U.S. hopes WWII policy revival can assist Ukraine

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 1:04 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden signed the Lend-Lease Act of 2022 into effect Monday, marking the first time the U.S. utilized the policy since fighting Nazi Germany.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) co-sponsored the legislation with a group of bipartisan senators. He said U.S. leaders are trying to respond to Ukraine’s requests for more expedited aid.

“We will provide, weapons, airplanes, ships, whatever our friends and allies need to defend themselves, and cut through the red tape to get it there faster,” Cornyn said.

The Lend-Lease protocol allows the U.S. to provide more military equipment faster to allies by clearing bureaucratic hurdles. Lend-Lease was design by the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to help fight Nazi Germany’s aggression, but without sending American troops to Europe.

“Roosevelt, I think, and many of his aides and supporters, hope that if we would give enough aid to Britain and later the Soviet Union, we can avoid entering the war itself,” Florida State WWII Professor Kurt Piehler said. “We don’t necessarily have to fight.”

Piehler said the program worked during WWII for distributing weapons, and he thinks it can work again in Ukraine. But Piehler said the policy did not actually keep the U.S. out of war, which could be an issue again.

“A remarkably efficient program for getting aid to Britain and the Soviet Union,” Piehler said. “One of the things it also meant, it did inch us closer to the war because you had to get the supplies to Britain.”

The Biden administration maintains it will continue to supply Ukraine with equipment – but does not want troops fighting in the war. The administration is pushing for more financial and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

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