In his latest effort to prolong the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, President Biden announced on Wednesday that the United States will be providing an additional $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including heavy artillery that hasn’t been included in previous aid packages. It also includes hundreds of armored vehicles, helicopters, landmines and 300 “switchblade” attack drones. This latest arms shipment will bring the total amount of U.S. aid provided to Ukraine in less than two months to over $3 billion, equivalent to more than half of Ukraine’s total military budget in 2020.
The billions of dollars that are being provided to Ukraine in order to continue to escalate and drag out the war could and should be used to provide relief to the millions of workers who are suffering and struggling every day inside the so-called richest country on Earth. Instead, as always, the government has chosen to put its money towards death and destruction – on top of the $813.3 billion dollars already proposed for U.S. war spending this year.
U.S.workers are still feeling the effects of the criminal mishandling of the Coronavirus pandemic. Around 500 people per day are still dying from COVID and huge numbers of people are being evicted from their homes. Many have to choose between paying their rent or mortgage and feeding themselves and their family, and are unable to afford access to medical care. Despite making campaign promises regarding student loan cancellation, the Biden administration has failed to provide meaningful student loan relief. Public schools throughout the country are struggling as they find themselves understaffed as a result of the failure to adequately protect and compensate teachers and other school workers over the course of the past two-plus years, and the public education system remains woefully inequitable and underfunded.
To the U.S. government, none of these dire crises are enough to warrant the kind of emergency action they have taken to deepen the war.
Another example of how the U.S. government is working against a peaceful resolution to the conflict is the accelerated drive to bring even more countries surrounding Russia into the NATO military alliance. After decades of neutrality, both Sweden and Finland are now seriously considering joining NATO, with a decision expected in just weeks. Russia has expressed that it would take military measures in retaliation, including deploying nuclear weapons in the Baltic region.
Russia has for years been citing the constant expansion of NATO towards its border as an existential security concern. However, the United States and the NATO alliance it leads have been ignoring those concerns out of hand, continuing to work to escalate tensions and provoke an even wider conflict.
What workers throughout the world, and especially those in Ukraine and Russia, truly need is a path toward peace. In every war between capitalist nations, the elite are shielded from the suffering and the lives that are lost are those of the poor. Peace is in the best interest of the working people of all of the involved nations. By encouraging the addition of Sweden and Finland into NATO and pumping weapons into the war zone, the U.S. government is proving that what it really wants is to sabotage peace talks as a means to weaken and damage Russia – regardless of how many people die in the process.