News

US Army says it will RUN OUT of money to protect Europe and Africa by May if Ukraine aid isn’t approved: Congress facing growing pressure to send more money to keep basic operations going


The U.S. military is currently diverting money meant for operations in Europe and Africa to assist Ukraine, and could soon run out of funds for its operations in those parts of the world if Congress does not act soon. 

The U.S. is currently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars to support Ukraine amid an impasse in Congress. 

Since the start of this fiscal year, October 2023, the Army has spent over $430 million on Ukraine-related operations, including training Ukrainian troops, transporting weapons and deploying U.S. troops to Europe

The Army’s Europe and Africa Command has about $3 billion left to cover its operating costs that are expected to amount to $5 billion in 2024, one senior Army official told CNN – and could run out of money by May. 

A Ukrainian soldier takes his position on the frontline near Klishchiivka the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 19, 2024

A Ukrainian soldier takes his position on the frontline near Klishchiivka the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 19, 2024

A Ukrainian soldier of the 'Tsunami' regiment fires artillery in the direction of Bakhmut, as the Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on February 19, 2024

A Ukrainian soldier of the ‘Tsunami’ regiment fires artillery in the direction of Bakhmut, as the Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on February 19, 2024

‘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…we will run out of [operations and maintenance] funding in May,’ the official told the publication. 

For months lawmakers have looked for a way to pass a supplemental funding package to get money to Ukraine, but appetite for funding its war against Russia has waned on Capitol Hill. 

Soon the Army will have to arbitrage funding, with Army Secretary Christine Wormuth telling CNN she expects they will have to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul.’

‘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,’ Wormuth, the service’s civilian leader tasked with budgeting, told CNN. 

‘This was money that we anticipated to be replenished, obviously, by the supplemental,’ she added, reiterating the need for congressional action. 

‘We would cease to exist,’ if funds are not allocated from elsewhere within the Army’s budget, one official said. 

While US funding for Ukraine has run dry, training for Ukrainian troops has continued because it’s been deemed mission critical by the president. The U.S. is currently training about 1,500 Ukrainian troops in Germany and is training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 fighter aircraft at Morris Air National Guard Base in Arizona. 

Last week the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid package that includes $61 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, and $4.83 for partners in the Indo-Pacific. 

It also would provide $9.15 billion in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, Ukraine and other conflict zones around the globe.

US Army soldiers in Poland on feb 21, deployed as part of a rotation of forces to Poland to support multinational training and operations and deter adversaries in the European theater

US Army soldiers in Poland on feb 21, deployed as part of a rotation of forces to Poland to support multinational training and operations and deter adversaries in the European theater

But House Speaker Mike Johnson has declared that package dead on arrival in the lower chamber, absent any border security provisions. 

The issue has taken on added intensity in recent days after one of President Vladimir Putin’s leading critics, Alexei Navalny, died in a Russian prison. 

Former President Donald Trump last week triggered outrage and alarm among US allies by suggesting he would not be willing to defend NATO members who did not meet spending commitments. He even suggested he would encourage attacks on them.

Biden tore into House Republicans who remain obstinately opposed to aid on Monday. 

‘The way they’re walking away from the threat of Russia, they way they’re walking away from NATO. The way they’re walking away from meeting our obligations. It’s just shocking.’ 

‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’

Republicans broadly argue that the war in Ukraine is unwinnable and there is no off ramp in sight. 

Ahead of the Senate vote last week, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson described Putin as ‘evil,’ before concluding: ‘Vladimir Putin will not lose this war.’

In the meantime, Ukraine continues to appeal for more help.

Its forces were forced to retreat from the captured town of Avdiivka, a strategic hub in the east of the country.

The White House said that was due to a lack of ammunition, which it blamed on the congressional logjam.

‘This morning, Ukraine’s military was forced to withdraw from Avdiivka after Ukrainian soldiers had to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction, resulting in Russia’s first notable gains in months,’ it said after Biden called Ukraine’s Volodomyr Zelensky. 



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button