01:29 GMT +318 November 2019
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    Ukraine’s Budgeted Defense Spending Part of Established US Policy

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    American lawmakers decision to allocate some $200 million in aid for Ukraine in the 2019 defense budget highlights Washington’s continued interest in trying to paint itself as a dominant global figure, international affairs and security analyst Mike Sleboda told Sputnik.

    The US Defense Department revealed on Friday that $200 million would be given to the Ukraine for "training, equipment and advisory efforts to build the defensive capacity" of the country's forces.

    In 2018, Ukraine was handed $350 million for security assistance. However, since 2014, when the military conflict in Donbass arose, Washington has given Ukraine more than $1 billion, according to the Pentagon.

    ​Sleboda told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Tuesday that the defense spending bill is "really actually nothing remarkable."

    "It marks a 9.3 percent increase in military spending over 2 years, and it allocates funding towards several things that have been in the works for years," the analyst told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. "It's not remarkable at all, because it was passed with complete bipartisan support."

    When asked what the US' endgame could be regarding its decision to send funds to Ukraine, Sleboda indicated that it was just Washington doing what it has always done.

    "This is nothing new; it's just a continuance of US policy," he said. "It furthers along with what happened in the Nuclear Posture Review and strategic documents, that the US has now shifted fully from a war on terror footing to a great power competitor, which it sees as Russia and China."

    "This is about full spectrum dominance. It is about a global military hegemony where the US is concerned that they can dominate China in the South China Sea, Russia in the Black Sea… and going so far as having military and drone bases in every country in sub-saharan Africa. This is what it's about," he added.

    With Russia having repeatedly warned the US against supplying Ukraine with military arms, stressing that it would only result in heightened tensions between Moscow and Kiev, Sleboda suggested that the funding venture is part of a bigger ploy by US President Donald Trump to break Russia.

    "[Trump] comes in, screaming, wielding a big stick, and basically he wants to beat Russia into submission on one hand with military spending and all of the things he's done around the world… all while extending a smiling rhetorical hand on the other side, saying that if you just bow under and accept our lead in global affairs, then this can all be directed toward someone else, like China," he said, referring to a business negotiation style noted in 45's 1987 book "The Art of the Deal."

    But don't hold your breath on this, folks. According to Sleboda, this is a faulty strategy that is unlikely to work against the Russian government.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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