Event Recap

New Atlanticist

Apr 29, 2022

As support for Ukraine accelerates, key US senators explore the next moves to prevent a Russian victory

By Nick Fouriezos

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) spoke at an Atlantic Council Front Page event on Friday to discuss the Lend-Lease Act and the US response to the war.

Conflict Defense Policy

The United States’ efforts to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s full-scale invasion have in many ways been driven by support in the US Congress. Military support for Ukraine has become a bipartisan issue on Capitol Hill, with over $14 billion appropriated since February 24 to better fund Ukraine’s defense.

Russia’s war in Ukraine and the American response to it has also revealed the imperative for the US once again to become an “arsenal of democracy.” On April 6, 2022, the US Senate unanimously passed the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act,” reviving President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s World War II-era lend-lease policy that allows Washington to more quickly send weaponry and supplies, this time to Ukraine’s democratically elected government. Russia’s renewed offensive in the Donbas region has made Ukraine’s calls for weapons systems, ammunition, and military assistance all the more urgent.

What is lend-lease and how can the US use military aid to more effectively enable Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression? How can Washington build on support for Ukraine to strengthen US national security?

Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, vice chair of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, offered introductory remarks. Thomas Warrick, nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, moderated a discussion with The Honorable John Cornyn, US senator (R-TX), and The Honorable Ben Cardin, US senator (D-MD), on lend-lease for Ukraine and the future of US assistance, with closing remarks from Barry Pavel, senior vice president at the Atlantic Council and director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

An #ACFrontPage event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a virtual event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s fifteen Programs and Centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming each week.

A conversation with

The Honorable Ben Cardin

US Senator (D-MD)

The Honorable John Cornyn

US Senator (R-TX)

Moderated by

With introductory remarks by

issue spotlight

The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world.