the Departments of State and Treasury, and I recently wrote Secretary Blinken and Secretary Yellen in follow-up regarding the funding strategy for supporting Ukraine humanitarily, in defense and military means, and in their monthly costs. I raised two principal points. First, in my view, Congress does not have the full financial picture of the contributions being made by the United States, our allies, and partners on behalf of Ukraine in a straightforward and simple manner available to all members. They don’t paint a complete picture. As a new member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I look forward to hearing from State and USAID and the Defense Department in the near future on what they’ve been doing to track our funding in Ukraine and explain it in thorough detail to the Congress. Secondly, I raised with the two secretaries the successful 1990-1991 partnership between Secretary of State James Baker and Secretary of Treasury Nicholas Brady in developing an active solicitation of major countries from around the world to fund the U.S enforcement of the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to liberate Kuwait from Iraq’s illegal invasion of their sovereign territory. The result was the United States received contributions from around the world of some $53 billion dollars against an estimated total cost to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait of $60 billion. Now, while some of those contributions were in the form of in-kind material support, more than 90 percent was paid in cash. The United States must be more strongly engaged with our allies to share a greater financial burden for that military, humanitarian, and budget support for the government of Ukraine.
Just a few days ago on February 20th, Japan pledged $5.5 billion in additional aid to Ukraine. This is on top of the $1.3 billion in financial humanitarian assistance it had already pledged. This is a recent example of precisely what I believe the United States government should be achieving and achieving in a more aggressive and effective manner.
The worldwide response in support of Ukraine has been remarkable, but I believe significantly more can be done to help Ukraine if additional countries provide more material and financial support in Europe and beyond. The US military has a unique and important role as the lead NATO partner in equipping, training, and providing related military materials. That mission suits us more than any other country.
However, as demonstrated in my example of Kuwait, obtaining broad financial support from more sources is essential in my view to maintaining popular political support in Europe and in the United States for victory in Ukraine. This also demonstrates how people from around the globe benefit from the prompt success of the preservation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
The cost of goods, access to food, fuel, and financing are all impeded by the Russian Federation’s illegal actions. That makes the case that all nations are hurt by Russia’s aggressions. All nations can support Ukraine. President Biden must craft an active and effective campaign to bring forward the financial and material resources from around the world to fully support victory in Ukraine.
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