Author : Vivek Mishra

Issue BriefsPublished on Apr 24, 2024 PDF Download
ballistic missiles,Defense,Doctrine,North Korea,Nuclear,PLA,SLBM,Submarines

Mapping the Arc of US Support to Ukraine: Economic, Political, and Strategic Imperatives

The US has provided financial and military support to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia took control of Crimea, and more firmly since February 2022, when the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war began. Indeed, US military, political, and strategic support to Ukraine is crucial to Kyiv as the conflict continues. For the Biden administration, aid to Ukraine is a vital principle on which his party politics hinges; it is a critical pathway to rebuild transatlantic solidarity; and is now increasingly becoming an election issue in the run-up to the November 2024 presidential polls. However, other geopolitical developments, including the Gaza conflict and escalatory competition with China in the Indo-Pacific, coupled with increased Republican weariness over the US’s involvement in wars and the potential of Donald Trump winning the upcoming presidential polls, are altering the trajectory of US support to Ukraine. This brief assesses the economic, political, and strategic considerations driving the US’s support of Ukraine.


Vivek Mishra, “Mapping the Arc of US Support to Ukraine: Economic, Political, and Strategic Imperatives,” ORF Issue Brief No. 707, April 2024, Observer Research Foundation.


The US’s relationship with Ukraine has evolved since the end of the Cold War when the latter became an independent country. A crucial development came in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Despite Russia's actions in Crimea and the Donbas conflict, the US’s response under President Barack Obama was modest at best, limited to economic sanctions and with no lethal military aid to Ukraine. Subsequently, Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, adopted a transactional approach to the relationship with Ukraine, ‘arm-twisting’ it to serve his interests. For instance, lethal aid to Ukraine was made contingent on how forthcoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was on information related to Trump’s political rival Joe Biden (currently the US president) and how willing he was to launch an investigation in this regard.[1] However, the US’s relationship with Ukraine has transformed under the Biden administration. In the lead-up to the Russian military incursion in eastern Ukraine in February 2022, the Biden administration took two critical steps. First, it advanced relations with Ukraine through a joint statement on the ‘US-Ukraine Strategic Partnership’,[2] released on 1 September 2021 to mark three decades of bilateral ties. Second, on 10 November 2021, the two countries signed the US-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, which emphasised “support for each other’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and inviolability of borders constitutes the foundation of our bilateral relations”.[3]

Ukraine is currently a decisive factor in the US’s foreign policy. Significantly, military, political, and economic support for Ukraine has become a metric for gauging the steadfastness of transatlantic solidarity. Since the Ukraine-Russia war began in February 2022, US support for Ukraine has acquired political hues for three primary reasons. First, there is Congressional weariness in sustained financial support to Ukraine as the war continues with no end in sight, particularly given Russia’s recent advances on the battlefield and the increasing unlikeliness of a Ukrainian victory. Ukraine’s status as a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) aspirant (but, crucially, not a member) has left the Biden administration in a bind over its inability to rationalise this expenditure to the US Congress, especially in the House of Representatives, which the Republicans control. Second, the US has encountered a mounting sovereign debt scenario in recent years, with increased government spending and enhanced borrowing, averting three government shutdowns between September 2023 and March 2024. In 2022, US foreign assistance spending reached a seven-decade high,[4] a substantial chunk of which went to Ukraine. These circumstances have created political pressure for fiscal discipline and responsible spending. Third, the Ukraine issue has inextricably linked the US’s domestic constraints to its foreign policy. Since October 2023, when the Israel military campaign in Gaza began, the Biden administration has struggled to balance the financial and military needs of Ukraine and Israel, the latter being the US’s staunchest treaty ally in West Asia. The Biden administration’s resolve to support Ukraine now appears to have been frayed by its hyphenation to the complications from the Gaza situation. This is evident from Biden’s climbdown from the “as long as it takes” position to one of “as long as we can” in the context of US support to Ukraine.[5] While support for Ukraine is a leadership bet for Biden, supporting Israel may turn into a domestic political liability amid increasing disapproval of the administration’s policies on Gaza.[6] Consequently, the Biden administration might have to alter the level of US support to Ukraine. However, restrained US support could have far-reaching repercussions, including gradual territorial loss for Ukraine and further gains by Russia on the battlefront.

Domestically, the two-front war—in Europe and West Asia—has created a challenging situation for the Biden administration as the Republicans have made any external support to Ukraine contingent on whether Biden has augmented border security measures at home (a key Republican demand in the House). Biden has touted his administration’s support for Ukraine as one of the mainstays of his foreign policy, helping prop up his image as a strong president and overcome negative perceptions due to his advanced age. Notably, his 2024 State of the Union speech made a case for aid to Ukraine.[7] For his vote base concerned about the US’s dwindling global power and influence, support for Ukraine serves the twin purpose of resuscitating transatlantic solidarity and the relevance of US-led collective security leadership through NATO. It also recentres the US’s external balancing in Europe to counter Russia while it focuses on China.

Economic Assistance to Ukraine

In June 2020, the US Department of Defense allocated US$250 million to establish the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). These funds are designated to bolster Ukraine's defensive capabilities through training, equipment provision, and advisory support to enable Ukraine to safeguard itself against Russian aggression.[8] Half of this allocation (US$125 million) was conditional on Ukraine’s domestic defence reforms in the areas of equipment manufacturing and training programmes. The USAI funds were also directed towards improving Ukraine's defensive capacity by enhancing its lethal capabilities and situational awareness in maritime operations, bolstering air surveillance systems for monitoring sovereign airspace, strengthening command and control infrastructure, and improving the survivability of land and special operations forces through the provision of counter-artillery radars and tactical equipment. Additionally, the funds were intended to enhance Ukraine’s military medical treatment and combat evacuation procedures, as well as bolster cyber defence and strategic communications to counter Russian cyber offensive operations and misinformation campaigns.[9]

A vital channel of US support to Ukraine is the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF),[a] which grants the state and defence secretaries the power to work across agencies to facilitate funding and other support internationally to advance US strategic interests and address evolving security threats, circumventing the constraints of annual budget cycles.[10] Since 2014, the GSCF has allocated over US$42 million in training, advisory services, and equipment to support the Ukrainian government in enhancing the tactical, operational, and institutional capabilities of its special operations forces, national guard, conventional forces, non-commissioned officer corps, and combat medical services.[11] The GSCF has also assisted the National Guard of Ukraine, a newly created force, in countering Russia in Eastern Ukraine. Since 2016, the GSCF has funded Ukraine through training courses for special operations and exercises for supporting security personnel deployed in areas of conflict within Ukraine, including instituting non-commissioned officer training and training military medical personnel.[12]

Between February 2022 and March 2024, the US provided approximately US$44.2 billion in assistance to Ukraine through various mechanisms, including the USAI and the GSCF.[13]

Another essential part of US assistance to Ukraine under the Biden administration is the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), a US foreign policy tool used to provide military assistance under section 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA).[14] PDA is used to provide defence equipment and services from the US Defense Department reserves to foreign nations and international bodies during crises. Such aid can be deployed quickly with the approval of the US president, who notifies Congress of the process. Since August 2021, 44 PDAs have been used to provide assistance to Ukraine.[15]

In 2022, the Biden administration presented four emergency funding requests to the US Congress to address the Ukraine crisis. In response, Congress passed four corresponding emergency measures: the March 2022 Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022; the May 2022 Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022; the September 2022 Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023; and the December 2022 Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023. The Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act provided US$40.1 billion in 2022 as emergency supplemental appropriations for activities to respond to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Act encompasses various provisions, including funding allocations for defence equipment, support for migration and refugees, regulatory and technical aid concerning nuclear power matters, emergency food aid, economic assistance, and measures addressing property seizures linked to the invasion.[16]

The US Congress allocated US$113.4 billion in supplemental funding for Ukraine in fiscal years 2022 and 2023. Of this total supplemental funding, Congress appropriated US$46.8 billion for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) account. Funding allocated for SFOPS has facilitated various initiatives, encompassing direct financial aid to the Ukrainian government, humanitarian assistance, security support, and operational activities by civilian agencies to facilitate programme administration and supervision.[17]

Domestic Political Compulsions

US domestic politics is now inextricably tied to its support for Ukraine. Since February 2024, the House Republicans have blocked efforts by the Biden administration to secure aid for Ukraine and Israel. Despite an initial agreement between the Republicans and Democrats on the issue of illegal immigration through the US-Mexico border, where Biden agreed to significant border control measures to break a Republican deadlock on aid for Israel and Ukraine, Republicans continue to block the latest border security bill in Congress. The Republican Party originally blocked a US$60 billion aid package to Ukraine (part of a US$95 billion aid package; US$14.1 billion of which is earmarked for Israel, US$9.2 billion for humanitarian aid to Gaza, US$8 billion for Taiwan, and the rest for the US’s Indo-Pacific commitments).[18] The US House of Representatives passed the bill on 20 April 2024.  Trump’s opposition to the border deal is likely what prompted the House Republicans to block the deal;[19] Trump has said that the war in Ukraine “must end,” disapproving of providing any additional funds to the country.[20] A porous border plays into the hands of the Republicans, who want to portray Biden as a president with weak immigration policies and, by extension, justify the need for stricter border controls. Indeed, the US-Mexico border issue could become a central campaign theme in the upcoming presidential elections since a rematch of Biden-Trump is all but finalised.[21]

The Republican narrative on Ukraine, especially that of Trump, counters that of Biden. The US commitment to fund NATO under Trump hangs by a thread and appears contingent on whether Europe can upscale its funding and square the transatlantic asymmetry in NATO’s defence spending. In his latest threat to European partners, Trump called for NATO allies to “pay” or he would encourage Russian aggression.[22]  This uncertainty indicates Ukraine's potential disadvantage under a hypothetical second Trump presidency. Given Trump’s continuing lead over Biden in the run-up to the polls,[23] these insinuations could be a signal of a broader shift in American public opinion on US support for Ukraine and the US’s wider influence in the world. That the Republican Party did not criticise Trump’s statements,[24] which hit at the core of the US alliance with Europe, suggests that a new Trump administration may well jettison treaty allies in favour of a conservative foreign policy that prioritises domestic considerations over external relations.

The scarce criticism from the American public about Trump’s threats to US treaty allies and his perilous remarks about shaking the foundations of the US’s alliance system could mean either a “visceral rejection [by Americans] of the US-led security architecture”[25] in the post-Second World War era or a shift in the public perception of what should constitute US leadership globally, if at all. The younger generation is less concerned about the threat posed by Russia and China and is not as inclined to back US-led efforts to counter their influence.[26] Trump’s voter base views alliances as an outdated construct, and his rise is attributable to his ‘tit-for-tat’ take on global politics and his emphasis on ending forever wars. This approach follows the erosion of the old political, economic, and military consensus, with China’s rise as the preeminent disruptive phenomenon in that process.

Biden’s advanced age is at the heart of his political impediments, with opinion polls indicating that most of those who voted for him in 2020 now think he may be “too old to be effective”.[27] Biden must contend with doubts about his age and abilities and a shifting voter base. Trump's rise to leadership within the Republican Party reversed the progress Democrats had achieved in gaining the trust of rural voters across the country. This shift marked a significant change in the political landscape, particularly in regions outside urban areas.[28] Besides, there is widespread disenchantment among youngsters and the immigrant population over the Biden administration’s approach to the Gaza conflict.[29] Indeed, public sentiment in the US has swayed significantly since the beginning of 2022 due to the two wars. Until the start of Israel’s military operations in Gaza, public sentiment in the US broadly favoured the Biden administration’s policies on Ukraine and Israel. While respect for sovereignty and a geostrategic competition with Russia provided the mainstays for sustained support to Ukraine, the October 2023 attack by Hamas and the US’s strong partnership with Israel formed the basis of support to that country. However, recent months have seen a significant loss in policy clarity for the Biden administration due to externalities beyond its control, such as sovereign decisions taken by Israel and the consequent realignment of Arab states impacting regional security and stability.

Part of the Republican rationale for not supporting Ukraine is that the two ongoing wars have drawn too much from the state coffers. Additionally, the wars weigh differently on the Republican imagination and the conscience of the American public. For the Republicans, the Ukraine war has drawn too much in resources and support without significant progress on the ground. As for the Gaza conflict, the Republicans are more inclined to support Israel, given their policy stance on Hamas, terrorism, and relationship with the Congressional Jewish Caucus and various other groups advocating for Israel’s right to respond instead of a ceasefire.

Strategic Imperatives

The Biden administration’s quest to sustain support for Ukraine is now contingent on four key externalities beyond its control. The first factor is how Ukraine counters Russia’s strategy through planning, execution, military gains, tackling corruption, and internal political stability. Providing more significant support to Ukraine either by increasing the supply of US arms or sending troops risks a wider or direct confrontation with Russia. Indeed, Russia has already warned of a possible nuclear war over speculations of Western troops joining Ukraine’s fight.[30] The second factor is the unpredictable supply of arms by America’s European partners to Ukraine, which has prevented the US from favourably shaping the contours of support to Ukraine. The lack of adequate and timely arms supply to Ukraine has not only resulted in battlefield losses but exposed the country’s critical infrastructure, such as electric grids, nuclear power plants, roads, and bridges, to Russian aerial attacks. Ukraine’s accumulating deficits on the battlefield now encompass ammunition, soldiers and, perhaps most importantly, air defence.[31]  Third is Ukraine’s lethargic bureaucracy and deep-seated culture of corruption.[32] Over the past two years, Ukraine’s arms production was impacted by bureaucratic impediments and structural issues that marred its command and control. Among other things, the Ukrainian armed forces command and control struggled to manage a bulging armed forces, which grew from 20,000 in the early days of the war to nearly one million by December 2023.[33] As Ukraine looks to mobilise an additional 450,000-500,000 troops,[34] managing, training, and arming will be a critical challenge before they are deployed. Additionally, there is now a sense of war fatigue in Ukrainian civil society. Zelensky has also fired several officials and military staff, including ‘Iron General’ Valerii Zaluzhny (who led the Ukrainian offensive until recently).[35] The fourth factor is the inescapable correlation between the war in Ukraine and the US’s other strategic involvements, such as its support to Israel and Indo-Pacific partners in its bid to contain China. The nature of this entanglement is such that negative momentum in one area will likely impact the others. To be sure, Israel’s military operations in Gaza have affected the US’s support to Ukraine and have distracted Washington from the Indo-Pacific.

As the war progresses, Ukraine’s prospects in the conflict are dwindling.[36] US Congressional dithering over supporting Ukraine and Kyiv’s inability to advance on the battlefield appears to have nudged the conflict in Russia’s favour, at least for now. Russia has managed to chip away at Ukraine’s defences and take control of some critical spots in Avdiivka, Bakhmut, and western Zaporizhzhia. Strategic losses on the battlefield have left the future of sustained aid to Ukraine at an indecisive phase, at least until the new US president takes over in 2025. Until then, Ukraine could, at best, receive a predictable flow of moderate support that does not raise Congressional eyebrows or, at worst, experience long periods without much support. That Ukraine is unlikely to make battlefield advances in the near future because of a “faltering military campaign”[37] will determine how the US Congress supports Ukraine. For the Biden administration, the more it loses leverage on other political issues in the run-up to the presidential polls (particularly against Trump), the more it could lose authority in its support of Ukraine.

The Biden administration could circumvent the Congressional blockade on aid to Ukraine by providing weapons support over the short term. However, this route is not without issues, as it would require drawing from the US’s arms and ammunition stockpiles and likely lead to political wrangling in an election year.[38] Another option is for the Biden administration to convince Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, a proposal being conveyed to Kyiv in some form since December 2023.[39] However, as the US presidential polls near, the Biden administration will likely stand more firmly behind Ukraine. As such, in February 2024, the Biden administration rejected a proposal by Putin for a negotiation to end the war in Ukraine.[40]

Still, amid the political indecisiveness and financial blockades in the US and Europe, the Biden administration has been urging Ukraine to resurrect its defence industry.[41] To be sure, Ukraine continues to maintain the ability to carry out deep strikes inside Russian territory and inflict massive damage on the Russian military.[42] Ukraine has also taken steps to reorganise command and control through its Future Force Project,[b],[43] hasten domestic weapons production, and upgrade systems to enhance platform interoperability with the West.


Although the war is expected to drag on for now, its eventual end could either witness an expansion of NATO or a negotiated settlement between Russia and Ukraine with some territorial loss and gain.

Although the probability of a nuclear conflict is low, Russia employs it as a crucial deterrent against the West. This presents a challenge for NATO in deterring Russia or for Ukraine, which seeks to restore its nuclear status.[44] US intelligence reports of Russia considering putting a nuclear weapon in space[45] complicate the issue of Western support to Ukraine as it threatens to extend the periphery of the great power nuclear arms race. A nuclear-powered satellite could outlive most other satellites and, although a distant possibility at this stage, could have the capability to take out other connectivity satellites. Any possible attempt at putting nuclear weapons in space would be a violation of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear testing in outer space or the atmosphere.[46] A violation of the treaty will remove one of the last remaining arms control treaties between Russia and the US and, more critically, open possibilities for other nuclear powers to enter space, especially North Korea and China.

The Russia-Ukraine war has also challenged the notion of collective security in Europe and the broader transatlantic area by testing NATO’s relevance. Any Western assurance that falls short of NATO membership for Ukraine will likely test Kyiv’s existential concerns and the future of its long-term security. Already, NATO’s widening ambit, with Finland and Sweden joining, is redefining how transatlantic security is perceived in Europe. European members are also under pressure to honour their spending commitments on defence. At the 2023 NATO Summit, members concluded that the spending commitment of two percent of GDP be viewed as a baseline requirement and that “in many cases, expenditure beyond 2% of GDP will be needed”.[47] Beyond the idea of collective security, the US could consider making Ukraine a treaty ally by signing a 10-year memorandum of understanding to establish a long-term security guarantee based on similar lines as the pact with Israel.[48] However, this could draw new lines of great power competition with Russia.

Table 1: US Security Cooperation with Ukraine

Air Defense
1 One Patriot air defense battery and munitions
2 12 National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and munitions
3 HAWK air defence systems and munitions
4 AIM-7, RIM-7, and AIM-9M missiles for air defense
5 More than 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles
6 Avenger air defense systems
7 VAMPIRE counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (c-UAS) and munitions
8 c-UAS gun trucks and ammunition
9 mobile c-UAS laser-guided rocket systems
10 Other c-UAS equipment
11 Anti-aircraft guns and ammunition
12 Air defence systems components
13 Equipment to integrate Western launchers, missiles, and radars with Ukraine’s systems
14 Equipment to support and sustain Ukraine’s existing air defence capabilities
15 Equipment to protect critical national infrastructure
16 21 air surveillance radars
1 39 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition
2 Ground-launched Small Diameter Bomb launchers and guided rockets
3 198 155mm Howitzers and more than 2,000,000 155mm artillery rounds
4 More than 7,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds
5 More than 40,000 155mm rounds of Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) Systems
6 72 105mm Howitzers and more than 800,000 105mm artillery rounds
7 10,000 203mm artillery rounds
8 More than 200,000 152mm artillery rounds
9 Approximately 40,000 130mm artillery rounds
10 40,000 122mm artillery rounds
11 60,000 122mm GRAD rockets
12 47 120mm mortar systems
13 10 82mm mortar systems
14 112 81mm mortar systems
15 58 60mm mortar systems
16 More than 400,000 mortar rounds
17 More than 70 counter-artillery and counter-mortar radars
18 20 multi-mission radars
Ground Maneuver
1 31 Abrams tanks
2 45 T-72B tanks
3 186 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles
4 Four Bradley Fire Support Team vehicles
5 189 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers
6 300 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers
7 250 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles
8 More than 500 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs)
9 More than 2,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs)
10 More than 200 light tactical vehicles
11 300 armored medical treatment vehicles
12 80 trucks and 124 trailers to transport heavy equipment
13 More than 800 tactical vehicles to tow and haul equipment
14 131 tactical vehicles to recover equipment
15 10 command post vehicles
16 30 ammunition support vehicles
17 18 armored bridging systems
18 Eight logistics support vehicles and equipment
19 239 fuel tankers and 105 fuel trailers
20 58 water trailers
21 Six armored utility trucks
22 125mm, 120mm, and 105mm tank ammunition
23 More than 1,800,000 rounds of 25mm ammunition
24 Mine clearing equipment
Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Systems
1 20 Mi-17 helicopters
2 Switchblade Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
3 Phoenix Ghost UAS
4 CyberLux K8 UAS
5 Altius-600 UAS
6 Jump-20 UAS
7 Hornet UAS
8 Puma UAS
9 Scan Eagle UAS
10 Penguin UAS
11 Two radars for UAS
12 High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs)
13 Precision aerial munitions
14 More than 6,000 Zuni aircraft rockets
15 More than 20,000 Hydra-70 aircraft rockets
16 Munitions for UAS
Anti-armor and Small Arms
1 More than 10,000 Javelin anti-armor systems
2 More than 90,000 other anti-armor systems and munitions
3 More than 9,000 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles
4 More than 35,000 grenade launchers and small arms
5 More than 400,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition and grenades
6 Laser-guided rocket systems and munitions
7 Rocket launchers and ammunition
8 Anti-tank mines
1 Two Harpoon coastal defence systems and anti-ship missiles
2 62 coastal and riverine patrol boats
3 Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels
4 Port and harbour security equipment
Other capabilities
1 M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions
2 C-4 explosives, demolition munitions, and demolition equipment for obstacle-clearing
3 Obstacle emplacement equipment
4 Counter-air defence capability
5 More than 100,000 sets of body armour and helmets
6 Tactical secure communications systems and support equipment
7 Four satellite communications (SATCOM) antennas
8 SATCOM terminals and services
9 Electronic warfare (EW) and counter-EW equipment
10 Commercial satellite imagery services
11 Night vision devices, surveillance and thermal imagery systems, optics, and rangefinders
12 Explosive ordnance disposal equipment and protective gear
13 Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear protective equipment
14 Medical supplies, including first aid kits, bandages, monitors, and other equipment
15 Field equipment, cold weather gear, generators, and spare parts
16 Support for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities

Source: US Department of State,[49] compiled by Satish Tezaa.


The US’s military, political, and economic support is critical for Ukraine. However, this support is influenced by a complex interplay of domestic and global strategic factors, some beyond the Biden administration’s control. Indeed, various constraints have hindered the US’s efforts to provide robust support to Ukraine despite Biden's strong intent. An impasse at the US Congress, coupled with events such as the Israel-Hamas conflict, has impeded Biden's ability to secure financial, military, and political support for Ukraine. Trump’s lingering shadow over the Republican Party—growing stronger as the presidential poll nears—has ensured that a planned aid package to Ukraine remains stalled. Furthermore, the prolonged duration of the Russia-Ukraine war, now far beyond the Biden administration's initial expectations, has limited the administration's capacity to secure sustained funding for Ukraine. The contrasting approaches of the Trump and Biden administrations toward the Russia-Ukraine conflict, compounded by shifts in the US political landscape, have also influenced the trajectory of US support for Ukraine.

After months of delay and strategic losses for Ukraine on the battlefield, the US House of Representatives passed the US$95 billion aid bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan on 20 April, with US$60 billion allocated for Ukraine. The bill will now move to the Senate and then to the president’s desk, where it is unlikely to face any opposition. While the aid is a shot in the arm for Ukrainian defences, which were reeling under increasing Russian attacks, it is unlikely to reverse the battlefield losses. The road to aid is getting narrower for Ukraine as the legislation comes with a clause of repaying US$10 billion, albeit with the possibility for the loan to be forgiven by the US president.

Domestic factors, including changing public sentiment toward Biden's foreign policy decisions, have contributed to a shrinking support base for specific policies, including those related to Israel and Ukraine. Perceptions of Biden's presidency in relation to US military engagements abroad in new conflicts are likely to shape voter attitudes in the upcoming election and impact future US commitments to Ukraine.

It may be too early to predict the precise course of US aid to Ukraine as the conflict evolves and the US presidential elections approach. However, the underlying factors guiding the US’s economic, political, and strategic choices suggest a trend that could pose challenges for Ukraine. In the face of Russian advancements on the battlefield and Ukraine's diminishing air defence capabilities, the Biden administration will face the complex task of balancing domestic political considerations with international obligations. As tensions persist, Ukraine's position may become increasingly precarious, requiring adept diplomacy and decisive action from the US.


[a] GSCF assistance includes capacity building for institutions and projects for training and equipping a partner country’s military and national-level security forces.

[b] The Future Force Project involves collaboration between experts from various government departments, aided by NATO partners, to enhance the Ukrainian military’s abilities for potential large-scale conflicts, particularly through improved communication and coordination among the different military branches.

[1] U.S. House of Representatives, Report of Evidence in the Democrat’s Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives, December 2, 2019,

[2] The White House, Joint Statement on the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership, September 1, 2021,

[3] U.S. Department of State, U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, November 10, 2021,

[4] James McBride,  Noah Berman, and Anshu Siripurapu,  “The U.S. National Debt Dilemma,” Council on Foreign Relations, December 4, 2023,

[5] Chris Panella, “Biden Says US Will Support Ukraine ‘As Long As We Can’ Amid GOP Standoff, a Change from ‘As Long As it Takes’,” Business Insider, December 14, 2023,,takes%22%20to%20defeat%20Russia%27s%20invasion

[6] Megan Brenan, “Biden’s Job Rating Steady at 40%; Middle East Approval at 27%,” Gallup, March 22, 2024,

[7] James M. Lindsay, “Campaign Roundup: Joe Biden Makes the Case for Ukraine Aid,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 8, 2024,

[8] U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, “DOD Announces $250M to Ukraine,” June 11, 2020,

[9] U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, “DOD Announces $250M to Ukraine”

[10] U.S. Department of State, The Global Security Contingency Fund, February 16, 2023,

[11] U.S. Department of State, U.S. Security Cooperation with Ukraine, December 27, 2023,

[12] U.S. Department of State, “The Global Security Contingency Fund”

[13] U.S. Department of State, U.S. Security Cooperation with Ukraine, December 27, 2023,,invasion%20of%20Ukraine%20in%202014

[14] U.S. Department of State, “Use of Presidential Drawdown Authority for Military Assistance for Ukraine,” December 27, 2023,

[15] U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, “Use of Presidential Drawdown Authority for Military Assistance for Ukraine”

[16] U.S. Congress, Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022,,Public%20Law%20No%3A%20117%2D128,(05%2F21%2F2022)&text=This%20act%20provides%20%2440.1%20billion,to%20Russia%27s%20invasion%20of%20Ukraine.&text=the%20Department%20of%20the%20Treasury

[17] Congressional Research Service, Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) Supplemental Funding for Ukraine: In Brief, October 27, 2023,

[18] John L. Dorman, “The Ukraine Aid that House Republican Leaders are Blocking Might Actually be Good for the US Economy,” Business Insider, February 19, 2024,

[19] Sahil Kapur and Frank V. Thorp, “Republicans Kill Border Bill in a Sign of Trump’s Strength and McConnell’s Waning Influence,” NBC News, February 8, 2024,

[20] Stephanie Lai and Alicia Diaz, “Trump Says War in Ukraine Must End Even as US Aid Advances,” Bloomberg, February 11, 2024,

[21] Bill Barrow and Jill Colvin, “Trump Escalates his Immigration Rhetoric with Baseless Claim About Biden Trying to Overthrow the US,” AP, March 3, 2024,

[22] Kate Sullivan, “Trump Says he Would Encourage Russia to ‘Do Whatever the Hell they Want” to Any NATO Country that Doesn’t Pay Enough,” CNN, February 11, 2024,

[23] Shane Goldmacher, “Biden Shrinks Trump’s Edge in Latest Times/Siena Poll,” The New York Times, April 13, 2024,

[24] Jill Colvin, Kevin Freking, and Michelle l. Price, “Trump’s Threat to NATO Allies Draws Little Condemnation from GOP, Reflecting his Grip on the Party,” AP, February 13, 2024,

[25] Peter Baker, “Trump’s NATO Threat Reflects a Wider Shift on America’s Place in the World,” The New York Times, February 15, 2024,

[26] Dina Smeltz and Emily Sullivan, “Young Americans Question US Global Engagement,” The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, March 22, 2023,

[27] Lisa Lerer and Ruth Igielnik, “Majority of Biden’s 2020 Voters Now Say He’s Too Old to Be Effective,” The New York Times, March 3, 2024,

[28] Chris Stein, “Why Trump Made Rural Americans Turn their Backs on Democrats,” The Guardian, January 28, 2024,

[29] Nandita Bose, “‘Uncommitted’ Protest Vote Over Gaza Again Raises Questions for Biden,” Reuters, March 6, 2024,

[30] Laura Gozzi, “Putin Warns West Against Sending Troops to Ukraine,” BBC, March 1, 2024,

[31] Marc Santora, “Ukraine’s Big Vulnerabilities: Ammunition, Soldiers and Air Defense,” New York Times, April 16, 2024,,systems%2C%20they%20are%20in%20trouble

[32] Tony Barber, “Battling Corruption in Ukraine,” Financial Times, September 30, 2023,

[33] Alexander Butler, “How Many Troops Do Russia, US and UK Have as Ukraine Military Calls for 500,000 More,” Independent, December 21, 2023,

[34] Nathan Rott, Claire Harbage, and Hanna Palamarenko, “As Ukraine Seeks to Replenish its Depleted Army, a Divide Grows Among its Civilians,” NPR, January 31, 2024,

[35] Anna Gordon, “Why Zelensky is Mulling a Major Leadership Shakeup in Ukraine,” TIME, February 5, 2024,

[36] Marc Santora, “Ukraine’s Deepening Fog of War,” New York Times, February 24, 2024,

[37] Kartik Bommakanti, “Ukraine’s Faltering Military Campaign: Causes and Consequences,” ORF, March 2, 2024,

[38] Eric Schmitt, “Pentagon Weighs New Plan to Ship Weapons to Ukraine Quickly,” The New York Times, February 29, 2024,

[39] Missy Ryan, John Hudson, and Paul Sonne, “U.S. Privately Asks Ukraine to Show It’s Open to Negotiate with Russia,” The Washington Post, November 5, 2022,

[40] Michael Crowley, “U.S. Rejects Putin’s Latest Call for Ukraine Negotiations,” The New York Times, February 9, 2024,

[41] “US Aims to Help Ukraine Build its Own Defence Industry Base – US Department of State,” Ukrainska Pravda, January 5, 2024,

[42] David Axe, “13 Sukhois in 13 Days. The Ukrainians are Shooting Down More Russian Jets Because the Russians are Flying, and Bombing, More Often,” Forbes, March 2, 2024,

[43] Marc Santora, “Ukraine’s Deepening Fog of War,” The New York Times, February 24, 2024,

[44] Josh Rogin, “Ukrainians Want to Know if NATO Still Wants Them,” The Washington Post, February 23, 2024,

[45] David E. Sanger and Julian E. Barnes, “U.S. Fears Russia Might Put a Nuclear Weapon in Space,” The New York Times, February 17, 2024,

[46] U.S. Department of State, Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water, October 10, 1963,

[47] US Congress, Congressional Research Service, “NATO’s 2023 Vilnius Summit,” July 20, 2023,,of%20GDP%20benchmark%20in%202023

[48] Eric Ciaramella, “Envisioning a Long-Term Security Arrangement for Ukraine,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 8, 2023,

[49] U.S. Department of State, U.S. Security Cooperation with Ukraine, March 12, 2024,

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