Army officials warn of dangerous lack of funding due to Biden's support for Ukraine - blame Congress instead of president

 February 20, 2024

President Joe Biden, both with and without the approval of Congress, has all but emptied the U.S. military's armories and coffers in his bid to support Ukraine in its desperate battle to fend off the Russian invasion that began in February 2022.

Now the U.S. Army's Europe and Africa Command is warning that it will essentially go broke within a few months if House Republicans don't agree to pass the latest foreign aid package devised by the Senate, about $60 billion of which is earmarked for the Ukraine conflict, the Daily Mail reported.

The stunning admission not only provides a glimpse of how dangerously depleted the U.S. military's budget and stockpiles have become due to Biden's insistent support of the Ukrainian war effort but is also the latest example of the guilt-tripping and fear-mongering that the administration and political establishment have resorted to as a means to browbeat hesitant lawmakers into voting for even more taxpayer-funded aid for Ukraine.

Funding set to run out within months for key U.S. Army command

CNN reported that while Congress and the White House continue to bicker over a stalled $95 billion foreign aid package, about $60 billion of which is earmarked for Ukraine, the U.S. Army's Europe and Africa Command has spent around $430 million of its own budget to continue Ukraine-related assistance and training since the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2023.

Now one unnamed senior Army official has warned that without a full 2024 defense budget or any supplemental funding for Ukraine, the command only has around $3 billion available to cover upwards of $5 billion in costs for both normal activities and operations as well as its Ukraine-related expenditures -- and that funding could completely run out in just a few more months.

"If we don’t get a base budget, if we don’t get Ukraine supplemental [funding package], if the government shuts down, if we get nothing else and nothing changes from today," the anonymous official cautioned, "we will run out of [operations and maintenance] funding in May."

Another unnamed official from the Army command suggested that, if operational funds weren't shifted from lower-priority projects within the budget to cover for the Ukraine-related efforts, "We would cease to exist."

Army will be forced to "rob Peter to pay Paul" if Congress doesn't act

CNN further reported that Army Sec. Christine Wormuth, the senior civilian leader tasked with governing the military branch's annual budget, told the outlet that the Army will be forced to "sort of rob Peter to pay Paul" if Congress -- meaning House Republicans -- don't rapidly approve this year's annual defense budget or the supplemental foreign aid package, two-thirds of which is destined to be spent on Ukraine in some form or fashion.

"Every incremental dollar I have, it’s very important where I put that dollar. And I’m constantly choosing between, do we put it on barracks? Do I put it on enlistment incentives? Do I put it on exercises? Do I put it on modernization? I don’t have spare cash to be just sort of donating some of that," she said, and added, "This was money that we anticipated to be replenished, obviously, by the supplemental."

The unnamed senior Army official also ramped up his fear-mongering by speculating about the broader consequences of Congress failing to approve the funding that President Biden and others have demanded. They warned, "It’s all interconnected. And what we’re doing in one space is impacting us everywhere. We renege on this stuff -- you don’t think China’s watching out there in the Pacific? You don’t think that’s going to have direct impacts on the Pacific? … Russia is definitely watching."

How much has already been spent -- and will be spent -- on Ukraine support

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, as of the end of FY2023 last October, the U.S. has spent at least $75.4 billion on aid to Ukraine since February 2022 -- including at least $46.3 billion in military-related assistance, $26.4 billion in financial assistance, and $2.7 billion in humanitarian aid, though that only counts what has been expended through appropriations bills and doesn't necessarily include all of the U.S. funding that has benefited Ukraine over the past two years.

As for this latest $95 billion supplemental funding package, of which around $60 billion is set to support Ukraine, the Associated Press reported that roughly half of that is earmarked to fund the purchase of weapons and munitions for Ukraine or to support additional military training and intelligence sharing, while around $10 billion is destined to help fund Ukraine's government operations and support the nation's private sector.

It was also noted that roughly one-third of the total amount for Ukraine wouldn't directly go to that embattled nation at all, but rather would be spent here in the U.S. to help replenish the depleted stockpiles of weapons, ammunition, and equipment that were previously sent to Ukraine via congressional legislation or unilaterally through President Biden's drawdown authority.

Biden himself got in on the action of attempting to shame House Republicans into agreeing to support the latest legislative package, as he told reporters on Monday, "They’re making a big mistake not responding," and added, "Look, the way they’re walking away from the threat of Russia, the way they’re walking away from NATO, the way they’re walking away from meeting our obligations, it’s just shocking. I mean, they’re wild. I’ve never seen anything like this."

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