7:13 AM, Jan 15, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
In April, the Obama administration announced plans for financial aid, advisers, and 'non-lethal' security assistance for Ukraine in its struggle against Russian encroachment on its territory. Eight months later, citing the "urgent and compelling need to establish security and stability," the White
House National Security Council staff approved the purchase of an armored “Cossack” truck, a rapid-reaction military vehicle, for use by the border guard service of Ukraine.
The $189,000 vehicle was purchased from the Practika PJSC company, in Ukraine, and is being handled by the State Department's procurement office in Germany.
Despite the lapse of eight months since the assistance was announced by President Obama, the Justification and Approval document cited "unusual and compelling urgency" as the reason that full and open competition was precluded for the contract.
When asked about the timing of the vehicle purchase, a State Department official replied, "The United States has committed over $118 million to Ukrainian forces since the start of the crisis, including over $47 million in equipment to border guards. The urgent and compelling requirements are derived from Ukraine’s ongoing operations to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity." The official also said that the vehicle is scheduled to be delivered to Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service on January 19th: "The 'Cossack' armored truck, designed and manufactured by the Ukrainian company 'Practika,' is one of a variety of armored vehicles that we are providing to Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service to help it better monitor and secure its borders and operate more safely and effectively."
A June 4, 2014, "fact sheet" issued by the White House said that as of that date, "President Obama has approved more than $23 million in additional defensive security assistance since early March," and went on to detail the assistance already provided to the Ukrainian border service:
Embassy Kyiv has purchased and delivered 20-person shelters, sleeping bags, fuel filter adapters, barbed wire, patrol flashlights, perimeter alarm systems, fuel pumps, concertina wire, vehicle batteries, spare tires, binoculars, excavators, trucks, generators, food storage freezers, field stoves, and communications gear to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, for use in monitoring and securing their borders.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported in August that the State Department spent $435,000 on security fencing for the Ukrainian border.
5:14 AM, Aug 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama announced last night "two operations in Iraq -- targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death."
According to the press, Jerusalem goes against the White House and stands with the Egyptian army.7:02 AM, Aug 21, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is gung-ho for the Egyptian army’s bloody campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood. This, the Journal reports, “has pulled Israel into ever-closer alignment with those Gulf states.” Yes, concurs, the New York Times, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE support “the Egyptian military and sought to push back against Western entreaties that it temper its actions against the Brotherhood and the ousted government of President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.”
2:40 PM, Jul 11, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
On Tuesday, Egypt’s interim government named a new prime minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, an economist who served briefly as the interim military government’s finance minister after former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February 2011. Beblawi is a good choice, insofar as he seems to understand that one of Egypt’s core economic problems is that the government cannot afford to subsidize so many goods, from vital foodstuffs like bread and cooking oil to fuel.
8:55 AM, Jul 10, 2013 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The spirited debate over suspension of aid to Egypt has given rise to a good argument over how to encourage progress in Egypt toward stable, responsible, and democratic government. We know what we would, as Americans, like ideally to see there: respect for civil liberties such as freedom of speech and press, an independent judiciary, religious freedom, free elections, and so on. And we would like to see an end to violence, whether by the state or by political and religious factions. We would like to see a system based on law, rather than on mob action or military fiat.
"The $1.5 billion question."9:24 AM, Jul 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As we've learned over the last few days, there is a lot hanging on the meaning of the word "coup." Or, more precisely, the answer to this question: Was Egyptian President Morsi removed from office by a military coup?
3:31 PM, Mar 13, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Today Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the Egypt Accountability and Democracy Amendment, legislation blocking “economic support funds and new foreign military financing” “unless economic reforms and human rights safeguards are adopted, while also initiating a more thorough, longer term reevaluation of U.S. military assistance to Egypt.”
7:44 AM, Mar 5, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
9:41 AM, Jan 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a statement, President Obama announces that he's "approved an additional $155 million in humanitarian aid for people in Syria." The Syrian regime, as Obama states, "has waged a brutal war against the Syrian people—murdering innocent men, women and children, in their homes, in bread lines, and at universities."
"$220 million to date" given to Syrian refugees.4:19 PM, Jan 25, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The United States has given another $10 million in aid to help Syrians, the State Department announced today.
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:05 PM, Jan 3, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Bill Kristol, hosted by Michael Graham:
6:51 PM, Dec 12, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The State Department announced today that it had increased aid to help with humanitarian situation in Syria. Today's announcement stated that an additional $14 million of aid would be given, pushing the grand total of aid to Syria to $210 million.
1:34 PM, Dec 12, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
As Salon reports, President Obama is trying to raise money on his campaign website by suggesting that he is more pro-Israel than the Republican presidential candidates. Because if you care about Israel, the Obama campaign wants to suggest, you're going to support the president over the current crop of Republicans (Romney, Perry, and Gingrich, in particular) who "all say they would cut foreign aid to Israel--and every other country--to zero."