Amidst growing concerns over the fate of Ukraine, Western nations are retracting their support for Kyiv. However, President Biden remains steadfast in his commitment. With the 2024 US Elections looming and Democrats anticipating Republican resurgence, aid to Kyiv is at risk.
The prospect of Donald Trump becoming Speaker of the House adds to Biden and Zelensky’s worries. To counter this, Biden aims to merge aid for Ukraine and Israel, unveiling a strategic plan from the White House.
White House hopes to merge Ukraine and Israel aid
The White House is contemplating the inclusion of additional Ukraine funding in an emergency aid package designated for Israel, a move strategists believe could compel “far-right” lawmakers to approve more aid for Kyiv. President Biden had already announced military assistance for Israel after a surprise attack by Palestinian militants.
The White House, however, plans to seek congressional approval for extra aid to Israel, potentially encompassing provisions for Ukraine. While the decision isn’t final, insiders suggest this move could outmaneuver Republicans who support Israel but are wary of aiding Ukraine.
The debate surrounding this aid is anticipated to be contentious. Despite concerns, the Pentagon assures it has sufficient weaponry for all US partners. A senior defense official emphasized Washington’s capability to sustain support for Ukraine and Israel while maintaining global readiness. Israel has been a significant recipient of US foreign aid, receiving approximately $3.3 billion in 2022.
Simultaneously, Ukraine has gained substantial support, with the White House greenlighting over $45 billion in direct military aid since the escalation of the conflict with Russia in February 2022.
The proposed linkage of aid packages raises questions about the US’s foreign policy. White House spokesperson John Kirby underscored the importance of both aid packages, refusing to confirm their interconnection. The maneuver appears aimed at navigating the delicate balance between supporting longstanding allies like Israel and addressing emerging crises, such as the conflict in Ukraine.
Following the deadly Hamas attack, both Republicans and Democrats expressed support for Israel, triggering strong retaliation from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and extensive bombing in Gaza. The conflict has claimed over 1,500 lives, with Palestinian fighters capturing hostages. Many Israelis and Palestinians fled, and the IDF mobilized 300,000 reservists.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of “war,” pledging ongoing military action. Remarkably, the U.S. extended aid to both Israel and Gaza, with a twist: under the guise of aiding Israel, the U.S. aimed to assist Ukraine, revealing a nuanced approach in the midst of the crisis.
Trump at Play: The MaGa Nightmare for Biden-Zelensky
Not to mention, recent reports of Trump’s bid for the Speaker of the House have unsettled Democrats, amplifying anxieties over the 2024 elections, which already loom ominously over the Ukraine conflict. The potential return of Donald Trump carries substantial implications. His influence, combined with the Republican Party’s anti-assistance stance, is reshaping the political landscape.
This shift has alarmed supporters of aid to Ukraine, as Trump’s popularity among likely Republican voters dissuades GOP lawmakers from backing Ukraine’s defense efforts.
Trump’s strategic move to become Speaker positions him as a central political figure. If successful, he could wield significant power, shaping discourse and legislation according to his preferences. The GOP’s alignment with Trump complicates matters further, casting uncertainty over Ukraine’s fate. Trump’s pursuit of the Speaker role, with an eye on the presidency sends shockwaves.
In response, the Biden administration is gearing up for additional aid to Ukraine, utilizing the guise of aid to Israel.