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DEBATE DEBACLE: Nikki Haley Fumbled the Numbers on Military Aid to Ukraine

The former UN ambassador claimed the U.S. is spending less than three percent of the defense budget on Ukraine aid. But that figure is far from accurate.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — During the first Republican presidential primary debate, former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley claimed that the U.S. is spending “less than three and a half percent of our defense budget” on aid to Ukraine.

However, recent data says that Haley’s math is wrong.

The U.S. spent $766 billion on national defense during fiscal year 2022 – and since the war between Ukraine and Russia broke out in February that same year, Congress has approved approximately $113 billion in assistance to Ukraine during the same time frame. That includes direct military aid, governmental administrative funding and humanitarian aid.

The military support alone came to $61 billion.

This equates to a much larger chunk of defense spending than Haley’s estimated three percent. Looking at the total numbers, it’s actually closer to 15 percent – and the military hardware alone comes to nearly eight percent. Comparatively, European Union nations have contributed approximately $6 billion to Ukraine, and the UK has sent approximately $5.8 billion to the war-torn country.

Nikki Haley has continued to separate herself as a member of the pro-war hawk faction of the GOP, often placing herself at odds with former President Donald Trump, who said he would end the slaughter in Ukraine quickly instead of continuing to fund a pointless war effort.

Haley has stated she wants to see Ukraine admitted into NATO.

However, even state-sponsored news outlets like NPR have argued that NATO expansion into Eastern Europe was the cause behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch his “special military operation” against Ukraine in February of 2022.

Haley also asserted that Ukraine is a “pro-American country that was invaded by a thug" and that fellow Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy – who opposes more Ukraine aid – will “make America less safe.” During the debate, Haley emphasized that Ramaswamy was unqualified to speak on the matter due to his lack of foreign policy experience.