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25 Aug, 2023 13:34

US to reduce military aid to Ukraine in 2024 – WSJ

Washington will not give Kiev a second shot at its counteroffensive, the newspaper’s sources have said
US to reduce military aid to Ukraine in 2024 – WSJ

The US is unlikely to give Ukraine “anywhere near the same level” of military aid in 2024 compared to this year, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing officials in Washington. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and his administration insist that they will continue to back Kiev to the hilt. 

The US has supplied more than $43 billion worth of arms to Ukraine since Russia’s military operation began last year, while leaked Pentagon documents indicate that NATO countries trained and equipped nine Ukrainian brigades to take part in the ongoing counteroffensive against Russian forces. 

With the Ukrainian military failing to penetrate Russia’s defensive lines after nearly three months of fighting, American military planners are advising their Ukrainian counterparts to stick to their NATO training and use what they’ve been given more effectively, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

“The American advice is based on the calculation that the surge of equipment the US has funneled to Ukraine…is enough for this offensive and is unlikely to be repeated at anywhere near the same level in 2024,” the newspaper explained.

Washington’s continued bankrolling of the Ukrainian military is a matter of political contention in the US. While almost all Democratic members of Congress back Biden’s policy of arming Kiev “for as long as it takes,” a group of more than two dozen Republicans are vehemently opposed. Moreover, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has promised to force Kiev into a peace deal if elected president next November, as has Vivek Ramaswamy, who is currently polling third for the GOP’s nomination.

The Biden administration has spent all of its money set aside for Ukraine, and the president is now pushing Congress to pass a $40 billion emergency spending bill, half of which would be allocated to Ukraine. With Republican anti-interventionists up in arms, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has suggested that he won’t give the bill his unconditional support. 

“You don’t get to just throw money [away],” he said earlier this summer. “What about the money we have already spent? What is the money for and what is victory?”

Biden’s top officials have downplayed the growing divisions in Washington. "We believe that the support will be there and will be sustained," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday. Sullivan added that despite the "dissonant voices" on the right, Republicans in "key leadership positions" will ensure that weapons keep flowing to Kiev.

According to a report by Axios on Wednesday, “senior US officials” have been in contact with European leaders to reassure them that the supply of military aid will not dry up.

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