Ukrainian President Zelensky and his staff have repeatedly blamed the U.S.A. and NATO for not providing more offensive weapons to Ukraine, condemning them for fearing to provoke Russia. So far, the U.S.A. alone has provided more than $5 billion of aid to Ukraine, much of it in Javelin and Stinger missiles which should be considered offensive as they destroy equipment and kill the operators of that equipment.

Does the U.S.A. deserve the blame? What are the U.S. interests in Ukraine?

As the largest weapons exporter in the world, U.S. arms developers and manufacturers make profits when U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to donate weapons like these missiles to a conflict. Once fired, the Javelin missile, valued at about $80,000 must be replaced in order to reuse the launcher, valued at about $70,000. The same is true for the Stinger missiles.

Both missile systems are made by Raytheon, which employs hundreds of locals in its operations in Goleta. So, yes, Santa Barbara and Goleta have interests in providing those weapons to Ukraine.

But does billions to provide employment to hundreds of workers make sense? Wouldn’t the same money put into a work project to restore our forests and prevent wildfires provide more jobs?

President Eisenhower warned us about the Military Industrial Complex and how it would mislead us. Isn’t it time to think about his warning and how we are misled into wars for the profits of a few?

If you look at the way that NATO survived the collapse of the U.S.S.R., its reason for being, and expanded to the borders of Russia, you will see that profits are behind the war in Ukraine. Every country that joins NATO must buy new military equipment from the U.S.A., so there we have interests in expanding NATO, intimidating Russia, and creating a new cold war with its massive budgets.

Since the Vietnam war that I fought in we seem to have perfected a way to profit from war and allow others, the Ukrainians in this case, to be our collateral damage. Isn’t there a moral price to pay for this though?


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