Op-Ed: Much of Ukraine funding stays here in Virginia while still helping our ally

Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik

By Jim McBride

February 29, 2024

In recent weeks it has become apparent that Donald Trump and MAGA are “all in” on appeasement to dictators. Tucker Carlson did a softball interview with Vladimir Putin and is marveling at cheap groceries that he buys with his U.S. salary in Moscow. 

Donald Trump threatened our NATO Allies like a mob boss by declaring that if they didn’t meet their targets for military spending then Russia “can do whatever they hell it wants” with them. And when Russian Opposition Leader Alexey Navalny mysteriously died while living in torturous conditions in a Siberian prison Trump couldn’t even bother commenting without talking about himself instead of condemning Vladimir Putin.

Unfortunately, even though 74% of Americans view the war as important to U.S. national security interests, too many Americans are being indoctrinated by the “America First” and “America Alone” Cult. Reports from congressional offices are that Anti-Ukraine Calls are outnumbering the Pro-Ukraine Calls by a factor of as high as 30-1 in red districts and it isn’t much better in blue districts.

Hence, whether he really believes in or not, Speaker Johnson is playing games bringing a Senate Bill that passed with 70 votes on Ukraine Aid to the house floor and border security is just an excuse.

It is essentially a “National Security Shutdown” not much different to a “Government Shutdown” which he is flirting with as well. Except it is much more dangerous.

90% of our military “spending” to support Ukraine is kept here at home by building new equipment. When you factor in those calculations, Virginia has received $315 Million in “Ukraine” Aid.

And in some ways the U.S. actually saves money when we ship old weapons to Ukraine rather than having to dismantle them safely here at home. 

After Donald Trump was elected President, the “Resistance” spoke out against his policies with the help of organizations like Indivisible and made waves on Capitol Hill. The “Pro-Democracy” Coalition needs to be able to pivot to speaking up even when we have an ally in the Oval Office and on foreign policy matters as well.

The good news is the American Coalition For Ukraine represents a growing movement of dozens of Pro-Ukraine organizations that are advocating for aid and they will host their 4th Action Summit on Capitol Hill in April.

But there is a lot more work to do. And looking ahead, the coalition hasn’t been engaged in political campaigns before and will be starting from the ground up to mobilize their supporters for the 2024 Election Cycle to educate voters on why Ukraine deserves U.S. assistance.


So, how can we take action to support Ukraine?

Capitol Hill Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (get connected 24/7 to your congress members)

Follow updates at https://linktr.ee/va4ukraine

  • Jim McBride

    Jim McBride is a Virginia Delegation Leader and Member of the Outreach Committee of the American Coalition For Ukraine.



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