John McCain’s National Defense Authorization Act bill passed the Senate in September:
“The bill also reflects Mr. McCain’s expansive vision of the role of the United States in world affairs. It authorizes $500 million to provide security assistance, including weapons, to Ukraine; $100 million to help Baltic nations “deter Russian aggression” and another $705 million for Israeli cooperative missile defense programs — $558.5 million more than the administration’s request. …”
It included $500 million in security assistance for Ukraine, $100 million to help the Baltic states deter Russian aggression, $705 million for Israeli missile defense and a war chest of $60 billion to fund future operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“The measure, passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday [L1N1NK2OP], next goes to the White House for Trump’s signature. Trump’s fellow Republicans control majorities in both the House and Senate and he is expected to sign the bill. …”
It was reconciled with the House version and has now gone to Trump for his signature. The 2017 NDAA signed by Obama last December included $350 million in security assistance for Ukraine. The Ukraine amendment this year was authored by Sen. Rob Portman and authorizes lethal aid.
McMaster, Tillerson and Mattis are pressuring President Trump to approve a $47 million grant to Ukraine to buy American weapons including Javelin anti-tank missiles:
“President Donald Trump could be presented with an option to approve a $47 million grant to allow the Ukrainian government to purchase American defense arms aimed at deterring aggression from pro-Russian separatists, three State Department officials tell ABC News.
National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster has been presented with three options for arming the Ukrainians as outlined in an interagency memo sent last week to the National Security Council. Of those three options, the State Department and Defense Department are advocating for the $47 million arms package funding, according to a State Department source. …”
This is John McCain’s foreign policy:
“Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly urged the Trump administration to supply Ukraine with weapons. Doing so would garner bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.
“It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression,” McCain said in a statement. “As long as the status quo remains, Russia has no reason to change its behavior, and we should only expect more violence and more death.” …”
This appears to be close to happening:
“President Donald Trump’s top advisers are closer now to achieving what seemed unthinkable at the start of his presidency: Shipping millions of dollars of US weapons to Ukraine’s embattled military.
The president, whose former campaign associates nixed language supporting arms to Ukraine in the GOP’s party platform in 2016, was never going to be an easy sell on the issue.
Approving the measure would likely enrage Moscow and jeopardize Trump’s hopes of cultivating better ties with the Cold War adversary. Key US allies including Germany oppose the decision out of concern that it could trigger Russia to step up its military intervention in Ukraine in ways that spiral out of control.
But US officials tell BuzzFeed News that they have a pitch they believe can win the president’s approval of providing $40-50 million in arms to the war-torn country, including powerful Javelin anti-tank missiles. Officials said the president could be presented with the proposal in the coming weeks. …”
What do you think? Is this an “America First” foreign policy or something else? Do you think we should follow John McCain’s advice and plunge into this conflict?
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