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Huge expenditure on unnecessary Ukraine war crime against humanity

Aug 24,2023 - Last updated at Aug 24,2023

The UN has estimated that "one in every 23 people" in the world needs humanitarian assistance. This means that this year, "a record 339 million people [which amounts to a significant increase" (65 million) from 274 million early in 2022. The UN and its affiliates seek to aid 230 million of the "people most in need across 68 countries" at a cost of $51.5 billion.

Among the most serious crises are in East and Southern Africa where 76.8 million are in want. In Haiti, Lebanon, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Yemen, Honduras and Myanmar needs are increasing while in 2022 the UN expanded its programme of cash assistance to 6.3 million Ukrainians, a massive increase from 111,000 in 2021 before the 2022-2023 war.

The causes of distress are forced displacement due to conflict, climate change and food insecurity. The other driver of rising humanitarian distress, which few dare to mention, is the sharp reduction in aid funds due to the heavy investment the rich Western powers are making in the Ukraine war.

The stunning size of this investment was published by Euronews citing the German think-tank, the Kiel Institute. From February 22 and May 2023, the US pledged 71 billion euros in aid to Ukraine while European institutions and governments have pledged 68 billion euros. Of this Europe gives 7.6 billion euros in humanitarian aid while the US has offered 3.6 billion euros. The US has focused on military aid valued at 43 billion euros, Europe has provided 28 billion euros in military assistance.

In addition, the European Union has offered financial loans and subsidies worth 33 billion euros and the US 24 billion euros.

Such spectacular sums have never been provided to UN and other relief agencies seeking to resettle the displaced, feed families, or lift people out of poverty. Consequently, the UN has warned, "The global goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 is no longer achievable."

This makes the huge expenditure on the totally unnecessary Ukraine war a crime against humanity. The war was, and remains, unnecessary because the Western powers could have avoided Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the war by simply halting NATO's advance eastwards and telling Ukraine to forget about joining the alliance. For Russia this has been a "red line" since the collapse of the Soviet Union between 1989-91. At that time, Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev was promised by US secretary of state James Baker that NATO would not move one inch eastward.

Baker's promise was broken when NATO expanded into Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004; Albania and Croatia in 2009; Montenegro in 2017; North Macedonia in 2020; and Finland in 2023.

It is significant that president George W. Bush, who waged the devastating 2003 war on Iraq, should chose April Fool's Day in 2008 to back bids by Ukraine and Georgia to begin NATO membership accession despite Russian rejection and resistance from Europe.

Little wonder that Russian President Vladimir Putin felt squeezed. This was exactly what Western hawks wanted to happen. Peaceful coexistence between Russia and the West was a pipe dream. For Putin, Ukraine became a "red line". He was not taken seriously. Consequently, Ukraine, the US, Europe and NATO are stuck in a war of attrition with Russia. Ukraine's touted counter-offensive has stalled on the wide defensive front line established by Russian mines, earth mounds, tanks and men along the eastern Donbas area.

On August 17, John Hudson and Alex Horton reported in The Washington Post that the US intelligence community has predicted that "Ukraine's counteroffensive will fail to reach the key southeastern city of Melitopol." If correct, this finding would mean Ukraine "won't fulfill its principal objective of severing Russia's land bridge to Crimea in this year's push". The authors pointed out that "tens of billions of dollars of Western weapons and military equipment fell short" of securing this objective. The authors revealed that some Republican lawmakers who have gone along with Biden's war are "now balking at [his] request for an additional $20.6 billion in Ukraine aid”. Analysts consulted said, "Russia surpassed expectations when it comes to its proficiency in defending occupied territory."

On the political front, the recent Kyiv-sponsored conference in Saudi Arabia did not convince China, India, Brazil and a host of fence-sitting countries to climb down and provide political, materiel and moral support to Ukraine and NATO.

Writing on the Substack platform on August 17th, US veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh dismissed the "White House's wistful approach to the war." He predicted that "the end is nearing even if the [positive] assessments supplied by [US President Joe] Biden to the [US] public are out of a comic strip".

Unfortunately, once the Ukraine war ends and the massive NATO investment in death and destruction finishes, even a fraction of the war wasted financial resources will be redirected to humanitarian agencies and the urgent needs of the world's poorest will continue to be ignored.

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