Visual 08: The Cost of Security

Bar graph in white, nude, and black. It compares security funding for Ukraine war to proposed costs for George Floyd bill; GGD News
Photo Credit: Semmi W. x GGD

Although the Russia-Ukraine war began (unprovoked) in February 2022, the U.S. has provided funding to the Ukraine government since 2014. Over time, approved financial assistance has included (but not limited to) humanitarian aid, refugee resettlement, public health, food security, government infrastructure, and regional socio-economic development.

The data visual above compares U.S. funding for Ukraine’s military/security needs to estimated costs for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. The bill was ultimately rejected, but its requests for financial assistance largely centered on the data/research collection of law enforcement agencies, providing grants for public safety programs, investigations of repeated civil rights violations (also known as pattern and practice investigations), and the independent prosecution of officers who use deadly force.

If approved, funding assistance for the reform bill would have spanned from 2022 to 2024. In the data visual, projected costs for fiscal year 2023 were based on funding estimates listed in the George Floyd bill and an additional $85 million. The latter figure is used by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to help local and state entities define and cover costs associated with meeting national, federal targets. According to the CBO, initial costs to fulfill data/research mandates related to the George Floyd bill would have exceeded the $85 million limit. However, exact funding details have never been provided; only that it was above the CBO’s limit. The threshold is $170 million for private-sector mandates. Changes would have included upgrading technology, administration, and training infrastructure across more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies.

It’s important to note, costs for data collection and administration would have decreased over time; after inaugural investments in technology and training (if the bill’s foundational programs were launched in 2022). This data visual only presents U.S. funding for Ukraine’s military and defense needs. Figures from other categories of assistance (like humanitarian aid) have been excluded. The importance of collecting accurate statistics and its inclusion in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, was best explained by lawyer and civil rights advocate, Benjamin Crump. Shortly after the tragic death of Tyre Nichols, Mr. Crump stated in an interview with The Breakfast Club; “It’s about expanding resources to try and heal the community… knowledge is power.”

Official figures for the data graphic (above) are largely sourced from the U.S. Department of Defense

Additional info sources include the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. Department of State, Ukraine Support Tracker, the Congressional Budget Office, and The White House press briefings.