Peace Groups Decry Billions More in US Military Aid as Blinken Visits Ukraine

"The White House and Congress are fueling this war with a steady stream of weapons instead of pushing for talks to end the conflict," said Medea Benjamin of CodePink.

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As the Biden administration on Thursday announced billions of dollars in additional aid for Ukraine’s defense against Russian invaders, peace activists renewed calls for a diplomatic solution to the nearly seven-month war.

“The White House and Congress are fueling this war with a steady stream of weapons instead of pushing for talks to end the conflict,” Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink, said in a statement. “That’s why we, the people, have to rise up with a demand of negotiations, not escalation.”

CodePink and other antiwar groups including Veterans for Peace, World Beyond War, and Peace Action are set to launch a global week of action for peace in Ukraine next Monday. Demonstrations are scheduled in U.S. cities including Washington, D.C., metropolitan Boston, Milwaukee, Nashville, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Pasadena.

“Rather than push for a protracted war, the White House and Congress should support a diplomatic solution along the lines of the MINSK II Peace Accord, signed by both Ukraine and Russia in 2015, to declare Ukraine a neutral non-NATO country and hold elections in the eastern region of Ukraine,” CodePink said in a statement announcing the week of action.

“Instead the US government has budgeted $40 billion to escalate the war with weapons, military equipment, troop training, and intelligence, with zero accountability or oversight for taxpayer dollars,” the group added. “The same amount of money could have paid for 350,000 nurses or 400,000 elementary school teachers.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced $2.8 billion in new military assistance to Ukraine and 17 other regional nations while on an unscheduled visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Thursday.

Blinken said that “the war’s terrible toll continues to mount” over six months after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion.

Decrying the “thousands of civilians killed or wounded, 13 million Ukrainian civilians forced to flee their homes, historic cities pounded to rubble, horrifying reports of ongoing atrocities, nuclear power stations put at risk, food shortages, [and] skyrocketing food prices around the world,” Blinken reaffirmed that “we stand united with Ukraine.”

The secretary of state said that he was authorizing a $675 million drawdown of “additional arms, munitions, and equipment from US Department of Defense inventories.”

This weaponry includes howitzers, artillery munitions, Humvees, armored ambulances, anti-tank systems, and more, and comes as Ukrainian military forces wage counteroffensives on multiple fronts.

“In addition,” Blinken continued, “we are also notifying Congress today of our intent to make a further $2.2 billion available in long-term investments under Foreign Military Financing to bolster the security of Ukraine and 17 of its neighbors, including many of our NATO allies, as well as other regional security partners potentially at risk of future Russian aggression.”

“These announcements will bring the total US military assistance for Ukraine to approximately $15.2 billion since the beginning of this administration,” Blinken added.

Brett Wilkins is is staff writer for Common Dreams. Based in San Francisco, his work covers issues of social justice, human rights and war and peace. This originally appeared at CommonDreams and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

8 thoughts on “Peace Groups Decry Billions More in US Military Aid as Blinken Visits Ukraine”

  1. So where is the Army Corps of Engineers when Jackson, MS is in dire straits over their water crisis? Where is the money to fix our roads, bridges?. Why is the Biden administration sending money overseas to blow things up, cause human misery? Biden is Trump with a smile. Nina Turner was on target with her plate of sh*t comment.

    1. “Biden is Trump with a smile.”

      Not all the time. Lately Biden has been scowling quite a bit, as he insults and condemns vast swaths of the American people. Just to let you know, though, I feel good when I see a politician look unhappy, as it indicates he/she is perhaps actually perceiving reality more accurately than usual.

  2. Ever notice how our top “diplomat” never makes an unannounced trip to anywhere to engage in some good old-fashioned diplomacy? He’s like the middleman for the MIC. It was hard to outdo the likes of Pompeo, Kerry or Clinton but Tony has been up to the task. I wish he’d make an announced visit. Maybe the Russians could do us all a favor.

  3. Wars will stop when they stop working. I hope we learned our lesson in the middle east, but rather doubt it, I hope Russia learns its lesson in the Ukraine

  4. The US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War expending Ukrainian lives to weaken Russia has failed in its own right and hastened The Great Eurasian Integration.
    This becomes the third civilizational failure of The West, the first being Washington’s deindustrialization in favour of China.

    All that is left in the kit bag of US-NATO-UK Proxy War Planners is to double down. On Russia and China or try, as well as Europe.
    Eurasia will no longer an object of colonization by civilized Europe but Europe is now an object of colonization by Washington, always to the satisfaction of London Elites.

    The geo-political centre of gravity shifts from sea powers to land powers. Now the Eurasian Century, not the American Century.

    There is no comeback. Examined here in detail . . .

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