On August 31, 2021 President Joe Biden declared the American withdrawal from Afghanistan to be complete and America’s longest war to be over. Biden and his supporters hailed that as a turning point in American foreign policy and an end to “forever wars.”
Those disingenuous claims conveniently forgot our continued operations in the Iraq theater of operations – arguably a better candidate for America’s longest war, since we began operations there on August 2, 1990, after President George H.W. Bush vowed that the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait “will not stand.”
Now, less than two years after Biden declared an end to forever wars by asking, “What is the vital national interest?” he has declared his own forever war in Ukraine. During an unannounced visit to Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian President Zelenskky, Biden told Zelenskyy the U.S. will stand with him “for as long as it takes.”
Got that? The United States will be fighting a proxy war with Russia, “for as long as it takes,” but to do what?
Evict the Russians from the Ukrainian territory they now occupy?
To evict the Russians from the Ukrainian territory they claim is an inseparable part of the Russian homeland?
Or, until Russian President Vladimir Putin is overthrown, and his war party allies no longer control the Russian state and military apparatus?
The new Biden doctrine of “for as long as it takes” will no doubt make the DC war hawks and shills for the military-industrial complex very happy, but exactly what vital American national interest is being served by this declaration of a new forever war against Russia?
Does it stabilize world energy markets and contribute to American economic growth and prosperity? Not as far as we can tell.
Will it end Russian support for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s largest funder of Islamist terrorism aimed at America? No, quite the opposite. Iran and Russia have grown closer as Iran remains one of the few sources of advanced weapons for Russia, including thousands of Shahed drones.
Indeed, since becoming Russia’s chief drone supplier, Iran is emerging as a global leader in the production of cheap and lethal military drones, according to US officials, who say Tehran is using the war in Ukraine as a shop window for its drone technologies.
And, on a more mundane level, will Biden’s “for as long as it takes” doctrine ease America’s budget problems? Obviously not.
The United States has already gifted Ukraine military equipment valued at more than the entire annual military budget of Australia. According to USA Today, more than $100 billion in U.S. weaponry and financial aid have flowed to Ukraine in less than a year, a number that doubles Russia’s $48 billion annual military budget.
USA Today reports the Pentagon spent $62.3 billion in 2022 on Ukraine for weapons, ammunition, training, logistics, supplies, salaries and stipends, according to the Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for Ukraine Response report. Inspectors general for several agencies released the report in January.
The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development spent another $46 billion for activities ranging from border security for Ukraine* to funds for basic government services such as utilities, hospitals, schools and firefighting. Other government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, spent another $5 billion.
The special inspector general who has overseen aid to Afghanistan since 2012, and some House Republicans, say there has been too little oversight of this vast expenditure, but President Biden and the war hawks in Congress have said this number is non-negotiable, making it a mandatory expenditure akin to Social Security or American veterans’ benefits.
Is there a vital American interest in defending Ukraine?
There may be, but beyond the platitudes and pablum Biden spouted during his trip to Ukraine and Poland we haven’t heard it.
The Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121 we urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Representative and Senators to tell them it is past time for Congress to exercise its Article I constitutional war powers and power of the purse over Biden’s new forever war in Ukraine. Tell your congressional representatives they must demand President Biden explain his new “for as long as it takes” doctrine and get congressional approval for it.
*We leave to CHQ readers to decide for themselves whether American taxpayers should be funding Ukraine’s border security while our own southern border remains open and undefended.
Ukrainian President Zelenskky
Russian President Vladimir Putin