None of us have a 100% chance of predicting the future, but we expect our leaders in Congress and the White House to be well enough informed to make sure they don’t do anything that will hurt us internationally in the future. The current situation in Ukraine is one example of a Congressional bill that later had serious unintended consequences.
Today’s U.K. Daily Mail posted a story about a bill passed by Congress that destroyed the stockpile of weapons Ukraine needs to defend itself against Russia.
The article reports:
As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.
In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.
The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.
After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.
…Many of the artillery shells shown in photographs from Donetsk, multiple weapons experts told MailOnline, would be the same types of ammunition required to repel advancing Russian divisions as they advanced to the west, had they not been destroyed.
…’Vast stocks of conventional munitions and military supplies have accumulated in Ukraine,’ Obama said in am August 30, 2005 statement from Donetsk. ‘Some of this stockpile dates from World War I and II, yet most dates from Cold War buildup and the stocks left behind by Soviet withdrawals from East Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungry and Poland.’
‘We need to eliminate these stockpiles for the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.’
More than a year later, President George W. Bush signed into law a proposal authored by Obama and Lugar.
In addition to the destruction of these weapons, many of the weapons were sold to the United States, Libya, and Great Britain. There is no way any of this activity made the world one bit safer.
The article concludes:
Sky News video broadcast on Tuesday showed Russian troops firing automatic weapons over the heads of apparently unarmed Ukrainian Air Force personnel near a contested airfield in Crimea.
Foreign policy matters. This is an example of what happens when Congress and the White House do something that down the road endangers the freedom of people in other nations.