FACT CHECK: Is 90% Of Security Assistance To Ukraine Invested In The U.S.?
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper, claimed that 90% of security assistance to Ukraine is invested in the U.S.
Out of the $44.4 billion of security assistance given to Ukraine, $18 billion goes directly to making new weapons in the U.S. for Ukraine, while $25.9 billion is for replenishing existing stocks. Experts disagree, however, about whether or not $25.93 billion goes to U.S. manufacturers.
National Security Council John Kirby warned that funding for Ukraine would run out completely if Congress did not pass an emergency supplemental spending bill, according to Politico. Senate leaders have stopped discussions on the bill for this year, and are expected to restart sometime in January, Financial Times reported.
Blinken claimed in a recent interview that 90 percent of security assistance allocated to Ukraine is invested in the U.S. through weapons manufacturers.
“By the way, 90 percent of the assistance, the security assistance, that we provided Ukraine is actually invested right here in the United States to our companies, to our manufacturers,” he said.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, $44.4 billion in total security assistance has been sent to Ukraine. Of that amount, $25.93 billion of this goes directly to U.S. manufacturers for replenishing stocks depleted under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA). An additional $18 billion goes towards the Department of Defense’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service.
Through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the government contracts directly with industry to send new equipment to Ukraine once it’s ready, according to a Nov. 29 Department of Defense press release.
“Across the board, the response of our U.S. industrial base to meet Ukraine’s defense needs has been truly historic. It’s been a nationwide effort that spans the full spectrum of our supply chains in nearly every capability area. While there’s no question we still have significant work ahead of us to fully rebuild a modern defense industrial ecosystem, we should not lose sight of what we’ve been able to achieve together with our partners in industry over the past 21 months,” William LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said in the release.
The State Department referred Check Your to Fact to the Pentagon. Jeff Jurgensen, a Pentagon spokesperson, told Check Your Fact that the “figure was correct.” Jurgensen cited Dec.13 remarks from President Joe Biden and provided a “graphic which identifies where in the U.S. – Ukraine security assistance has been distributed.”
“And more than 90 percent of our security assistance to Ukraine is being spent in the United States to provide weapons for Ukraine and replenish our stockpiles and build our industrial base,” Biden said at the time.
The graphic provided to Check Your Fact states that as part of the Ukraine Presidential Drawdown Replacement, $16.8 billion has been obligated, with $24.8 billion committed as of Nov. 22. At least $10.5 billion under USAI has been obligated, with $18.6 billion committed.
Experts who spoke with Check Your Fact had differing opinions on the claim. (RELATED: Here’s What We Know About Israel And The Holy Family Catholic Parish In Gaza)
Benjamin Freeman, the director of the Democratizing Foreign Policy program at the Quincy Institute, told Check Your Fact that Blinken’s claim was “an accurate statement, but perhaps a bit misleading.”
“More than 90% of the security assistance we’ve sent to Ukraine is manufactured here in the U.S,” Freeman said. “What’s misleading is that while almost all of this military equipment is made here, it’s not being used here like just about any other type of government spending would be. This equipment is being sent to Ukraine, so there’s no second or third order economic benefits to the U.S. economy like there would be if the government instead made investments in healthcare facilities, schools, or infrastructure here.”
Jordan Cohen, a defense analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute pointed to the $25 billion allocated under the PDA, disagreed with the number cited by Blinken, stating that the U.S. does not pay for transport of these weapons.
“The 90 percent number’s wrong, it’s less than 50 percent,” Cohen said to Check Your Fact via phone call.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) directed Check Your Fact to an article detailing how much aid the U.S. has sent to Ukraine. The CFR found that, in total, $18.3 billion in security assistance and $23.5 billion of weapons and equipment have been sent to Ukraine between Jan. 24, 2022, and Oct. 31, 2023. $4.5 billion were provided for “Grants and loans for weapons and equipment” through the Foreign Military Financing program.
Elias Atienza contributed to this report.