For his entire political career, progressive Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has been a staunch antiwar advocate and rabidly in favor of cutting US military spending.
But regarding America’s funding of Ukraine’s war with Russia, Sanders has voted for every cent of the $113 billion in US aid we have sent to date.
Let’s leave aside for a moment whether or not you agree with Sanders that this aid is necessary, or even your position on the Ukraine-Russia war altogether.
Don’t you think having oversight on how $113 billion is being spent would be wise?
Apparently Senator Sanders doesn’t.
Last week, Senator Rand Paul introduced an amendment that would give the already existing Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s (SIGAR) oversight authority to track America’s spending in Ukraine. Paul said this was necessary to find possible – and likely – waste, fraud, and abuse.
Most Democrats voted against it – including Bernie Sanders.
A second piece of legislation was introduced separate from Paul’s proposal that would have created a new agency to oversee US spending on Ukraine.
Again, most Democrats voted against it – including Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders has not only voted for every bit of US military aid to Ukraine, he rejected two opportunities this week to have better oversight of that money.
“Antiwar” Bernie is essentially writing blank checks to defense contractors and seems to think everyone else should too. pic.twitter.com/8oahqFqVfH
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) July 29, 2023
Why would anyone – and especially longtime militarism critic Sanders – not want to at least know where these American tax dollars were going?
Sanders, curiously, did introduce his own bill last week that would have cut Pentagon spending across the board by 10%. It failed.
But it was noteworthy his one exemption for military spending in it – Ukraine.
Yes, the $113 billion America sent to Ukraine was exempt from Sanders’ cuts.
How is anyone supposed to take that seriously? Take Sanders seriously?
CNN reported in April, “The US has few ways to track the substantial supply of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other weaponry it has sent across the border into Ukraine, sources tell CNN, a blind spot that’s due in large part to the lack of US boots on the ground in the country – and the easy portability of many of the smaller systems now pouring across the border.”
“It’s a conscious risk the Biden administration is willing to take,” the report noted.
CNN continued, “In the short term, the US sees the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to be vital to the Ukrainians’ ability to hold off Moscow’s invasion. A senior defense official said Tuesday that it is ‘certainly the largest recent supply to a partner country in a conflict.’But the risk, both current US officials and defense analysts say, is that in the long term, some of those weapons may wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the US did not intend to arm.”
This happens in every war unfortunately. We end up arming groups and states we didn’t intend to arm.
So at the very least, why would ANYONE not want to track where US dollars are going in Ukraine?
Why would Bernie Sanders now want to know? Didn’t this guy used to rail against the Military-Industrial-Complex?!?
We are basically giving American defense contractors a monster blank check – with Bernie Sanders’ glaring approval.