The failure of the US Congress to pass a Ukraine aid package is a reckless strategy seemingly aimed at forcing fantasy peace negotiations with Russia. Where is the moral righteous from Congress, and when will they realize that arming Ukraine is the only realistic pathway to peace?

The current deadlock over Ukraine aid has reignited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s escalation of terror. Starting on Dec. 29, Putin ordered missile strikes on Ukrainian cities that have killed or wounded 600 civilians. This strategy comes from Hitler’s playbook when he ordered a bombing campaign against British cities in 1940.

Peace with Russia sounds morally tantalizing but it’s just a trap set by Putin to deceive naïve members of Congress. The goals of Putin and Hitler are aligned with genocide and imperialistic invasions, not peace.

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In 2005, the President of Chechnya (Aslan Maskhadov) was assassinated while engaged in peace negotiations with Russia aimed at ending the second Chechen war. Putin later awarded medals to the assassination plotters.

Russia has never honored its peace agreements with Ukraine, including the Budapest memorandum.

The blame for blocking critical aid for Ukraine primarily goes to the Republican far right. The website Republicans for Ukraine, lists 82 Republican House members rated very poor for their support of Ukraine. These are typically “America First” isolationists who are leading the opposition against Ukraine funding.

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On the surface, putting Americans first sounds very appealing. But in this case, slashing Ukraine's aid would deplete Ukrainian weaponry and force a spoof peace settlement with Russia.

A pause in hostilities is a ploy allowing Russia time to rebuild its forces and attack Ukraine later with even greater atrocities. Russia and its propagandists openly state their goal is to exterminate Ukraine’s 40 million people. Unless Putin is stopped now, Americans should prepare themselves for the eventual reality of conscription into military service.

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This isn’t the first time the America First Movement influenced disastrous foreign policy affecting Europe. In the early 1940s the powerful American First Committee (AFC) advocated peace with Germany while opposing military and humanitarian aid for Britain. The AFC disbanded in disgrace after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war against America.

In terms of world conflict an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. World War II cost roughly 4 trillion dollars and the lives of 330,000 American soldiers. 81 year later after America said “never again,” Congress is complicitly aiding Russia’s campaign of genocide.

George Washington in his futuristic wisdom stated, “One day there will be a United States of Europe.” Washington understood that if vestiges of Democracy were exported to Europe it would lead to a more stable, peaceful and prosperous world. This not only benefits Ukraine, but a rising tide of global Democracy benefits America too.

The most influential opponents of Ukraine aid are promoting false narratives that Ukraine funding is a wasteful money scheme. This is simply political grandstanding considering that military aid to Ukraine represents a mere 3 percent of the defense budget. Most of the money stays in America, reducing the cost further.

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Supporters of “America First” eschew US involvement with permanent European alliances and conflicts as stated in Washington’s farewell address. But Washington made exceptions for certain short-term emergencies.

Comparatively speaking Ukraine is fighting Russia with a pittance amount from America and allies. Ukraine’s soldiers are using this money to contain Russian forces in Ukraine preventing thousands of Americans from dying to defend NATO territory.

America has committed about $75 billion in economic and military aid for Ukraine, representing just 0.19 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Fifteen other countries have actually spent more as a percentage of their GDP.

While Congress quibbles over this minuscule amount, Russia’s industrial military complex is in total war mode aimed at a future invasion of NATO countries.

By abandoning Ukraine, Congress is putting American soldiers at risk of fighting and defending NATO territory from Russia.

The maneuvering in Congress to sabotage Ukraine aid is pointless, albeit perilously dangerous. While Congress plays games, Putin is planning to rebuild his Soviet/Russian empire. If Ukraine falters, Putin’s appetite for invading Moldova and NATO Baltic countries dramatically increases.

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Congress must pass supplemental Ukraine funding to stop Russian aggression from spreading into global chaos and harming American interests.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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