Dave DeCamp Military Spending Palestine Ukraine

Yellen Says the US Can Afford to Fund Wars in Gaza and Ukraine

The administration may also request funds to spend on arming Taiwan.
Treasury Secretary Yellen met with Prime Minister of Ukraine Andriy Shmyhal, Feb. 27, 2023. usembassykyiv, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen insisted on Monday that the US could “certainly” afford to fund the war in Ukraine and Israel’s onslaught on Gaza as the White House is looking for more military aid for both conflicts.

Yellen’s comments came a day after President Biden said the US could fund both wars. “We’re the United States of America for God’s sake, the most powerful nation in the history — not in the world, in the history of the world. The history of the world. We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense,” he said on 60 Minutes.

Yellen said the House needs to elect a new speaker so the new funding could be authorized. “We do need to come up with funds, both for Israel and for Ukraine. This is a priority,” she said. “It’s really up to the House to find, seat a speaker and to put us in a position where legislation can be passed.”

The White House has also discussed the possibility of rolling funding to arm Taiwan into the potential spending package. But Yellen did not mention Taiwan, and other Biden administration officials have made clear this week that Ukraine and Israel are the priority.

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“America can certainly afford to stand with Israel and to support Israel’s military needs and we also can and must support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia,” Yellen said.

Discussing US support for Israel, Yellen said, “We stand with Israel. America has also made clear to Israel, we’re working very closely with the Israelis, that they have a right to defend themselves. But it’s important to try to spare innocent civilian lives to the maximum extent possible.”

While paying lip service to the idea of sparing civilian lives, the US is strongly backing Israel’s relentless bombing campaign that has killed hundreds of children. According to the latest numbers, at least 2,808 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including 853 children and 936 women.

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Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

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