Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
The war in Ukraine has been raging for over five hundred days, with no end in sight. In the first year of the war, the U.S. Congress approved over $113 billion in aid for Ukraine.
To prepare for the “spring offensive,” President Joe Biden authorized another $675 million to help the Ukrainian military. After the military progress was halted by the Russians, Biden decided to send controversial cluster munitions to the Ukrainian military.
President Donald Trump has been sounding the alarm about the irresponsible actions of the Biden administration in Ukraine. He posted on Truth Social, “Joe Biden should not be dragging us further toward World War III by sending cluster munitions to Ukraine—he should be trying to END the war and stop the horrific death and destruction being caused by an incompetent administration.”
Unfortunately, Biden is President, not Trump. The Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reaffirmed the Biden administration strategy in a meeting with reporters at the G20 Financial Ministers Summit in India. Yellen said that aid to Ukraine was “the single best thing we can do for the global economy.”
Is she right? Is the continuation of the war “the single best thing” for the “global economy.” Of course not, the world does not benefit from the continuation of a brutal war. What is needed is the start of peace negotiations. The United States could broker such talks, but the Biden administration is uninterested.
Instead, Biden just authorized the activation of 3,000 military reservists to support our operations in Europe. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden sent an additional 20,000 troops to Europe, bringing our total forces to over 100,000 on the continent.
These actions lead Central Intelligence Agency veteran Larry Johnson to conclude that “the United States is giving every indication that it is prepared to have a confrontation with Russia.” This strategy is extremely reckless considering that the Russians have the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and the Ukrainians are having a challenging time providing enough manpower for their military operations.
According to the Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, “Many conscripted men are taken straight off the street by uniformed men….in Subcarpathia, a surveillance camera recorded the overreach of the authorities as a man trying to go to a store was kidnapped from his bicycle in broad daylight.” Many of these abductions have been recorded on video and posted on encrypted apps such as Telegram.
In response, some young men are refusing to leave their homes, hoping to avoid being sent to the front lines of the war. Others are avoiding forced conscription by bribing Ukrainian military recruitment officials. Many of these officials have become rich. In fact, one of them, Yevgeny Borisov, bought a luxury mansion on the Spanish coast and a chain of high-priced retail stores for his wife.
Sadly, corruption is rampant in Ukraine, which is why even supporters of our military assistance efforts, U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Krysten Sinema (I-AZ), wrote that “Americans lack a proper accounting of how our aid has worked thus far.” In their op-ed, the Senators also noted that “We’ve heard several unsettling reports of bad actors exploiting our generosity. Some of our costly weapons have ended up in black markets. And corrupt officials have tried to line their own pockets.”
This insane gravy train will continue until at least the end of the Biden administration. At a recent bilateral meeting in Lithuania, Biden boasted to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the United States had “given more than every other nation combined in terms of assistance and cost.”
Why has the United States been so generous with our taxpayer funds when many wealthy European nations have barely contributed to the Ukrainian war effort? Biden did not receive the approval of the American people to fund the Ukraine military and government. In addition, there has been no declaration of war by the United States Congress.
At the same time, horrible problems in our country have been ignored by many of the political leaders of both parties. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, wants an increase in military support to Ukraine.
Pence was recently scolded by Tucker Carlson at a presidential primary forum in Iowa. Carlson fumed, “You are distressed that the Ukrainians don’t have enough American tanks. Every city in the United States has become much worse over the past three years. Drive around. There is not one city that has gotten better in the United States, and it’s visible.”
Rightfully Carlson asked him “where’s the concern for the United States?” Incredibly, Pence claimed it was “not my concern.”
The top “concern” for every presidential candidate should be the United States, not Ukraine. As President Trump noted, we must stop the “insanity” in Ukraine and “return to a focus on America’s vital interests.” Amen.