Can the U.S. arm Israel and Ukraine at the Same Time? // And will the country have enough left over for itself?

Israeli soldiers surround a Palestinian who ran at them with a knife at the site of a music festival near the border with the Gaza Strip Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. At least 260 Israeli festival-goers were killed during the attack last Saturday. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)
“So make no mistake: the United States will make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself.”
—US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, after meeting with Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant
As it carries out its war with Hamas, Israel has gotten a heavy show of support from the US government. This has included trips to Israel made by both President Biden (a rare war-zone excursion by a president) and members of Congress of both parties. Speeches and resolutions have been in the same vein, with only a minority of congressmembers trying to curtail Israel’s fight against Hamas. The administration’s statements and President Biden’s speeches in particular have been notably pro-Israel.
And the president hasn’t limited himself to words. Two aircraft carrier groups were dispatched to the Eastern Mediterranean to provide a deterrent against groups like Hezbollah or Iranian-backed militias in Syria, as well as to deter Iraq from getting involved in the fight. The US has already downed missiles and drones launched by the Houthi in Yemen that were probably aimed at Israel.
In addition, the Biden administration has plans to send both munitions and money to Israel to replenish its needs. But the money might be delayed by problems in Congress, with no new speaker of the House chosen yet. But some of the munitions have already arrived.
The question is now whether the ongoing war in Ukraine and the new war in Gaza will strain the ability of the US to send weaponry to its allies while maintaining its own forces. The US is already sending weapons to Ukraine and Taiwan. How much can America give away?


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