Is escalation in Ukraine part of the US strategy?

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The aim of the billions committed through the Lend-Lease plan could tip the geopolitical balance. History may be about to repeat itself

In the spring of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Washington DC seems haunted by the ghosts of history. The US Congress has passed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 to expedite aid to Ukraine – just as Franklin D Roosevelt did, under the Lend-Lease Act, to the British empire, China and Greece in March 1941.

The sums of money being contemplated in Washington are enormous – a total of $47bn, the equivalent of one third of Ukraine’s prewar GDP. If it is approved by Congress, on top of other western aid, it will mean that we are financing nothing less than a total war.

Lend-Lease was a wartime intervention. The vast majority of the goods delivered were armaments. Monty’s army in the north African desert fought with Lend-Lease Sherman tanks. After 1942, the great Soviet counter-offensives were carried by Lend-Lease trucks.

What made this so extraordinary is that at the moment the Lend-Lease programme was launched in March 1941, the US was not in the war. Lend-Lease was the decisive moment in which the US, while not a combatant, abandoned neutrality. It forced jurists to come up with a new term to describe a stance of “non-belligerence”. In broader terms it marked the emergence of the United States as the hegemon that, for better and for worse, it remains today.

Read the full article at The Guardian

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