NJust a day after the release, the group of 30 Democrats withdrew the open letter it had sent Monday causing widespread unrest in the party. It was written a few months ago and “released by staff without verification,” said the group’s left-wing spokesman, MP Pramila Jayapal. The letter gives the “unfortunate appearance” of closeness between the Democrats and the part of the Republicans who recently questioned military aid to Ukraine.
Monday’s letter said it agreed with the president’s premise “Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.” But as MPs, they are “responsible for spending tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayer money on military aid in this conflict” and believe “that such involvement in this war carries with it a responsibility for the United States to consider all options.” draw”. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Washington has given Kyiv about $17.6 billion in aid.
Fear for the Congress majorities
For Biden, the open letter from his own party came at a time of many challenges. Not only must the Democrats expect to lose their congressional majorities in two weeks’ time – inflation and high gasoline prices are among the dominant issues. The letter said: “The conflict has also contributed to increased gasoline and food prices here, fueling inflation and high oil prices for Americans in recent months.”
But the tenor of the letter revealed disagreement among Democrats. After violent reactions from his own party, Jayapal had already emphasized on Monday: “We democrats are united in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in its struggle for democracy and freedom.” Nothing in the letter speaks against this attitude.
The current Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, had just threatened to change course in Ukraine policy if his party won. In times of recession, Ukraine will not be given a “blank check”.
In a survey conducted by the Reuters news agency and the opinion research institute Ipsos at the beginning of October, almost three-quarters of the Americans surveyed stated that Ukraine must continue to be supported despite Russian nuclear threats. Two-thirds were expressly in favor of arms deliveries – more than in August with 51 percent.
However, studies also clearly show that interest in and sympathy for the Ukraine war is declining overall. According to a Pew study, the number of Republicans or Republican-leaning voters who consider US aid to Ukraine to be too extensive has almost quadrupled to a third since the spring.
Will America deliver more air defense systems?
Amid domestic political debates, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba of America’s “continued support” in a telephone call on Monday. According to reports from the Reuters news agency, Washington is considering supplying older HAWK anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine. According to two high-ranking American officials, these are intended to protect against Russian drones and cruise missiles.
So far, America has supplied Kyiv with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles with a much shorter range for air defense. Two of the eight NASAMS air defense systems promised in early October will arrive in Ukraine in the next few weeks, according to a senior government official; the others will be delivered over a longer period of time. The HAWK defense system dates back to the 1960s, but has been revised several times since then.