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American Thinker
American Thinker
24 Feb 2024
Anony Mee

NextImg:Senate Democrats: Trump saved NATO, and now you can help save Ukraine

Everyone agrees that if President Trump had served two consecutive terms, there would be no Ukraine war today. His very presence reined in Putin’s avaricious land grabbing. Can we blame the massive devastation, disruption, and displacement going on in Ukraine and nearby Russian areas on the current weak administration? Yes—and on those who voted for Biden and the corrupt election officials and others who secured the “win.” With that in mind, it’s time to call out the whining that President Trump is being mean to NATO, bullying and threatening them.

In 2006, NATO’s defense ministers/secretaries agreed that each would spend a proposed 2% on its military. In 2014, NATO heads of state concurred and agreed to reach that goal by 2024. Very little progress was being made toward this goal until Trump was inaugurated. Table 3 in this report shows that in 2014, only Greece, the UK, and the US met the 2% goal. By 2016, Estonia joined this group. By 2018, Latvia and Poland. By 2019, Bulgaria and Lithuania. By 2020, France, Norway, and Romania were at 2%. Of the 29 alliance countries, only Canada had no increase during the Trump years. That Europe’s military readiness was strengthened by 2022 was because the Trump administration pushed hard.

Image made using the NATO logo (public domain) and an image by Gage Skidmore (CC BY 2.0).

Let there be no doubt: If Hillary had won in 2016, Ukraine would have ceased to exist in relatively short order. She was the Russian colluder, something that began under the Obama administration and continued for years. Because of Trump, NATO nations had the wherewithal to step up immediately with material and other support for Ukraine. All Ukraine lovers need to acknowledge this hard fact: Ukraine still exists today only due to Trump’s deft ability to manage international leaders and our relations with them. Pugnacious prevention (muscular diplomacy) beats ineffectual reactivity every time.

Senate Democrats need to recognize this by presenting a clean Ukraine funding bill. This is something many of us can get behind and which would much more easily pass the House. (And yes, we also need a clean border bill that builds the wall, closes the border to all but properly vetted and visaed applicants for admission, halts admission of those who would be immediately eligible for temporary protected status, halts the mass humanitarian parole (CBP 1) program, and provides for robust enforcement of non-entry at the southern border.)

HR-815, when first amended to become the ‘Border Bill,’ went from 2 pages and zero cost to 370 pages in pdf form with $118 billion-plus in spending. After being amended to remove the border and focus more on funding Ukraine’s military needs, it dropped to 84 pages and $95.6 billion. Let’s continue to tighten it up.

The first thing to do is uncouple the 21-page ($0) Division B—Fend Off Fentanyl Act from this bill. As it stands, the Fend Off bill is weak and, as I wrote before, incomplete. If this Congress and this Administration want to do something concrete about this overwhelming crisis, that legislation should stand alone to project America’s determination. In its current form, it fails to do what it purports to do. In addition to sanctions and addressing money laundering, it should contain all the funding the DEA and the State Department require to identify, hunt down, and stop manufacturers of precursor materials, manufacturers of fentanyl, shippers, traffickers, border crossers, and distribution networks. Anything less is simply too little.

The bill also needs to lose unrelated items. The $98 million to the Department of Energy’s Science Program for “acquisition, distribution, and equipment for development and production of medical, stable, and radioactive isotopes” can go. Besides, HR-4394 (Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024) passed the House last year and has been waiting for action in the Senate since November 1, 2023. If the $8.1 billion for the Science Program can’t cover this, then do a quick amendment to that bill increasing it.

Take out the $400 million to FEMA for non-profit security grants. There’s already $530 million in HR-4367, the DHS 2024 funding bill, for the State Homeland Security Grant Program, and another $315 million for the Non-Profit Security Grant Program. If it needs to be increased, do it there, where the appropriate committees can have input.

Take out the $481 million to DHHS for refugee and entrant assistance. If the $2.757 billion in HR-5894 isn’t enough for this program, amend the funding bill.

Take out the $10 million for State and USAID to audit funds going from HR-815 to Gaza and the West Bank. Also, take out all those billions that are sneakily hidden in funding set aside for the President to direct to “other vulnerable populations” and the World Bank, otherwise known as “for the Palestinians.”

There. Shorter, costing billions less, and tightly focused on Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. We the People know you senators can do it.

Anony Mee is the nom de blog of a retired public servant who X-tweets at oh_yeahMee.