Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Monday that the U.S. and other nations should mobilize money and resources behind a Marshall Plan-style rebuilding of Ukraine.
Mr. Buttigieg argued that while much is being done now to give Ukraine the military and humanitarian aid needed to beat back an invasion by Russia, policymakers also should keep an eye on the future.
“With the memory of the Marshall Plan in mind, what we’re talking about is not only about how we fund immediate needs and support their ability to maintain the war effort, but how we support the ability of Ukraine to be economically viable and generate a sustainable future for themselves, even as they’re under attack,” Mr. Buttigieg told The Guardian, a left-leaning British newspaper.
The transportation secretary floated the idea while in Germany to attend the International Transport Forum. A prime topic of conversation at the confab will be how supply lines can be streamlined to improve the flow of weapons and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
But Mr. Buttigieg said more thought needs to be given to conditions in Ukraine when the war ends. In particular, Mr. Buttigieg said global leaders should consider a massive rebuilding effort, much like the one that the U.S. undertook in Europe after World War II — known as the Marshall Plan.
“It’s [too] early to know what will be at the end of this upheaval,” he said. “What we know is that the kind of united approach we have that reflects shared values among our partners and with Ukrainians is a very powerful one and will be an important basis of the relationship.”
“Not just in getting us through this war, whatever the endgame looks like, but in a reconstruction that really does hold the promise of leading to new and innovative things,” Mr. Buttigieg said.
Despite such calls, any large-scale rebuilding effort in Ukraine is likely to face domestic political opposition in Congress. Some Republican lawmakers have already raised concerns about the size and scope of the White House efforts to aid Ukraine.
Earlier this month, 57 House Republicans and 11 GOP senators broke ranks and opposed President Biden’s $40 billion aid package to the besieged eastern European nation. Most of the opposition was over the amount being spent and the lack of proper oversight into how the money and weapons were being used.
“Spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid — more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined — is not in America’s interests,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican.