With the 35th Presidential drawdown, the United States has now committed about $35.8 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including over $35.1 billion since the onset of Russia’s unprovoked “special military operation” on February 24, 2022.
“The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements,” the DoD said in a statement.
Over $35 billion dollars. That’s starting to be some real money. That’s roughly the same amount of money that NASA is going to spend on the Artemis Program to put a man back on the moon. Think about that for a few minutes.
Brief Military Support Recap
Aside from the new military aid package, the long-requested Abrams main battle tanks are slated to arrive on the battlefield in Kyiv by fall this year. Initially, Washington was to ship the latest M1A2 variant of the revered tank, but in mid-March, it was announced that the country would instead send refurbished M1A1s to accelerate the delivery.
Other Western allies also accomplished their commitment of sending heavy tanks to support Ukrainian troops, with the first batch of British Challenger 2s and German Leopard 2s entering the battle last month.
Furthermore, the Pentagon will soon ship advanced MIM-104 Patriot air defenses sooner than anticipated to bolster the defending troops’ capability to effectively counter Moscow’s ruthless aerial assaults.
“We’re confident that we’ll be able to get the Patriots there on an expedited timeline,” Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters in March. He further noted the rapid progress of the Ukrainians who undergo training on the system, saying, “[the training] went faster than expected, just given their propensity and their eagerness to do the training.”
As of last week, Ryder said that “more than 7,000 members of the Ukrainian armed forces” had already been trained by the US since the onset of the Russian invasion, including 65 who are now certified operators of the Patriot.
“Once in Ukraine, the Patriot air defense system will add to Ukraine’s layered air defenses to provide protection and shield from Russia’s wanton, brutal attacks on innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure,” the Press Secretary added.
The substantial aid has not gone unnoticed, with several worries voiced about the potential misuse of the equipment—most of it is outfitted with the greatest technology available anywhere—as a recurring issue.
Nonetheless, Pentagon officials have consistently addressed this concern, stressing that monitoring efforts have been undertaken alongside the transferring of the equipment.
A senior official previously highlighted the main danger of “illicit diversion” comes from American equipment captured by Russian forces. Thus, the call for proper securing of the weapons sent to the frontlines in Kyiv, as well as conducting recovery efforts, particularly on parts that contain sensitive and/or identified as advanced conventional weapons. This includes Man-portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) and Anti-Tank/All-purpose Tactical Guided Missiles (ATGMs), among many others.
Footage released showing the collision between a Russian Su-27 fighter aircraft and a US MQ-9 Reaper drone on Tuesday over the Black Sea. pic.twitter.com/q1R1hB1mGX
— Breaking Aviation News & Videos (@aviationbrk) March 16, 2023
Since war broke out in Ukraine, the US has been the embattled nation’s leading supporter and has again sent billions worth of security assistance to help Ukraine maintain its sovereignty against Russia’s subjugation.
This content was originally published here.