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$113.6 Billion: Congress Appropriated 3 Times as Much in Response to Ukraine as Spent on Customs and Border Protection

Terence P. Jeffrey on

From February 2022 to December 2023, Congress appropriated about three times as much money for its response to the conflict in Ukraine as the federal government spent on Customs and Border Protection.

Congress approved approximately $113.4 billion in spending related to the Ukraine conflict during this period, while the government spent only $37.82 billion on Customs and Border Protection.

"The U.S. Congress appropriated approximately $113.4 billion in supplemental appropriations for the U.S. response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine between February 2022 and December 2023, making the United States the largest single donor of assistance to the Ukraine response," said a report published Feb. 15 by the inspectors general for the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"This funding," said the report, "supports security assistance for NATO and other partner nations; support for an enhanced U.S. military presence and activity in Europe; and the replenishment of U.S. military stocks transferred to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF).

"The funding," it said, "also supports security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other countries affected by the war; support for the operations of U.S. government agencies involved in the Ukraine response."

What impact did this massive U.S. investment have on the course of the conflict?

 

"While the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) succeeded in recovering more than half of the territory that Russian forces had seized at the start of the conflict, the frontline of the war in Ukraine has not moved significantly since the gains made in the fall 2022 Ukrainian counteroffensive," said the IG report.

"During the [last] quarter [of 2023], Russian forces continued to occupy most of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Crimea oblasts," said the report. "This lack of substantial progress on both sides belies the heavy fighting and high casualty rates during 2023."

From February through September 2022, the U.S. government spent $12.063 billion on Customs and Border Protection, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. In all of fiscal 2023, which ended last September, it spent $20.032 billion; and, in October through December, it spent $5.727 billion.

That means that from February 2022, when Russia started its all-out war against Ukraine, until December 2023, the U.S. government spent a total of $37.822 billion on Customs and Border Protection. That equals just 33.35% of the $113.4 billion that, according to the inspectors general, Congress approved "in supplemental appropriations for the U.S. response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine" during that same period.

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