Lawmakers in the US agreed to provide further foreign military aid as part of a national security supplemental that will provide weapons to Ukraine, Israel, and US allies in the Indo-Pacific region, with individual acts written for each of the three operational theatres. 

More than six months have passed since the available US funds for Ukraine were depleted, and internal US political processes have left Ukraine in a difficult position. Without a reliable source of rearmament, decision-making from the strategic level down to the tactical operations was affected, with Ukrainian armoured commanders reluctant to amass the necessary force in a single location to achieve war aims, as the impact of attrition could prove too difficult to repair. 

While the total value of the three acts signed by President Biden on 24 April amounts to $95.3bn, around three-quarters of these funds will be spent with companies within the United States to replenish US munitions and defence stock.

Funds in the act to support Ukraine’s defence against Russia

The Ukrainian Security Supplemental Appropriations Act for 2024 totals $60.84bn, with provisions intended to address the conflict in Ukraine and assist US regional partners as they counter Russia’s illegal invasion. 

Of the total, $23.2bn, or 38% of the funds for Ukraine, will be used for replenishment of US weapons, stocks, facilities and defence services provided to Ukraine, essentially underwriting the process of backfilling US armed forces resources with new equipment to replace older platforms and materiel that have already been delivered into service with Ukrainian armed forces. 

A further $11.3bn for current US military operations in the region will fund various missions that the US participates in with allies and partners in the region. Throughout the war, the US has emphasised and renewed its commitment to the Baltic states bordering Russia and the Baltic Sea, assuring them of continued support as they navigate changes in regional security and participate in Nato-led security missions, including its Air Policing mission. 

The Ukrainian security supplemental also included $13.8bn for the procurement of advanced weapons systems, defence articles, and defence services. 

Following the passage of the bill, President Biden on 24 April used the Presidential Drawdown Authority to send a package of military aid worth $1bn to Ukraine, in the 56th tranche of equipment provided from US Department of Defense inventories.

Top line items in the latest aid package included RIAM-7 and AIM-9M missiles for air defence, taking steps to meet Ukraine’s urgent appeal to receive greater protection from the long-range glide bombs and one-way kinetic drone bombardments that Russia has been using against military and civilian targets, including critical infrastructure.

A provision of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles will contribute to the layered air defences that Ukraine requires to defend against the varied range of stand-off threats. 

Ukrainian army artillery, long reported to be suffering from shortages of ammunition, will also receive relief from the supplemental provisions, with delivery of155mm artillery rounds – including High Explosive and Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions rounds, 105mm artillery rounds, and 60mm mortar rounds. There will also be additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), with the exact amount being undisclosed. 

Land platform requirements are also addressed in the latest bill. Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) and logistics support vehicles are listed in the provisions to be delivered, as well as tactical vehicles to tow and haul equipment – essential to the vehicle recovery efforts that have been a constant feature of the Ukrainian war effort. 

The Ukrainian Security Supplemental Appropriations Act also included provisions intended to provide greater oversight on the use of funds for Ukraine and introduced conditions for the use of funds. In addition, $26m is being spent to continue this oversight and accountability, enhancing in-person monitoring requirements. 

The act also includes language conditioning the provision of funds on the contribution of allies and partners to Ukraine, in a cost-matching requirement. 

Financial aid to Ukraine that is delivered by the US must now come in the form of a loan, in line with statements from former US President Donald Trump, but these loans are forgivable from 2026.

The act also increases the fiscal limits on the several Presidential drawdown authorities. 

Funds to deter attacks against Israel 

Of the total $95.3bn included in the act signed by President Biden on 24 April, $26.38bn was allotted in support of Israel’s efforts to defend itself against Iran and associated proxies, as well as to reimburse the US for military operations it has taken in defence of Israel. 

In the months since the coordinated October attack against Israeli civilians and military personnel, the US has deployed significant naval assets to the Mediterranean Sea along Israel’s coast to deter a widening of hostilities to include Hizbollah in Lebanon and to counter threats from Houthi militants operating from Yemen. Most recently the US has participated in a joint air-defence mission, with Israel, the UK, and Jordan, against an Iranian missile bombardment. 

From the $26.38bn being provided to Israel, $4.4bn will replenish defence articles and defence services already provided to Israel, and $2.4bn will go towards current US operations in the region that have been motivated in response to the recent attacks. 

The Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024 provides $4bn to replenish the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defence systems, and $1.2bn for the Iron Beam defence system used to counter incoming mortar and short-range rocket attacks. 

The Foreign Military Financing Program will channel $3.5bn of US funds into procuring advanced weapon systems, defence articles, and defence services for Israel, financing new capabilities for the Israeli armed services that are sourced from third-party nations. 

Separate from this mechanism for the provision of funds, $1bn will be provided to Israel for the production of artillery and critical munitions.   

Included in the language of the bill are provisions that allow greater flexibility for transfers of defence articles to Israel from US stockpiles held abroad, and further language prohibiting funds to eh United Nations Relief and Works Agency. 

Funds to US partners in the Indo-Pacific challenged by China 

The Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024, also signed by President Biden on 24 April, accounts for $8.12bn of the $95.3bn in the total bill, with the funds consigned for efforts to counter China’s influence and build deterrence against further conflict. 

The US has reaffirmed its commitment to the One China policy for as long as the status quo continues but has a long-standing commitment to intervene in the event of an invasion of Taiwan by armed forces from the Chinese mainland. 

Through the Foreign Military Financing Program, Taiwan and other allies and security partners in the Indo-Pacific will receive $2bn, and a further $1.9bn from the act signed on 24 April will be to replenish US defence articles and defence services already provided to Taiwan and regional partners. $542 million will go to strengthening US military capabilities in the region. 

The AUKUS partnership with the UK and Australia has also presented the region with a considerable new defence investment intended to counter China’s growing regional hegemony. Australia has committed to the procurement of nuclear-powered conventional attack submarines at a scale not previously seen in Australia’s military posture. The Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act will see $3.3bn in funds spent in the region to develop submarine infrastructure, including investments in dry dock construction.