Nearly half a year into the war, America plans to send additional $3 billion in aid to Ukraine to train and equip Ukrainian forces
WASHINGTON — As Russia’s war on Ukraine drags on, U.S. security assistance is shifting to a longer-term campaign that will likely keep more American military troops in Europe into the foreseeable future, as well as imminent plans to announce an additional roughly $3 billion in aid to train and equip Ukrainian forces to fight for decades, according to U.S. officials.
The Associated Press was told by U.S. officials that the package is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, the six-month anniversary of the war and Ukraine’s independence day. According to them, the money will be used to fund contracts for drones, weapons, and other equipment that may not reach the battlefield for a year or two.
The entire amount of the aid package, which is being supplied under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, could alter overnight, although probably not by a significant amount. Several officials discussed the aid under the condition of anonymity prior to its public release.
The current assistance, unlike most prior packages, is primarily intended to help Ukraine secure its medium- to long-term defensive posture, according to officials with knowledge of the situation. Prior shipments, the majority of which were made under the Presidential Drawdown Authority, focused on Ukraine’s more immediate demands for weapons and ammunition and entailed material that is already in stock at the Pentagon and can be dispatched quickly.
In addition to offering longer-term assistance that Ukraine can utilize for any future defense needs, the new package is meant to convince Ukrainian leaders that the United States intends to maintain its support regardless of the conflict’s day-to-day back-and-forth, officials said.
Tuesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the alliance’s support for the war-torn nation while highlighting the alliance’s expanded focus.
“Winter is approaching, and it will be difficult, and what we see now is an attrition struggle. This conflict is a struggle of wills and logistics. Therefore, we must retain our support for Ukraine over the long term so that Ukraine can prevail as a sovereign, independent nation,” stated Stoltenberg at a virtual conference held by Ukraine to discuss Crimea.
Six months after the Russian invasion, the battle has slowed to a stalemate, with both forces exchanging combat strikes and limited advances in the east and south. Thousands of personnel on both sides have been killed or wounded, and Russia’s bombardment of cities has resulted in the deaths of numerous innocent civilians.
Due to the independence holiday and the six-month anniversary of the invasion, it is feared that Russia may accelerate strikes against civilian infrastructure and official buildings in Ukraine in the coming days.
The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and the State Department issued a fresh security alert for Ukraine on Monday night, urging Americans to leave the country due to the threat.
“Given Russia’s history in Ukraine, we are worried about the ongoing threat that Russian strikes represent to civilians and civilian infrastructure,” the report stated.
Since the beginning of the Biden administration, the United States has provided Ukraine with around $10.6 billion in military aid, including 19 packages of weaponry withdrawn straight from Defense Department stores since August 2021.
U.S. defense commanders are also considering proposals to extend training for Ukrainian troops outside of their country, as well as for the militaries on Europe’s eastern and southern borders that feel the most endangered by Russia’s aggressiveness.