Biden Boosts Ukraine’s War Effort With Billions in Military Aid

Biden Boosts Ukraine’s War Effort With Billions in Military Aid

The United States has been the largest donor to Ukraine, outpacing other countries’ Ukraine aid by many billions.

 

The aid, announced on Ukraine’s Independence Day, includes several advanced weapon systems.

What could be a more fitting gesture of American support for Ukraine in their fight against Russia than an enormous tranche of military aid—announced on Ukrainian Independence Day? Very little, it seems.

 

President Joe Biden announced the new tranche of aid on August 24 in a statement from the White House.

“The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty. As part of that commitment, I am proud to announce our biggest tranche of security assistance to date: approximately $2.98 billion of weapons and equipment to be provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative,” the statement explained.

It added that the aid “will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.”

A statement from the Pentagon, released in parallel to President Biden’s White House statement, added further context on what exactly would be in the aid package.

This latest tranche of aid will include “six additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) with additional munitions for NASAMS; up to 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition; up to 65,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition; up to 24 counter-artillery radars; Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and support equipment for Scan Eagle UAS systems; VAMPIRE Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems; Laser-guided rocket systems; Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.”

The statement added that the United States had already donated over $13.5 billion in security aid to Ukraine in 2021 alone and more than $15.5 since 2014 when Russia first invaded Ukraine.

A complete list of all the total aid the United States has given Ukraine can be accessed here and is staggering.

The United States has been the largest donor to Ukraine, outpacing other countries’ Ukraine aid by many billions. Before this announcement, however, August had been a relatively slow month for military assistance to Ukraine, with some speculation that European aid to Kyiv had all but petered out. The United States, it seems, is filling that gap.

Biden’s statement ended on an upbeat note and highlighted the American-Ukrainian relationship.

“Today and every day, we stand with the Ukrainian people to proclaim that the darkness that drives autocracy is no match for the flame of liberty that lights the souls of free people everywhere,” Biden said.

“The United States, including proud Ukrainian-Americans, looks forward to continuing to celebrate Ukraine as a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous state for decades to come.”

Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and defense writer with the National Interest. A graduate of UCLA, he also holds a Master of Public Policy and lives in Berlin. He covers the intersection of conflict, security, and technology, focusing on American foreign policy, European security, and German society for both print and radio. Follow him on Twitter @calebmlarson.

Image: Reuters.