Biden has changed course and is now leaning on the false idea that money going to these countries will bring us economic benefits.
The conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza are different in nature and require different approaches. But debating the purpose and impact of American arms supplies to Ukraine and “Israel” could not be more urgent. This is especially true in the case of “Israel,” because of the massive human destruction caused by its attack on Gaza and the real danger of a wider war in the Middle East.
However, the Biden administration has focused on a common theme in its efforts to persuade Congress to approve a more than $100 billion emergency package consisting mostly of military aid and arms transfers to Ukraine and “Israel .” “, as well as Taiwan: American weapons. Supplies in war zones and tension regions support American jobs.
President Biden began this line of thinking in his Oval Office speech announcing the new emergency aid proposal, referring to the American arms industry as the “arsenal of democracy” and making a not-so-subtle talk about the economic benefits of US military aid:
“We’re sending equipment that we have in our reserves to Ukraine. And when we use the money appropriated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores, our own reserves, with new equipment. Team defending America and made in America. Patriot missiles for air defense batteries, manufactured in Arizona. Artillery shells are made in 12 states across the country, in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas. And many more.”
As if that weren’t enough, Politico reports that administration officials have circulated congressional talking points arguing that providing military aid is “good for American jobs.”
Using the employment argument to sell arms transfers is exactly the opposite. Arms sales to countries at war should be justified based on their security and human rights consequences, not the jobs and profits they generate. Former President Donald Trump used the jobs card to promote arms deals with Saudi Arabia at the height of its brutal war in Yemen, to reaping profits from the sales as a reason to hold the regime accountable. in its killing of Jamal Khashoggi. , Saudi journalist living in the United States. This tactic was wrong then and it is wrong now.
In the case of Ukraine, sending weapons without accompanying diplomatic strategy risks allowing a long and exhausting war that could even lead to an outright war between the United States and Russia.
Even considering these risks, there are strong arguments to support the military effort in kyiv. But the suggestion that this support should continue because it creates American jobs is wrong and dangerous. It can be used to support any kind of conflict or any different weapons program, whether it is necessary or not, as shown by Trump’s use of it to make the Saudi war in Yemen.
Military aid to “Israel” for its war against Gaza, launched in response to Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians, is another matter. The attack has so far killed 7,000 Gazans, including more than 2,000 children, mainly due to an unprecedented campaign of airstrikes. A ground war would have far more devastating consequences and would add to the real and growing danger of a wider war in the Middle East. Providing an emergency weapons package in this context while opposing a ceasefire is a very different thing from providing support to Ukraine.
It is not clear that the occupation argument has become the same extent as promoting US policy in Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, given the current broad support in Congress. But this may well happen as the outcry over public support for the slaughter in Gaza continues. A recent poll shows that about two-thirds of Americans support a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, and those numbers could rise as the horrific scenes of death and destruction continue. to return to the United States.
While the employment argument should take a backseat to strategic and human rights concerns, its validity should be analyzed as it is introduced into the debate. There are many ways to create more and better jobs without resorting to greater spending on arms. Almost any other form of government spending, or even tax cuts, creates more jobs than military spending.
Forging a less militarized foreign policy and rolling back the Pentagon’s $1 trillion-a-year budget will pave the way for building a more peaceful and sustainable economy. But the first priority – especially regarding “Israel” / Gaza – should be to stop the killing and end the war, not debating the economic effects of arms spending. The employment argument should have no place in this discussion of major consequences.