The hold placed on U.S. military aid to the Ukraine can be summed up in one word—unmemorable.
On June 18, 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced—they were releasing the $250 million in Defense Department funds allocated for military aid to the Ukraine.
Three days later the State Department followed suit, notifying the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) they were releasing the $141 million in State Department funds from the Consolidated Appropriations Act earmarked for the Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
Both government institutions were supposed to certify the Ukrainian government had satisfied statutory language in the legislation that created the $391 million U.S. military aid package.
Ultimately, neither U.S. institution fulfilled its fiduciary responsibility.
In fact, they couldn’t—as there was no Ukrainian legislature at the time of the decision to request the release of the aid from the OMB—a key component of the legislation signed into law by President Trump.
In an unmemorable act—President Trump corrected the oversights by the DoD and State Department officials, directing the OMB to put a temporary hold on the U.S. military aid package until the demands of Congress could be met.
The event was so unremarkable it didn’t merit an announcement by the White House.
To President Trump, in the execution of his day-to-day responsibilities, the U.S. military aid to the Ukraine simply didn’t rise to the level of memorable.
The dollar amount of nearly $400 million wasn’t significant, not in comparison with trade negotiations with China, where the dollar figure is in the 100’s of billions.
The U.S. military aid wasn’t a major factor in U.S. national defense—as some would like to claim.
It didn’t rise to the significance of military action against ISIS in Iraq or Syria.
There wasn’t the potential for a disruption in the flow of oil out of Saudi Arabia.
In the summer of 2019, that was the reality facing President Trump as tensions were building between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Numerous Saudi oil tankers had been targeted by the Iranians. There was the attack on one of Saudi Arabia’s primary oil facilities by Iranian backed Houthi rebels.
Nor did it directly impact American service personnel—like the negotiations with the Taliban to remove the last U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
The Ukraine doesn’t rank with the likes of North Korea and its nuclear arsenal.
It must be remembered, all of these issues were taking place at the time of the U.S. military aid being placed on hold.
Simply put—the action to place a hold on the U.S. military aid to the Ukraine was an unmemorable clerical matter—to correct for the oversight by the DoD and State Department.
President Trump merely intervened to assure the demands of Congress were being met.
Unfortunately, the unmemorable event of putting U.S. military aid on hold has been elevated to memorable—not because it is; but rather, because Democrats believe they can use the hold on aid to remove Donald Trump from office.