History | Geography | PSHE

USA leads move to cut Russia’s lifeblood

Are we underestimating America? Is the USA a nation weakened by internal strife and doddery leadership? Or is it a slumbering giant, by far the greatest power in the world? There was snow on the ground in EstoniaOne of the Baltic States. It was taken over by the Soviet Union during World War Two but regained its independence in 1991. on Sunday as the huge AntonovThe world’s largest aeroplane, used by both the Ukrainian and the Russian air forces. AN-124 took off for Ukraine. On board were rifles and other weapons donated by the US and its NATO allies. Russia was threatening Ukraine’s supply lines. It was a race against time. The operation has been compared to the Berlin airliftIn 1948 the Soviet Union blocked access to West Berlin by land and water. In response, the US and British air forces flew in supplies for its inhabitants, in an operation that lasted almost a year.. On 26 February, President Biden approved $350m in military aid. Since then, things have moved fast. In under a week more than 17,000 anti-tank missiles were delivered. Washington has also been trying to make a deal with Poland. The plan would mean Poland giving Ukraine MIG-29A fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. fighter jets in exchange for US F-16s.   The US has helped in other ways too, blocking messages from Russian forces and working to stop cyber attacks. And on Sunday secretary of state Anthony Blinken announced a plan to ban the US and its allies from importing Russian oil and natural gas. These are vital to Russia’s economy, and people there are incredibly proud of them. They even make movies about oil workers and engineers. Some people like to say the glory days of the US are over. They blame bad leaders. Barack Obama, they argue, did not stand up to Putin over Syria. Donald Trump was corrupt and incompetent. Joe Biden is too old. The country’s dealings with Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan have shown how weak it has become. In addition, it is obsessed with its own problems, such as race relations and gun control. But the US is still the world’s most powerful country. Although it has just 4.2% of the world’s population, it has 30% of the planet’s wealth. Its economy makes up around 25% of the global GDPShort for Gross Domestic Product, the measure of all the goods and services produced inside a country..  Its army is formidable too. It spends three times as much on defence as China does. The US Department of Defence is the biggest employerIt employs approximately 2.9 million people. in the world, while Walmart is the biggest companyThe retailer employs around 2.2 million people and has revenues of about 0m.. Are we underestimating America? Foiling oil Yes: No other country comes near it economically or militarily. It also has a huge cultural influence through film, TV and music. Its swift response in supporting Ukraine shows what it is capable of doing. No: It is no longer the world-leading power it once was. If it had been, Russia would never have dared to invade Ukraine in the first place. Or... It still has vast resources, but much depends on its leaders. Trump made mistakes that reduced its standing in the world. It remains to be seen whether Biden can put them right. KeywordsEstonia - One of the Baltic States. It was taken over by the Soviet Union during World War Two but regained its independence in 1991.

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