US Senator Exposes America’s Hidden Agenda in Ukraine

Lindsey Graham spoke the quiet part out loud when he said the country is a “gold mine” America can’t afford to lose

US Senator Lindsey Graham, known for his hawkish stance and provocative statements, has stirred controversy by stating what some consider a hidden truth. In a recent interview, Graham argued that the US must prevent Russia from winning the war in Ukraine due to the presence of vast critical mineral deposits on Ukrainian soil, which he estimates to be worth 10 to 12 trillion dollars.

Graham made three specific claims: First, Russian control over these minerals would enrich Moscow and enable it to share them with China; second, if Ukraine retains control, it could become “the richest country in all of Europe” and “the best business partner we ever dreamed of”; and, third, the war’s outcome is a “very big deal.” According to Graham, the stakes are so high that the US must support Ukraine’s victory in a “war we can’t afford to lose.” 

While other statements in the interview garnered attention, this passage has attracted particular condemnation. Critics argue that Graham has exposed what the Hindustan Times calls the “real reason” for US involvement. That reason, they say, is commercial, selfish, and strategic, contradicting claims about supporting Ukrainian “agency,” “democracy,” and “freedom.”

For the US, Ukraine is a strategic asset to be utilized in a larger global geopolitical game. This includes not only its location, critical minerals, fertile soil, and gas reserves but also its people. Graham has a history of making inflammatory remarks about Ukraine, notably his statement to Vladimir Zelensky that “Russians are dying” in the war while US aid was the “best money we’ve ever spent.” This disregard for the loss of Russian life, coupled with the inevitable casualties among Ukrainians, has drawn criticism. Despite this, Zelensky seemed unfazed.

While Graham’s critics are right to point out the problematic nature of his statement, it’s important to recognize that his words are not entirely surprising. In essence, his statement is a form of blunt honesty, revealing the mercenary approach of the Washington elite. However, his position also contains a misleading element. Separating cynicism from dishonesty is crucial.

Disregarding his specific figures, Graham is correct in stating that Ukraine possesses a unique wealth of critical minerals. These minerals are essential for producing components found in high-tech devices and renewable energy technologies. The global supply of these minerals is concentrated in limited locations, making them a significant geopolitical factor. They represent a modern version of oil, so to speak.

The importance of these minerals to the US is such that the Secretary of Energy has established a list of critical minerals, mostly overlapping with a separate list of “critical materials for energy.” Driven by a desire to reduce reliance on China, the EU has also shown interest in Ukraine’s critical minerals. These minerals are at the heart of the EU’s official strategic partnership with Ukraine, formally established in 2021. Since 2022, the Ukrainian Geological Survey has partnered with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development to catalog and digitize Ukrainian deposits for Western investors. Ukraine’s environmental impact assessment rules have been “simplified,” potentially loosened, for this purpose. In 2024, the EU solidified these operations with its Critical Raw Materials Act.

Despite the ongoing war, international investors from the West, including those from Australia, have been lining up to invest in Ukraine’s resources. Notably, an American-Ukrainian venture, the BGV Group, is actively involved in developing these resources.

This brings us to the first point where Graham is incorrect: The West has been actively securing Ukraine’s critical minerals, not Russia. Graham’s accusation against Moscow is a projection of the West’s own actions. This is unsurprising, given the concept of “spheres of influence.” While Russia is barred from claiming influence on its own border, the US’s sphere of influence extends eastward, encompassing Ukraine and Taiwan, for instance.

However, there’s a broader point beyond Graham’s hypocrisy. His claims are misleading because they implicitly assume that the West and Russia (and other countries) cannot share Ukraine’s resources through international trade and investment. This notion ignores the fact that it is the West, not Russia, that has made economic warfare a tool of geopolitical competition. Graham’s approach is not only cynical but also shortsighted, reflecting a limited understanding of international relations. He overlooks the possibility of cooperation, even among competitors, reflecting the sad decline of the American elite.