DOD touts U.S. jobs impact in latest Ukraine aid package

By Tony Bertuca / October 26, 2023 at 12:52 PM

The Defense Department today announced it would transfer $150 million in weapons to Ukraine that will need to be replenished by U.S. defense contractors, highlighting the positive impact the move will have on American jobs as some in Congress, especially the GOP-led House, remain opposed to further spending that would aid Kyiv.

“Security assistance for Ukraine is a smart investment in our national security,” DOD said in a press release. “It helps to prevent a larger conflict in the region and deter potential aggression elsewhere, while strengthening our defense industrial base and creating highly skilled jobs for the American people.”

The package includes:

• Additional munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS);

• AIM-9M missiles for air defense;

• Stinger anti-aircraft missiles;

• Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);

• 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds;

• Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;

• Javelin anti-armor systems;

• More than 2 million rounds of small arms ammunition;

• Night vision devices;

• Demolition munitions for obstacle clearing;

• Cold weather gear; and

• Spare parts, maintenance, and other ancillary equipment.

The transfer is being implemented via presidential “drawdown” authority, the 49th such action for Ukraine since August 2021.

“This package utilizes assistance previously authorized for Ukraine during prior fiscal years under Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) that remained after the PDA revaluation process concluded in June,” DOD said.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon says it is running low on funds to aid Ukraine and President Biden has requested $61.4 billion in security and humanitarian assistance for Kyiv in his $106 billion emergency supplemental spending request.

Despite broad bipartisan support for Ukraine, it is unclear how Congress will respond in terms of aid as the House GOP recently elected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as speaker. He voted against a measure in September that would have given $300 million in security assistance to Ukraine and in February posted on X that American taxpayers “deserve to know if the Ukrainian government is being entirely forthcoming and transparent about the use of this massive sum of taxpayer resources.”

DOD, meanwhile, said the new security assistance package is a “another visible signal of the United States’ continued commitment to supporting the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression.”