Congress’ Military Spending Bill Forks Over Unprecedented Sums to Israel and Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen train with weapons at their position near Lysychansk, in Luhansk region January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Maksim Levin Ukrainian servicemen train with weapons at their position near Lysychansk, in Luhansk region January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Maksim Levin

In addition to the annual $3.8 billion in Aid to Israel. . .

Buried deep in the text of the mammoth National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a gargantuan money dump into the Israeli defense industry, with $705 million specifically earmarked for “US-Israel missile defense cooperation.” The funding represents a full 1/100th of the whopping $700 billion military spending package, and a staggering $558 million increase from what President Donald Trump had originally requested.  The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the main arm of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, reacted with elation at news of the funding, hailing it as a powerful shot in the arm for the Israeli arms industry…  Alongside funding for Israel, the NDAA budgeted unprecedented funding for supposedly defensive weapons for the Ukrainian military, which has been locked in a destabilizing conflict with Russian-backed separatists since a U.S.-backed coup toppled its democratically elected government in 2014…  Raytheon also stands to benefit handsomely from the funding earmarked in the bill for Israeli missile systems. It has partnered with the state-backed Israeli arms firm Rafael, to produce the Iron Dome System, which has been deployed primarily to deter homemade rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave…  A week before the NDAA vote, AIPAC announced it had sent 50 members of Congress from both parties on an all-expenses-paid junket to Israel. These lawmakers will soon vote on the House version of the titanic military spending bill.