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10 Reasons Ukraine Aid Is Good for America

President Joe Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit to Kyiv last year
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sings the Ukrainian national anthem during his visit to the city of Izium in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on Sept. 14, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 April 2024 09:21 AM EDT

Congress has been back from a two-week recess and at the top of House Speaker Mike Johnson's to-do list is getting a long-stalled military aid package for Ukraine across the finish line.

Ukraine is hanging by a thread and reports indicate its munitions reserves can hold out just another 30 days before a long-awaited Russian spring offensive begins.

Holding a narrow margin of just one seat to control the House and facing grassroots opposition to an aid bill, Johnson has been in a most difficult position.

Johnson strongly opposes Putin's aggression and said he would prioritize a new round of funding for Ukraine and Israel once lawmakers returned to chambers.

But the embattled speaker has also made his support for a package contingent on passing tougher border policies.

He previously rejected the Senate's $95 billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, and Taiwan.

It does not seem likely Democrats will back a newly floated proposal that links Ukraine aid to a reversal on President Joe Biden's pause on a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal.

Congressional Democrats have also signaled they no longer want the package to include Israel after the accidental death of seven humanitarian workers with World Central Kitchen in Gaza.

Johnson has indicated he would be willing to hold two separate votes so Kyiv is not left waiting for the much-needed assistance as Russia prepares for a massive offensive in the coming months.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, for his part, has never openly opposed aid to Ukraine, but he has said any foreign aid should be made in the form of loans rather than outright cash giveaways.

Johnson has embraced Trump's idea and a loan-for-aid effort could be the basis of a compromise deal for House Republicans.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that without the package, major cities could be at risk of falling and his forces will have to "go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps."

With Ukraine fighting for its survival, experts say the approval of a $61 billion funding bill comes at a critical crossroads.

"The defense of Ukraine is the defense of American principles," said Matthew Schmidt, a Russia expert and national security and political science professor at the University of New Haven. "If Ukraine loses, the free world loses."

Here are 10 key reasons experts say U.S. support for Ukraine should be continued:

1. Putin's aggression must be stopped.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his "special military operation," it was far from the first time he plotted and executed a takeover of another nation's sovereign territory.

Nearly a decade ago, Putin invaded and annexed Crimea — citing a need to reunite the area's ethnic Russian majority.

And before that, in 2008, Russia invaded Georgia to back the self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

It marked the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union that Russia's military was utilized against an independent state, signaling Moscow's willingness to use force in order to achieve a political agenda.

Putin and his supporters have made clear Ukraine is not their endpoint.

Putin's vision is to recreate the old Soviet Union and dominate East European nations like Poland, Hungary, Serbia, and beyond.

In his many speeches since the Ukraine war began, Putin has frequently stated his real aim is to end America's "unipolar" status as a world power and NATO's hegemony over Europe.

2. Putin's atrocities need a response.

U.S. officials estimate close to 500,000 people have died or been wounded as a result of Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

And intelligence estimates say at least 315,000 Russians have been killed or injured by the war.

When it comes to the treatment of civilians, Moscow is accused of committing a number of brutal war crimes, including deliberately targeting hospitals and the energy grid, abducting civilians, torture, murder, and sexual abuse.

Russia has engaged in mass killings, mass deportations, and even abductions of thousands of children from their families.

Reports detail Ukrainian POWs being beheaded, tortured, mutilated, and even castrated.

Europe has not seen a monster like this since Hitler and Stalin.

3. Russia is targeting evangelical Christians for persecution.

Putin has dubbed himself the West "Satan" and he is waging a war against Ukrainian evangelicals, who are viewed not only as rivals to the Russian Orthodox Church but as agents of American evangelical groups.

Pavlo Unguryan, the executive secretary for the Ukrainian Evangelical Conservative Movement and former member of parliament, told Newsmax that Russian forces are targeting evangelicals via missile strikes on churches.

He said it was a "crazy, difficult, horrible week" for evangelicals after Ukrainian priest Yuriy Klymko was killed at The Church of Jesus Christ during the Russian air raid of Kupiansk in late February.

Last month, Viktor Yelensky, head of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience, told Voice of America News (VOA) that since the start of the war, Russian military has killed least 39 priests, pastors, and monks; destroyed, damaged or looted at least 640 churches, monasteries, mosques, synagogues, theological institutions, and other places of worship.

Ukrainian pastors told VOA that Russian soldiers called them "sectarians" and told their faith was "false."

Pastor and rector Valentyn Syniy told the outlet that because Tavriski Christian Institute, which had one of the most extensive Christian libraries in eastern Europe, had Ukrainian and English-language books, Russians called them "Nazis" and "American agents."

4. Ukraine wants only to regain its sovereign territory.

Since the outbreak of the war, Russia illegally seized approximately 20% of Ukraine's territory.

According to The Associated Press, the Russian government has seized at least 1,785 homes and businesses in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Zelenskyy has made clear his nation has no interest in a long war with Russia and nor does his country have any interest in invading Russia or taking their land.

His people simply want Russian forces pushed out of Ukraine and his lands liberated.

5. Russia has not "won" the war.

Reports that Russia has beaten Ukraine are false.

Since Russia began its fall offensive in 2023, it has regained approximately 180 square miles – an area about twice the size of Washington, D.C.

Despite Russia's size as a nation and a much larger military than Ukraine, it has made relatively small gains against the Ukrainians over the past year.

Still, the Ukrainians warn if U.S. aid is cut off, they will face a more dire situation and might have to begin a strategic retreat as Russian forces advance.

6. Russia is rearming for a larger war.

Russia's arsenal is not the only concerning factor. It has bold plans to expand the number of troops.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently announced the Russian Armed Forces will create two new armies, 14 divisions, and 16 brigades by the end of the year.

Putin also signed a decree for the routine springtime conscription of 150,000 for statutory military service.

The Russian Defense Ministry previously hinted it wants to increase the size of the force to 1.5 million personnel.

Schmidt told Newsmax that "without aid, there won't be enough ammunition to engage in an active defense of the current line of contact."

Russia has also dramatically increased its military spending, now estimated to be 7.5% of its GDP, typical of a nation on a full war footing.

7. Most Ukraine aid goes to U.S. contractors.

Of the proposed $61 billion Ukraine aid funding, it is estimated nearly two-thirds, or $40 billion, would go toward U.S. defense contractors that produce missiles, munitions, and military gear.

By approving the aid funding, the money not only stays in the U.S., it also helps employ tens of thousands of Americans.

President Joe Biden has tried to relay the message to voters that the funding bill benefits Americans.

U.S. factories in Lima, Ohio; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Mesquite, Texas are among a few that would receive funding.

"While this bill sends military equipment to Ukraine," Biden said earlier this year, "it spends the money right here in the United States of America in places like Arizona, where the Patriot missiles are built; and Alabama, where the Javelin missiles are built; and Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, where artillery shells are made."

And roughly one-third of aid money will be allocated toward replenishing U.S. military stocks for weapons that already were sent to Ukraine.

Major defense contractors to benefit from the aid package include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, RTX, and others.

8. Europe fears a coming attack on NATO.

Ukraine is not the only country looking at what decision American lawmakers will make about funding their defense.

The military leadership of Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Britain, France, Germany, and Poland are all warning that Russia's military buildup is not indicative of a war on Ukraine but a larger war on NATO.

Poland Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski made a public plea to Johnson to pass funding, suggesting, if Ukraine falls, NATO itself could see an attack.

Sikorski directed his comment "personally to Speaker Mike Johnson: please let democracy take its course. Please let's pass this to a vote."

Britain's top diplomat, David Cameron, and his French counterpart Stéphane Séjourné, penned a joint op-ed in The Daily Telegraph that warned if Putin triumphs in Ukraine, "we all lose."

"The costs of failing to support Ukraine now will be far greater than the costs of repelling Putin," they wrote. "The world is watching — and will judge us if we fail."

Putin's aggression has stoked fears of a larger war throughout Europe.

His invasion of Ukraine prompted both Sweden and Finland, nations that long enjoyed their role as neutrals, even during the tensest years of the Cold War, to join NATO.

Another crisis could already be brewing in Moldova where Transnistria and Gagauzia, both autonomous territories of Moldova, recently requested protection from the Russian government.

The Russians accused Moldovan authorities of "violating human rights and freedoms" and "damaging the economy" in these regions.

9. Support for Ukraine signals to China: Do not invade Taiwan.

National security experts have contended that what happens in Ukraine could determine what happens in Taiwan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has kept a watchful eye on the U.S. response to Putin's invasion in Ukraine as he has threatened to use force to reunite the democratic island nation with China's mainland if necessary.

House Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas, has argued that defeating Putin is the "best deterrence" for keeping Xi out of Taiwan.

He has said our earlier aid packages to Ukraine sent a strong signal to China not to invade Taiwan.

But, he noted, failing to support Ukraine now sends the opposite message.

10. Give Ukraine aid to let Trump bring peace.

Trump has boasted he could end the war within 24 hours if he were in the Oval Office.

Last month, he said it would be "easy" to broker a deal between Putin and Zelenskyy.

"If it's not solved, I will have it solved in 24 hours with Zelenskyy and with Putin, and there's a very easy negotiation to take place, but I don't want to tell you what it is because then I can't use that negotiation," Trump said.

While Trump has not detailed exactly how he would go about offering up a peace plan, his campaign called a report claiming he would convince Ukraine to cede some of its territory to Russia "fake news."

Even though Trump is keeping his cards close, it would not be the first time he has brokered a peace deal. Under his administration, the historic Abraham Accords were inked bringing peace to the Middle East.

Some critics of Ukraine aid like the idea of keeping the embattled nation afloat for another year, hoping Trump is elected to work out a peace agreement.

***

The Ukraine-Russia war is the first major conflict in Europe since World War II.

Experts say its risks spreading to a regional or even world war if Russia is not thwarted in its unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.

Polls show U.S. support for Ukraine is still strong, but has been falling, especially among Republicans.

But political pundits suggest that if Ukraine does fall to the Russians, such a scenario would be blamed on Republicans and catastrophic for them at the polls later this year.

Now the ball is in Speaker Johnson's court.

The time for a full House floor vote is now and supporters of Ukraine say let it happen.

Marisa Herman

Marisa Herman, a Newsmax senior reporter, focuses on major and investigative stories. A University of Florida graduate, she has more than a decade of experience as a reporter for newspapers, magazines, and websites.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Congress has been back from a two-week recess and at the top of House Speaker Mike Johnson's to-do list is getting a long-stalled military aid package for Ukraine across the finish line.
ukraine, aid, house, gop, america first, russia, war, volodymyr zelenskyy, mike johnson
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2024-21-10
Wednesday, 10 April 2024 09:21 AM
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