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McConnell: Ukraine Aid ‘Direct Investment’ Against Putin’s ‘War Machine’

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McConnell: Ukraine Aid ‘Direct Investment’ Against Putin’s ‘War Machine’

By Eric Mack    |   Saturday, 25 February 2023 10:55 AM EST

  

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As Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its second year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued a lengthy statement defending the lethal aid being sent to Ukraine as a “direct investment” against Vladimir Putin’s “war machine.”

“The innocent people of Ukraine have suffered devastating violence and destruction at the hands of Vladimir Putin and his war machine for years,” McConnell wrote in a one-year statement, reflecting on Russia’s so-called “special military operation” and the hundred billion-plus sent to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression.

“The bloody full-scale escalation that he began one year ago with zero justification is just the latest chapter. The brave and free men and women of Ukraine and their elected leaders have inspired the world with their courage and resolute determination to maintain their sovereignty and freedom in the face of this thuggery.

“As my fellow leading Republicans and I have explained, it is not an act of charity for the United States and our NATO allies to help supply the Ukrainian people’s self-defense. It is a direct investment in our own core national interests.”

McConnell made the argument that the proverbial front line of American defense begins in Ukraine.

“America is a world power with worldwide interests,” his statement continued. “Our security and prosperity are deeply intertwined with a secure and stable Europe. If Putin were given a green light to destabilize Europe, invading and killing at will, the long-term cost to the United States in both dollars and security risks would be astronomically higher than the miniscule fraction of our GDP that we have invested in Ukraine’s defense thus far.”

McConnell responded to claims that the U.S. is funding a non-NATO ally’s defense by saying the older weapons stockpile is being sent overseas, and the new investment is actually helping to modernize the U.S. defense weapons.

“Moreover, the U.S. is largely sending Ukraine older weapons from our stockpile,” he wrote. “This means that a significant portion of the money Congress has appropriated is going directly to strengthen America’s own defense by replenishing our inventories with more modern versions of these older weapons we have transferred to Ukraine.”

The emerging threats from China, which is stressing One China policy control over Taiwan, and Iran — having enriched uranium to 84% of purity, just shy of 90% needed for a nuclear weapon — make this the time to stock up on new investments and weapons for the U.S. defense stockpile.

“Looking toward our long-term future, the increasingly aggressive threats that we face from China and Iran make it more essential, not less, that the United States and NATO demonstrate strength and resolve today,” McConnell wrote. “Prime Minister Kishida of Japan has warned repeatedly that Ukraine’s fate today could be East Asia’s tomorrow if the free world flinches in the face of aggression. He calls the fate of Ukraine and the future of Asia ‘inseparable.’ Likewise, our partners in the Middle East with whom I’ve met this week report that Tehran is also closely watching the conflict in Ukraine.”

McConnell also urged 

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