Nearly $750 million in combined support for Israel and Ukraine’s respective war efforts has been allotted by the US throughout the past week, despite new appropriations addressing these conflicts in 2024’s fiscal budget being held up in difficult congressional negotiations. Though many in Congress, as well as President Biden, wish to tie further Ukrainian defense aid together with support for Israel’s fight against Hamas, a sizeable group of Republicans in the House of Representatives want to pass aid for Israel separately, potentially freezing out ambitiously large allocations for Ukraine.
The new Speaker of the House has signaled that, while he doesn’t oppose further aid for Kyiv outright, he does not want it tied to the supplemental $14 billion the chamber has already authorized for Israel. The White House has indicated that Biden would veto any Israel-only bill, complicating an ongoing struggle to pass a budget before temporary government funding runs out on November 17. The extent of the US’s obligations to Ukraine continues to be a focal point of budget negotiations.
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Throughout the past week, hundreds of millions of Dollars in new US defense aid has been allotted to Israel and Ukraine.
For the latter, the Pentagon disclosed the transfer of $425 million worth of weapons and equipment, including munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), as well as particularly critical supplies of 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds. New orders will be placed with defense contractors for the manufacture and delivery of laser-guided munitions to counter unmanned aerial systems. MRP covered the growing field of counter-drone weapons in a recent intelligence briefing.
As Israel continues phase two of its war on Hamas, gradually encircling the northern third of the Gaza Strip, the US will soon provide $320 million worth of precision bombs for Israel. Per The Wall Street Journal, an informal request was made for the transfer of these bombs to Israel prior to Hamas’s October 7 attack on the country, but this order will now be formalized amid the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) ongoing siege.
Though some believed that Israel’s declaration of war would distract from Ukraine’s fight against Russia, MRP opined in mid-October that the outbreak of the Israeli-Hamas conflict would more likely bolster efforts to keep aid flowing to Ukraine, as the provisioning of aid to Tel Aviv could easily be tied together with new aid for Kyiv and, potentially, Taiwan as well. Not long after we published this view, President Biden disclosed a wide-reaching supplemental funding request containing $61.0 billion in defense assistance for Ukraine, as well as $14.3 billion for Israeli military assistance. As a sweetener for Congressional Republicans, Biden also included $13.6 billion in funds for border protection.
Biden likely sees an all-in-one package with funds for Israel and Ukraine yielding the largest sum of support for the latter. Last week, the White House’s national security spokesperson John Kirby stated that “The President would veto an Israel-only bill. I think we have made that clear.”
Though the drawn-out nature of the Russo-Ukraine war has eroded public and Congressional support for Kyiv’s war effort in recent months, Americans remain…
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