The President of the United States, Joe Biden, sent a massive military assistance package to Congress this Friday to continue funding Ukraine and Israel, the two U.S. allies in the two major conflicts destabilizing the international situation.
In a recorded message from the White House, Biden announced that the package consists of approximately $75 billion for military expenses in support of Ukraine and Israel, the first being at war with Russia, and the latter involved in a new operation against Palestinians in Gaza, under the pretext of defeating the Islamist group Hamas.
This represents a significant shift towards imperialism in the agenda of the US government, which was until now combined with a strong focus on domestic issues such as the pandemic and the inflation during first years of Biden’s tenure. There is just over a year left until the presidential elections.
The total package that Biden aims to pass also includes around $13 billion to strengthen anti-migration operations along the Mexican border, which implies adding another 1,300 border patrol agents. Additionally, there is approximately $9 billion allocated for “humanitarian aid” for Ukraine and Gaza, with the goal of giving a “humanitarian” facade to a massive military aid package that, in the case of Israel, is only to contribute to further violence against the Palestinian people. In total, this mega-package amounts to $107 billion.
Biden considered that both disputes (Ukraine and Israel) are “vital” for the “national security” of the United States. It’s not surprising: American imperialism has faced a series of serious setbacks in its international presence as the leading power. The increasingly threatening competition with China was joined by the outbreak of war in Europe, and now the destabilization in a strategic location like the Middle East, shortly after the disastrous withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, where the Taliban regained power.
Therefore, this mega-package aims to bolster the wounded position of the United States as the “world’s policeman” preserving a global order where it remains the leading power, but which has begun to show serious cracks in recent years.
However, beyond the strategic needs of imperialism, the approval of the package won’t be easy for the government. On one hand, the House of Representatives is virtually deadlocked after the removal of its speaker, Kevin McCarthy, with no ability to form a majority that can appoint a successor. The majority bloc, which belongs to the Republicans, is deeply divided between the Trumpist faction and the establishment.
Indeed, Trumpism has become increasingly reluctant to continue increasing military spending for Ukraine. Biden may not have an easy time even within his own party, as the “progressive” wing of the Democrats is likely to oppose increasing military aid to Israel.
But even more interesting than the parliamentary disputes is what is happening in American society, where opinion polls indicate that the majority of Americans are not very inclined to send more military aid to Ukraine and Israel.
According to CBS polls, 53% of Democratic voters believe that the country should not send more weapons to Israel, while 70% consider it a priority to send humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza. These trends are also confirmed among the so-called “independent” electorate, which is crucial for the presidential aspirations of any candidate.