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“The fact that weapons of war are made in America does not justify sending them abroad, and a $100 billion foreign aid package is not pro-worker manufacturing policy.”

A Letter To The Editor Published In The Washington Post
By Senators JD Vance and Tommy Tuberville | December 4, 2023

Having failed to convince the American people that a blank check to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is in their interests, the Ukraine First caucus now claims the aid primarily benefits American workers. Marc A. Thiessen’s op-ed exemplified the pivot.

This is disingenuous and dangerous. The fact that weapons of war are made in America does not justify sending them abroad, and a $100 billion foreign aid package is not pro-worker manufacturing policy. It undermines our national security by exhausting critical resources on a strategic quagmire.

We support increasing defense spending and building up our defense-industrial base. An expansion of our military manufacturing capacity benefits American workers and bolsters our national security. Washington is more focused on sending our limited military stockpiles to a conflict in Ukraine with no clear path to victory.

The Biden administration’s new message fails to account for grave shortages in our stockpiles. Thanks to nearly two years of mission in Ukraine, the United States is perilously unready for any additional contingency. Anything with a solid rocket motor is in short supply, including the SM-6s that would be needed in the Pacific. The high demand for Stingers, Javelins and Patriot interceptors in Ukraine means we are desperately short of the weapons that would be needed in Taiwan. Replenishing them is going to take years.

New aid packages don’t add to those stockpiles. Instead, they grant President Biden authority to continue sending weapons to Ukraine faster than we can produce them. That might make sense if prolonging the war in Ukraine were America’s top priority.

If we are expected to oblige every request for weapons “Made in the U.S.A.,” there would be no conflict from which we abstain. Why not send weapons to Myanmar and take a side in the Ethiopian civil war? Using Mr. Thiessen’s tortured logic, this makes great sense as long as the weapons are made in America.

War is not a business venture, and the United States is more than just an economy. We are a nation with discrete geopolitical objectives and security priorities.

Ukraine aid proponents have failed to secure victory or end the conflict. This failure has come at great cost to U.S. taxpayers and to the Ukrainian people. Mr. Zelensky’s senior officials admit the war has reached an intractable stalemate and that hundreds of billions in foreign aid has fueled rampant corruption. The failure machine must be stopped.

Polling from Morning Consult showed that only 41 percent of Americans support further aid for Ukraine. The Biden administration is fully aware of this. Politico reported in October that congressional Republicans and the White House fine-tuned their talking points for a conservative audience. They missed the mark.

Political spin cannot obscure that Americans no longer support aid for Ukraine. Neither should the Senate.